This little tale goes back to when I was a 5 year old dude, with excessive energy and always looking for ways to get attention. It was also during the mid 70’s when my parents were extending the family home. Plenty of opportunities for a 5 year old kid to either get in trouble or injured. As I remember it, I normally ended up both injured and in trouble.
The old house in the suburbs was built with a stand-alone brick garage and my parents obviously thought that it would make sense to include the garage to the main building. They decided to built a giant utility room in the old garage.
As any toddler, I was amazed by the builders and all the tools they had. I was constantly trying to help.
I moved their tools closer to the door, placed chairs in strategic positions so they could use them to rest on. I also brought along most of my toys. I just wanted to be close to the action.
The builders were frantically looking for their tools while my parents spent most of the time removing me and my toys from the building site. Thankfully I had placed most of the tools in a bucket or the washing machine..which I accidentally turned on somehow 🙂
As the project was nearing to an end, the only thing left was pouring concrete on the floor so they could put down the floor tiles. This was an overnight job. So, they poured the cement on a late afternoon to make sure it would be ready the morning after.
I was mesmerized! I was literally watching the cement getting dry. This was so cool I thought. Imagine, they actually could create a floor from some wet paste. I had to witness this up close and walked slowly into the middle of this weird phenomenon called cement.
I was kneeling down to get a closer look and I gently poked my finger into the paste… and as any toddler, I tasted it. It wasn’t the greatest flavour, so I spat it out again.
Not too sure how long I had been sitting there staring, but the cement had already started to change colour around me. It had turned light grey. It was probably the first time in my relatively short life that I had been so still for so long.
My parents started to call for me. It was time to go to bed. I wasn’t too thrilled about going to bed, as this meant I was probably going to miss out on some cool cement drying event.
Anyway, I started to rise and I noticed that my left slipper was slightly stuck. I yanked it out and took a step. However, my right slipper wasn’t that forthcoming and stayed in the cement. I quickly ran out to my dad, pretending everything was OK.
He of course noticed the missing slipper and asked what I had done. What? Nothing!
He slowly followed the trail of moist cement on the floor and came to the utility room. The trail continued on to the middle of the new floor. One bare foot and one slipper imprint led to the missing red slipper.
My right red slipper was stuck in the cement and had to be chizzled out by the builders the next morning. The builders weren’t too impressed as this meant they had to cover up my prints and the hole where my slipper had been.
Suddenly, my mum said “that’s it, you are going to kindergarten!”. My dad tried to persuade her not to, but her mind was made up. She was the wicked witch of the East, West and South, all rolled up into one person.
The following morning I was enrolled in kindergarten bootcamp, managed by the local Catholic nuns. I was soon being educated on how to ask for forgiveness – even before I had done anything wrong…