This story takes place in June of 1999. My parents were planning on going to Europe that summer or at least to spend over 9 days s in Paris, France and then London, UK and the original plan was for our maternal grandparents to come down to look after my sister and I. Thanks to our Karen of an Aunt… that didn’t happen so my then 17-year old sister had to look after me instead.
I didn’t learn the details until I was older except for the cousins being dumped part.
My Mom is eldest of four kids-two girls and two boys. So it’s my Mom, Uncle 1, his wife (Aunt 1) and their kids (two) , Aunt2 and her husband and their three children , and the last one is Uncle 2 and Aunt3 whom are a childless couple. Uncle’s wife Aunt 1 is a bit of a Karen-always has been-from what I been told by my Mom. All of them are involved in the following story as is my paternal grandmother when my parents tried to find alterative arrangements for my sister and I. My Maternal grandmother has never been able to stand up to Aunt 1 but then she always was more relaxed with Uncle 1 then she was with my Mother because Grandma didn’t have any brothers only sisters. Please remember this happened long ago… so I don’t remember/know everything about the story
What happened is a very short time before my parents’ trip was to begin the phone rang and Mom answered it. It was my maternal grandma calling saying that Uncle 1’s family had dumped our two cousins on them so they couldn’t come down to watch my sister and I. They also I think didn’t want to have two sets of children underfoot in the house so they turned down the offer I think of me and my sister going via Via train up there either.
After getting off the phone with Grandma I believe the parents had an argument and then Mom made some more calls and this is what they discovered. My paternal grandmother didn’t want to come down (or for us to come us). I think she might have been in depression and if she was, I don’t really blame her, for she just lost my Paternal grandfather, her husband, just this month. They called Aunt2 and it turns out Aunt 2’s family was going camping with childless Uncle3&Aunt3. So it left my parents to have to leave the nine-year old me in the care of my then 17 year old sister with our neighbours checking up on us occasionally.
I don’t remember everything which happened for the over nine days the parents were gone but some of what I do remember:
that she and a friend of hers took me to the “Circus of the sun”. I remember while at the Circus that I had cotton candy.
Since she was looking after me and couldn’t get another baby-sitter she had to take me to her then-boyfriend’s family’s apartment and I remember seeing a live lizard-I think it was an Iguana in whatever you keep a lizard in. I also remember playing with a kitchen playset and I was playing with it with the boyfriend’s little sister.
During this time I recall one day I was listening to my read-along tapes in the living room of the house and for some reason I left them and I went toward the kitchen the “long way” and I saw my sister and a friend smoking in the kitchen. I knew what they were doing was smoking due to our neighbours’ habit.
There were a couple of fights and my sister put me in a “time out” in my room. I just remember that during the one fight was our parents checking in on us while abroad. I think that I wanted to talk to the parents as well and my sister was hogging the phone? As I said before that my sister is the only one whom tried harder then the parents to actually parent me since by this time the parents basically “gave up” on me
And there must have been a lot of swimming time since Dad probably opened our previous pool so my sister and I could go for dips when they’re gone. Not that I could actually swim at this time-it was more like walking around for me.
I don’t remember or I only remember when I try really hard but I realized it more recently that during this time my sister gave me my nightly needle medicine. Just like she did when we were much younger and were left for two nights at Aunt 1’s place for March Break when they’re at a teacher Union meeting in Toronto during the weekend.