Through Any Given Door

1.35 We Love Milkshakes!

June 1947 • Charlie and Velma ~ The three weeks Mom and Dad were in Minnesota for the funeral, Betty and Claudia stayed with Uncle Charlie and Aunt Velma, Mom’s oldest brother and his wife. It didn’t go well. Charlie and Velma had no children of their own (which never inhibited them from telling Mom how to raise hers) and reality quickly set in.

Aunt Velma

On the first night Aunt Velma fixed the girls hot dogs for dinner.

“I don’t want my hot dog wrapped in bread. Mom uses hot dog buns,” whined Claudia.

Velma, hands on her ample hips, shot Claudia a look of reprimand and ordered, “Just eat it.”

At that moment the wiener shot out from my sister’s bread, squirted onto the table and danced to the waxed linoleum floor, leaving a trail of mustard in its wake. The girls thought it was hilarious. Velma didn’t.

Cleaning the floor and giving up on the bun battle, she asked them if they liked milkshakes. Betty, seven, and Claudia, five, cried in unison, “Oh yes, we love milkshakes!”

But Velma didn’t make them with ice cream, she made them with sherbet; it was cheaper.

“These don’t taste good,” they said, crinkling their noses. They disliked the watery taste and refused to drink them.

Velma, bigger, older, and thinking her resolve greater, demanded, “You are not going to let these go to waste, and you’ll not get up from this table until you finish them.”

At the age of 42 (she was born the same year as my dad), Aunt Velma was sadly mistaken that she could win in squaring off against the counter-will of small children. Staring her down, shoulders scrunched, arms crossed, and with lips tightly sealed, the girls sat there for hours. And they didn’t drink the milkshakes either. The night ended in a draw, setting the stage for a long three weeks.

to be continued …

© 2017. Catherine Sevenau.
All rights reserved.

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  1. This is hilarious! Looks like Velma got a little education about child-rearing…..or not!

  2. Jim Chatfield says:

    Kids have to handled with care to get them to do what you want them too and at times it can be frustrating.

  3. Those pronouncements of “You will sit there until you eat that,” never did go down very well…

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