The Scintilla Project | Day 3 | Childhood bedroom

March 19th, 2012 Posted by Connection, Uncategorized 13 thoughts on “The Scintilla Project | Day 3 | Childhood bedroom”

I’m participating in The Scintilla Project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt: Talk about your childhood bedroom. Did you share? Slam the door? Let someone in you shouldn’t have? Where did you hide things?

I spent a good portion of my youth with my bedroom door off it’s hinges.

Because privacy was a privilege. Not a right.

My parents grew tired of listening to my sister and I enter into angry door-slamming arguments. So my Dad invoked the “you slam it, I remove it” rule.

As a teenage girl, nothing got me going more than being door-less. Like any teenage girl, I valued my privacy. I wanted to paint my nails blue with silver sparkles while listening to Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill album and chat on the phone with my best girlfriend about our current crushes without my family listening and watching.

So this lack of a door thing really got to me.

I’d crawl back to my parents with an apology and swear up and down I wouldn’t slam my door again. Of course, like any teenage girl, I broke that promise a few more times before I learned better ways to solve disagreements other than slamming my door.

But my door still caused problems even when it remained properly installed.

My sister and I are eight-and-a-half years apart. That’s a lot of years. A lot of life space between us. But like any little sister, she wanted in on my life. And like any big sister, I wanted her out.

We spent many days with me on one side, holding my door shut, and her on the other side, pushing to get in.

And when I wasn’t around, she’d steal my stuff. I kept my room meticulously clean and organized. So I knew when some messed with my things.

I’d sneak into her room to located my stuff, and I’d always find my Lip Smackers, faux pearl necklaces, and blue nail polish squirreled away in her closet.

Just like a big sister, I’d rat her out to my mom for stealing my things.

Tired of her getting into my stuff, one day I decided I’d just lock my door. I was sitting in my room with Alanis on repeat when I heard her coming towards my room. I popped up, quickly shut my door, and with smug satisfaction, locked it.

She went ballistic. Banged on the door. Begged me to let her in.

Like a big sister, I ignored her.

After a few minutes, I thought she gave up. But then I heard a grinding noise coming from my door. And my door knob starting jiggling and spinning around. And then my door sprung open to reveal my sister, holding an unbent hanger she jammed into my lock.

My door never locked again. The knob just spun around uselessly. I couldn’t keep her out. She continued stealing my things. Most of the time, I gave up on retrieving my items.

Now that door-slamming, Lip-Smackers-stealing duo is 27 and almost 19. The girl I’d yell and scream at and rat out to my parents for stealing my stuff babysits my daughter. I trust her to care for Kate when I’m not home. She’s kind and caring and a great aunt. Instead of trying to keep her out, I welcome her in.

But I’m pretty sure she still has some of my stuff.

  • aduronia

    i don’t have any siblings so i’m particularly fascinated by tales of what it was like growing up with them. and yet, i can completely sympathize with the off the hinges problem, because my parents did this to me too. SO GLAD i am not the only one there.

    • Same here! (Except for the door)

      • Oh siblings, can’t live with them, can’t live without them 🙂

    • Ha ha, I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  • I’d never heard of the off the hinges punishment, but have to admit it is a great one. (I would’ve been LIVID if my parents did this to me as a teenager). Instead, my dad did the opposite: My brother’s bedroom was directly across the hall from mine and I remember when we were both acting up, he shut us each in our rooms and used a bungee cord to connect our doorknobs. This way neither one of us could get out! I’m sure my parents thought this technique would afford them some peace and quiet, but I’m also pretty sure we both screamed and cried. Kids are such jerks.

    There was also plenty of door slamming, usually to keep my younger brother out (despite him being a boy, he still touched/stole my stuff to annoy me). One time I accidently slammed his fingers in the hinges which ended up with him getting x-rays in the emergency room. I probably should’ve had my door taken off the hinges for that one.

    • Ha ha, I love the bungee cord idea. I’m filing that one away for future use!

      Thank you for sharing your funny sibling story – hopefully your younger brother has forgiven you! 🙂

  • Great post! I see this happening with my sons (nearly a 5 year gap between them). You’ve captured family life perfectly.

    • Thank you. I am sure your boys will come up with lots of ways to get after each other 😉

  • First off, the door off the hinges method of punishment is PERFECT. A huge thank you to your parents for making sure that my future kids know exactly what door slamming and any other bad behaviour will get. Seriously, love it! Also, I’m fairly sure that if I had pulled what your sister pulled on you, my older brother and sister would have doled out an ass whooping that i would never forget! Kudos on your restraint. This was a wonderful recollection.

    • I am definitely going to threaten taking doors off the hinges when my kids are older. And they can thank their grandparents for the idea!

  • brandeewineb

    I was threatened with the “no door” punishment a LOT, as a kid. We never actually got to that stage; but, I dreaded it all the same. I will admit, I’ve used the same threat with my own kids from time to time. I didn’t have a little sister, either. I had two little brothers that were nosy & destructive. Wailing to my mother & begging for a lock were futile.

    I love my brothers today, with all of the ferocity that I used to “hate” them with. I’m glad that you and your sister have moved on to a newer, better phase.

    • As a kid, it seemed we would never be friends. It’s fun to grow older with your sibling. Also, we don’t steal each other’s stuff anymore 😉

  • Aunt Linda

    Unless my much- younger sister sends me lots of money immediately, I will, indeed talk about sharing our childhood bedroom!! (hee-hee) No, really, we got along well. The age difference worked in our favor. My much-younger sister is also known as your mother-in-law!!!

Hi! I’m Sarah, I am passionate about creating community, building deep connections, and the power of creativity. I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, our three kids, and our golden-lab mix.

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