11 September 2013

When The Parents are Away....

Sometimes people ask me what it was like to grow up in a family with seven kids. Somehow I think they expect sob stories about not getting enough attention from my parents....or never being able to go to the bathroom....or of starving when we ran out of food.

Well, the running out of food part did happen. During the peak few years when my parents had the highest number of teenagers and the highest number of kids living at home....the pots and pans we owned weren't really big enough to cook quite enough food as we would have happily devoured, and if you didn't eat fast, you didn't get seconds. But you always got long as you were at the table when dinner started, that is.
 2007. Approximately what we looked like when adventures like this were taking place.

But you won't hear any sob stories from me about growing up in a big family. Once I was a teenager, my parents would leave all 7 of us home alone when they went out on dates or went to meetings...and those days of being left home alone were the foundation for some of the greatest adventures of my childhood.

It's not so much that when my parents left we would do bad was more that when my parents left, we would do things that they probably wouldn't have said "yes" to if we'd had to ask them.

One day, we decided to get creative and perform a science experiment we'd found in a textbook: use newspaper and cardboard and tape to build a container around a raw egg, drop it off a balcony, and see if the egg cracked or if it remained whole.

It's an educational activity, what could go wrong? We lined up on the 2nd story balcony, and dropped our egg packages. Only, Someone, didn't drop theirs. Someone threw their egg package. Someone threw it so hard that it didn't land anywhere in our (admittedly, very tiny) yard, and instead landed  on the other side of a cement wall, in our neighbor's yard (it's the very same cement wall with metal bars sticking out of it that you can see in the background of the group photo above).

We stared at one another in shock, and instantly ran back into the house. I was all for simply forgetting this incident, but Lizzy insisted on being responsible, trying to get the neighbors' attention to apologize and get the egg package back. Isaac and I hid inside the kitchen and peeked through cracked windows as Lizzy went outdoors and jumped around and made noise till she got the attention of the little aunty who lived next door. She tried to ask the aunty to hand the paper package back over the fence, but the aunty didn't speak much English, so first she gave Lizzy a couple of limes from their lime tree. And then some curry leaves from their curry leaf tree. Finally, she saw the newspaper package, by this time oozing with egg, and picked it up and gave it to Lizzy. "Feed your dog?" the aunty asked. 

Flustered, Lizzy said, "Umm, yes! Thank you! Sorry!" and ran back inside, where Isaac and I were rolling on the floor, cracking up at the ridiculousness of the whole exchange.

Have you ever performed this particular experiment?


  1. That photo of you and your siblings is great - I love everybody's different looks :) Somehow you guys remind me of the kids from a series of unfortunate events, though multiplied - I think it's because the baby looks like I imagine Sunny looks. I always thought that growing up in a big family would be lots of fun, and at moments like this it seems I was right :)
    Can't say I've ever tried this experiment, but what was your result? Besides a confused lady, limes and curry leaves?

  2. Oh dear! You guys look so happy :P Lizzy sure is brave!! Hahaha, I love your "sibling stories"...

  3. Oh my gosh lol. I probably would have been one of the ones hiding!

  4. Aww haha what a cute story! I definitely remember doing things along those lines when we were home alone, and definitely about running out of dinner!

  5. That's too funny! We actually had to do something similar for science class. Your sister is brave for going over there!

  6. That is a nice next door neighbor! Haha, oh the times of being left alone with your siblings. You'd just make sure no one was crying when they got back so you wouldn't immediately get in trouble.

  7. haha what a cute neighbor. I can just picture her trying to figure out what your sister was asking for and how weird that package must have seemed.

  8. That's too funny!! What a cute story. Thx for sharing.

    Have a lovely day.

  9. Ha ha! Who feeds their dogs raw eggs wrapped in newspaper?

    I've never done the experiment.

    We had the same issue with only 4 kids at my house. If you weren't there when supper was served you had to fend for yourself.


  10. Mu gosh, too funny!
    And, now I've never done that experiment. My brother's and my idea of excitement while my parents were out was to commandeer the living room stereo and set up out favorite action figures to give a concert. Or just watch Star Wars AGAIN on the big TV . . . things like that ;] Sounds like you guys had lots of fun, though!

  11. Oh we definitely 'played' when the parents were away! I bet y'all had tons of fun together!