I mentioned before that I began working on a new personal project about childhood. Until I figure out a more specific angle from which to approach it, I’m sharing some of the Q&As from the questionnaire I conducted as part of my research phase.
What’s your first memory?
“I was crawling in the foyer of our house and I tried to use a houseplant on a stand to pull myself up to standing. But when I did it fell over, and I cried. My mom ran into the room and said “Bad houseplant!” as if I weren’t at fault.”
“My grandmother teaching me to say three as I was soon turning 3 years old.”
“Frustration. I couldn’t talk.”
“Sittin’ in my crib with my blanket.”
What scared you as a child?
“My bedroom had a balcony and the TV aerial was attached on it. It squeaked in any breeze and I think I didn’t sleep properly for about eight years. Was convinced some invader was going to get in. Every night.”
“Dad raising his voice.”
“The dark, being alone.”
“Monsters under the bed.”
“The toilet flushing.”
“Dreams about being left behind.”
What was your favourite thing to do?
“Read books and ride horses.”
“Draw or make collages.”
“Climb the tree in my grandmother’s yard.”
“Running. Everywhere. And sneaking behind the cars garage to play in a forbidden place.”
“Lie on the floor and look through the ‘big books’ and the pile of ‘Observers’ books we had! Making things, too. I loved making things like the chairs for toys made out of cut and bent cardboard boxes. And of course reading. And, on hot days, I would go, sometimes with my brother, into the farmland that was on our right. In the field next to our cul-de-sac were a load of ancient farm vehicles (oh the horse drawn type) as well as a Spitfire that had come down, and a couple of army jeeps, all, under some very old corrugated iron roofed open barns. Talk about dangerous kids paradise! “
“Play and experiment with objects, which usually meant ruining them :))”
What’s something you didn’t like about grownups?
“They weren’t honest.”
“They treated me like a kid.”
“How their words defined you.”
“They wouldn’t talk to me or listen to what I had to say.”
“They didn’t let children talk when they were talking, it is somewhat disrespectful to talk/contribute when adults are conversing (when your views have not been requested).”
“That they didn’t answer all my questions and they told me that the right time to know all that will eventually come at some point.”
“They never knew how to play.”
“Their way of making rules without any explanation.”
“They were too tall.”
“They would tell me things are impossible (like owning a horse in an apartment or bringing a statue home).”