When my parents were here for Easter, I requested that my mom bring down as many old pictures of me as she could get a hold of so I could scan them and share them with my kids one day. I was surprised when she brought down a bunch of old scrapbooks and told me to knock myself out. So today I decided to start scanning. And what I found may just have to become a several part series on this blog. The albums were just that rich. But before I post "Horrible Haircuts of My Youth" and "Weird Things My Parents Let Us Do and Wear In Public, Volumes 1 and 2", I thought I would tackle an important issue first. It's called "Photographic Evidence That My Youngest Brother Was Raised by Careless Parents"
That's right, forget the middle kids. While I'm sure we got swept under the rug plenty, it was my little brother Jonathon who, according to what I found today, got the shaft. In my parents defense, the three of us older kids are much closer in age and Jonathon is 8 years younger than me. So by the time he showed up, my parents were probably awfully tired of raising kids with the kind of enthusiasm they once had. So the mantra became that if he wasn't bleeding from the eyes, he was probably okay. And so for your viewing pleasure and, I'm sure, much to the dismay of my parents, here's a little evidence to prove my point.
He was headed for disaster before he was even born. The happy couple took this picture of the crib area before their little miracle arrived. Homemade blankets, a baby monitor, diapers stocked up, and oh what's that little baby? The radiator is a little warm? Oh, you'll be fine. Seriously, who puts a crib next to a radiator? My mom insists that this radiator did not work. This coming from the woman who this year wished me a happy 26th birthday. (I'm 25.) Yea, I trust her judgement. It's a wonder they didn't cook him like a little Cornish hen. Moving on.
This is Jonathon and our dog at the time, a pit bull named Monique. In a picture taken just before this one, it's apparent that Jonathon had been given some crackers, which Monique promptly ate off his tray. Then she proceeded to check his mouth to see if there was anything else she could munch on. That's right folks, the dog is eating from the baby's mouth. Probably licking his little gums clean. I don't need to go into detail about why that's just plain gross. But what I will touch on is the fact that one of my parents is obviously so unconcerned with the dog and baby feeding session, they whipped out the camera and snapped a few pictures. I noticed a trend with this.
I left this one in it's scrapbook layout so you could see for yourselves just how little my parents cared about the well being of their youngest offspring. Yum Tasty? My poor brother probably hasn't been fed properly in weeks, while Monique the dog is sitting fat and happy, full of crackers somewhere in the background. Here he is, desperately trying to nourish himself with something, anything, and what do they do? Let him stuff himself and then take pictures of him like a circus bear. Oh, just wait for the next one.
Need something to wash down that sand? How about some dirty puddle water, Jonathon? Oh we know there are coolers nearby full of purified water, but it's such a long walk. Just slurp some of this up. And do you see that man just looking at him, just standing there carelessly as this little baby drinks himself into a nasty case of dysentery? Yea, meet my dad.
There were more pictures of course; one of him eating out of an onion bag, one of him eating dirt, and one of my sister feeding him sherbert from the gallon while he's crying. Not sure what that was about. The point is, my parents didn't care and they were taking pictures!
Somehow, despite my parents complete lack of regard for my brother's safety and sanitation, they managed to keep him out of harms way and he is a pretty well rounded kid. This is him with his friends at prom last Saturday.
And, in case you think my parents are just the worst, know that things have changed significantly. After the three of us older kids moved out and started families of our own, Jonathon has turned into an only child. Now they pay more attention to his schooling, his social life, and his health care more than they ever did for the rest of us.
No word on weather or not they still make him seep next to a radiator, though.