The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

Prelude, becoming Daddy’s Darling Daughter…

Posted by pauaprincess on September 1, 2007

When I was three and a half, my younger brother was born. I remember it quite well, I went to stay with my maternal Grandma and Grandad for the two weeks my mother was in “the home” as it was known.

In the morning, Grandad got up and went to work (he retired when I was 5) which left Grandma and I to entertain ourselves. First order of business was making the bed. Grandma had a 1930’s dressing table with a mirror that had two hinged wings, so one could see themselves from all sides. On the dressing table she kept her trinkets in a crystal powder bowl. I would move the mirror and pull the bedroom door so I had a little alcove where I would sit and play with Great Grandma’s amber beads which were now Grandmas and her grouse foot brooch while Grandma pulled all the sheets and blankets over the foot of the bed and straightened the bottom sheet. When we got to the point where she was putting blankets back on the bed, she would start singing,

Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone

Oh where, oh where can she be?

With her tail cut short and her hair cut long

Oh where can my little dog be?

Then I would jump out and shout “here I am”.

We’d spend the day cooking, doing washing, threading the sheets through the wringer was my very favorite thing to do, although I was constantly admonished to be careful with my fingers or it would grab me and squeeze me. We’d walk down to Pasedena to get the messages as Grandma called it, she didn’t drive unlike my other Grandma. The butcher would always give me the luncheon sausage end, telling me I was a good girl. The Grocers was fascinating, they still had big scales and measured stuff out. Supermarkets were few and far between back then, Grandma called it the “self help”and she didn’t start going there regularly till after Grandad retired.

On the way home we must have stopped every 5 yards as the other lifelong members of the neighborhood addressed Grandma,

Which one is that with you Thel? Is she one of Barbs?(my aunt)

No this one is Grace’s eldest.

My, she looks just like Barb did as a child…

and I’d stand there, quietly smiling and saying hello Mrs Darwin when instructed to do so, I was a quiet, well behaved child and I think it was especially obvious given that my 3 elder boy cousins were hellions.

So on and so forth until we got back home. Then we’d start preparing dinner. Grandma must have been a great mother, we always had a very close relationship. I would sit on the little footstool in the evening while she finished making dinner, playing with Grandad, he could make his watch disappear! When he retired, they gave him a new gold watch, it wouldn’t disappear like his old one.

After dinner, Grandad had to take his ulcer medicine, it was white and smelled like peppermint but it must have tasted awful because he would hold his nose and pull some fearsome faces. Grandad would sit in his chair and do the Herald crossword and Grandma would look up words in Rogets when he got stuck. He always did it in pencil. I would sit on the footstool and watch the black and white tv.

After two weeks of Grandparental spoiling, I returned home.

While I’d been away, things had changed. Always the faddy type, my mother had more or less replaced me with my brother, she does this even now, she gets a hobby and everything else is gone. She totally immerses herself in whatever she is currently into. So, she had a new baby, the old one went by the board. This was more than just the usual sibling jealousy, from that point on, the only time my Mother really noticed me, was when I did something she didn’t like. So I became a Daddy’s girl. Something my mother would later resent me for.

My mother was always busy with the baby, I was always in the way. I started hanging out with Dad at weekends. I would help mow the lawns, hand him tools when he fixed the car. If he went on a breakdown after work, he’d take me with him. If he had to go out anywhere, I’d be there with him. At night, I’d sit on the couch cuddled up to him. I’d stay awake till he got home at night, no matter how late it was and what time I’d been sent to bed. Every night he would come and sit on the edge of my bed, we’d talk and he’d tuck me in, then and only then would I go to sleep.

While my mother pushed me toward my father, she’s always resented the close bond we developed as a result. Ultimately, she became jealous of me and when my father left, she used me as the focus for the rage she felt toward him. She was also quite jealous of my relationship with my Grandparents, her parents. She always felt they neglected her in favor of my Aunt and Uncle.

Something has always puzzled me, my Grandmother and Grandfather knew my Mother, she had her suspicions about what was going on…. Why didn’t they stop her? Why didn’t they do something to help my father stop her?

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