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Skeptics, Sinners, and Cynics August 3, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.


My siblings and I are close together in age.  At one point, my parents had four kids under the age of five to supervise.

Which made for challenging mealtimes.

Last week, I listened to a tape of us eating dinner in the early 60’s.  Dad recorded it to send to his parents in Vermont.


What a hoot!

My sister’s chicken . . . “It’s too Hot!”
Her asparagus . . . “It’s too Big!”

I ate everything on my plate . . . except for the meat.
Jim ate all his meat . . . but left his veggies.

Snoopy5Doug got up without permission to watch TV.

Someone gave Muffin a chicken bone.

Oops . . . my bad!

I don’t know how mom and dad put up with us night after night.


The funniest thing was when dad asked 5-year-old Doug to describe how he got in trouble on the first 2 days of kindergarten.

Woodstock-&-SnoopyDoug replies with suspicion:  “Well, who are you recording this tape to?”

He didn’t want his confession to end up in the wrong hands.


Aah . . . that’s better!



1. Don - August 3, 2015

A tape like that is a gem. I would love to hear my siblings and myself at that age. Must have been quite an experience, Nancy.

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

I got a kick out of listening to us chittering and chattering through dinner.

2. Jill Weatherholt - August 3, 2015

What a treasure you have, Nancy! I loved Doug’s question. 🙂

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

Another segment of the tape eavesdrops on a Monopoly game between me and Jim while Doug hammered away in the background.

3. Hariod Brawn - August 3, 2015

And what, pray, is dear Doug’s profession now Nancy?

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

He’s an electrical engineer with an inventive streak.

Hariod Brawn - August 3, 2015

I thought he could have made a lawyer or some such; far better to do something useful though. 🙂

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

Nope. I’m the only lawyer in the family . . . amid 4 electrical engineers. :mrgreen:

4. Grannymar - August 3, 2015

I love those children’s conversations. We had a family gathering yesterday (three generations), to meet my youngest nephew from Australia who was visiting Ireland for the first time. I loved overhearing the tinies as they played away around us. The word of the day became ‘actually’ used regularly by the youngest little guy 30 m0nths of age.

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

“Actually” was a favorite of our nieces and nephews ~ especially if we tried to put the wrong words into their mouths and they wanted to set us straight.

“Actually . . . I don’t like to eat fried straw for dinner!”

5. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - August 3, 2015

hahahahha! How awesome!

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

It’s fun to listen to us back when . . . but a bit exhausting to think about my parents dealing with “it” night after night.

6. L. Marie - August 3, 2015

You have recordings? That’s so awesome, Nancy! Your parents had great foresight. Love that conversation! I can’t blame Doug for being suspicious!

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

It’s funny that his 5-year-old self didn’t quite trust my parents not to rat him out!

7. Crowing Crone - August 3, 2015

Must be fun to listen in to your childhood like that. I had three children five and under. Can’t even imagine having four

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

We kept my parents on their toes for a time!

Crowing Crone - August 3, 2015

Heh heh. I just bet you did…and that was before you all became teenagers

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

Our teen-age years were . . . the worst! 😛

8. Pix Under the Oaks - August 3, 2015

Recordings.. how cool and fun. I would love to hear my Mom’s voice again. Your sister’s asparagus… she should have just had the tips!

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

Exactly! Who gives a 3-year-old an entire stalk of asparagus?

To paraphrase Dragnet, “Just the tips, ma’am. Just the tips!”

9. mybeautfulthings - August 3, 2015

What a delight it must have been to hear that. Do you have others too? I would love to have had a recording of our four when they were little! 🙂

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

We have recordings from several different days & years, but my favorite is the dinnertime tape described here.

I expect you would enjoy a similar recording of your four.

10. Val Boyko - August 3, 2015

What a precious memory coming to life Nancy! Your parents probably deserve a medal … or two. 😉

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

Indeed! A medal or two . . . hundred! We were rapscallions and scamps throughout our childhoods.

Val Boyko - August 3, 2015

I can imagine!! (SMILE)

11. wheremyfeetare - August 3, 2015

What a brilliant idea! I’m one of four and would love to hear some of our dinner conversations. I think I’d hear a lot of bickering. 🙂

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

No doubt! Most of the bickering in this tape was between us and our parents, but we got into our fair share of side squabbling over the years.

12. NancyTex - August 3, 2015

I didn’t realize you’ve been eschewing meat since you were a youngster! A natural born vegetarian, you are!

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

I was a natural born vegetarian. Never much liked meat, often eating it only so I would qualify for the dessert round of the meal.

NancyTex - August 3, 2015

hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. dessert is worth it!

nrhatch - August 3, 2015


13. granny1947 - August 3, 2015

Ahhhh…this brings back memories.
When I had the four grandkids living with me.
Gran…he is looking at me…great fun and lots of laughs.

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

Yes! “Moooommmm! Tell him to STOP looking at me!”

14. Kate Crimmins - August 3, 2015

This recording is a treasure! Are you the youngest?

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

No . . . that’s me with my arms crossed in skeptical cynicism (or cynical skepticism) ~> I found it hard to believe that I had been sent home with the right family. 😎

15. anotherday2paradise - August 3, 2015

What a lovely bunch you were. I can just imagine all the mealtime chit chat. There were only two of us, and I don’t think we were easy. 😕

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

At more than a few points during my childhood I thought that my parents should have stopped at TWO. 😛

16. Patricia - August 3, 2015

Your parents probably didn’t get any rest until y’all went to college.

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

My grandparents gave them “time off for good behavior” once in a while . . . but not often. 😎

17. suzicate - August 3, 2015

That cracks me up that Doug wanted to know who was going to hear his confession! Yes, dinnertime at my house was crazy growing up. I was the youngest of six and there were always at least three or four of my siblings friends or extended family members present. Sometimes, it was a bit much for me…too much chaos made me nervous!

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

That’s what I thought ~> “better safe than sorry” or “caution in all things!”

Back then, I was a seasoned profession at thriving in the midst of chaos. Today, I would SINK.

18. Carol Ferenc - August 3, 2015

This is so cool! A recording of an ordinary event like a family dinner becomes a treasure. Brilliant.

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

Thanks, Carol. Listening to the tape reminded me of watching Art Linkletter in “Kids Say The Darndest Things!”

19. diannegray - August 3, 2015

I just love this, Nancy. What an amazing tape. I’ve got them of my children, but none of me and my five siblings. Our dinners were always quite chaotic and noisy 😀

nrhatch - August 3, 2015

The dinner time on this tape (recorded for about 30 minutes) seemed like an exhausting Free For All. Then I remembered that, at the time, my parents were TWENTY years younger than I am now.

What a difference two decades make!

20. Debra - August 3, 2015

What a treasure! I would love to have something like this from my childhood, or even to be able to put my hands on the few things I taped of my children in conversation. Four children under five? Every moment of every day would be a lot of work, but lots of joy, I think! 🙂

nrhatch - August 4, 2015

Having 4 under 5 would be like running a day care . . . always someone who needs attention.

Bathed ~ check
Diapers ~ check
Dressed ~ check
Fed ~ check

Nap . . . YES! PLEASE!

21. Barb - August 4, 2015

How precious to have a tape of you and your siblings when you were all so young…..and running your parents ragged! Did you ever play it to your kids Nancy?
I wish I’d done it with my three so they could hear themselves – two of them were always squabbling with each other, they seemed to rub each other up the wrong way ALL THE TIME! Wish I could let them hear themselves, they would cringe!

nrhatch - August 4, 2015

We chose not to have kids, Barb ~> that’s me and BFF at the table on the right. :mrgreen:

I cringed while listening to a segment of the tape recorded about 10 years after this one ~ talk about a JOYSEY ackcent!

22. livelytwist - August 4, 2015

Four kids under the age of five to supervise, not easy. I bet at every stage till you left the house, it was tasking. But what lovely memories you all must have now 🙂
Kudos to your parents.

nrhatch - August 4, 2015

Walking the oldest to school on snowy days meant getting four wee ones bundled up with hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, coats. Since kindergarten was only a few hours long, my mother would barely be home when it would be time to get us ready for the trudge back to pick Jim up.

I would love to go back to several points in the past for a quick peek from a ring-side seat.

23. Behind the Story - August 4, 2015

What a sweet photo! And I love that cartoon. Soo… That’s you and BFF at the table on the right.

On a recent flight, I sat next to a mother with a couple of young children. I could see that the toddler was going to be out of control for the whole flight. So even though I knew what it was like to be in her shoes and I did sympathize, I avoided making eye contact with the little hellion and let the poor mother handle it, all the while smiling at the mother like the two diners in your cartoon.

nrhatch - August 5, 2015

Haha! I get a kick out of kids, but only in small doses. When a mom is dealing with the “terrible twos in the throes of a tantrum” in the grocery store, I try to assist by distracting the toddler with a question, a song, etc.

If it doesn’t work, I leave mom to it ~ after all, too many cooks spoil the broth. :mrgreen:

24. pix & kardz - August 5, 2015

enjoyed this! what a treasure that recording is 🙂

nrhatch - August 5, 2015

Hi Kris. I enjoyed listening to it (while clearing out and tossing the rest of our cassette tapes) ~ a blast from the past!

25. Tokeloshe - August 6, 2015

What a lovely photo and you are so lucky to have the recording.

nrhatch - August 6, 2015

Thanks, Tok. It’s nice to have a sprinkling of mementos from the past . . . even if only to remind us how far we’ve journeyed.

26. Tiny - August 6, 2015

What a hoot to have a tape like that! I’m sure listening to it brings back many other memories as well…and a tad more admiration for your parents? I love the picture too, and guessed correctly that you are the sister with a half smile and crossed arms. While you’re not an electrical engineer, you are a positively electrifying person 😎

nrhatch - August 6, 2015

My parents had their hands full, that’s for sure!

And thanks ~> I would love to know what I’m thinking behind that half smile / half sneer! Now, I’m off to bed with GREASE (“it’s electrifying!”) running through my head.

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