When the Peanut Brittle House tried to kill me

When the Peanut Brittle House tried to kill me

Candyland was more than a game for me: It was a mystical land.

I imagined myself actually walking through it as I played the game, and I saw myself going into the houses.

The newer games, which came out after I outgrew Candyland, had different pictures, too cartoon-like and not as fun and mystical as the old pictures the game had in the 70s.

I made little people-shapes with my hands, probably not the traditional kind but my own “tiger-kangaroos.”

(The index finger was the head, the thumb and middle finger were arms, and the remaining fingers were legs. I invented these figures in Kindergarten–another story for another time.)

They walked along the spaces, sat on the ice cream floats (floating pieces of Neapolitan ice cream), and went into the various candy houses.

The Peanut Brittle House–oh, what a weird, sinister feeling that place had! I dreamed about it once, that I was inside it with my sister. I had at least one sister and no brothers in this dream, just the opposite of my real life.

She was working at the stove in an upstairs room by the window, making something in a saucepan.

It boiled up with lava and began to spill out of the saucepan.

We had to run away, because if it touched us, we would die.

We tried to run out of the house, but it wasn’t easy.

Ever since, I think of this dream whenever I see the old Peanut Brittle House.

I don’t feel that way with the new picture of it, though, because it just is not the same at all.

The old Peanut Brittle House which inspired this dream is below:


My Own Son Thinks I’m Weird! Sigh….. :)

So I was explaining to my little boy how I used to make up all sorts of worlds and stories, then act them out–by myself–on the school playground.  (Nobody else could do the parts “right,” so I played them all myself.)  I’ve written about this here, here and here.

He’s 9; at that age, I had a large cast of characters which I made with my hands, basically hand puppets: Figure 8, dogs, cats, one or two humans, Rubber Duck (from the song Convoy).

I pretended to be a human colonist on the 10th planet, Spimpy, but the grass was poison, so we had to stay up on the Kee-Klamp (the name on a piece of playground equipment which was a twisty pipe with several ladders).

I pretended to be Neptune’s moon Nereid, as described here, with a whole host of other heavenly bodies making up the cast in my imagination: the sun, Earth, Mars, Venus, comets, etc. etc.

I pretended to be Pirate Samantha, the pirate cat, who sailed with her clumsy boyfriend Dodo and the captain and the rest of the crew, crapping on the poop deck and looking out the crow’s nest, fighting pirate dogs with trick knives so nobody got killed, and hoping to get dinner from pirate mice and birds.

I described some of this to my son and how I used to act out these stories on the playground.

Then I said that I acted them out by myself, and the other kids would think I was weird.

Then what did that little boy say?  What did my precious little boy say?

He said, “I can see that.”


Grumble grumble….But at least I’ve taught him how to spell my real name correctly.  Practically everybody on the planet spells it wrong, even on documents, even when I’ve already spelled it correctly for them.  But my son can spell it!



Wondering if NVLD is hereditary

Thinking my little boy has inherited my brain….His daddy tells him that since he found out yesterday that Mommy didn’t want my son drinking Kool-Aid but milk for lunch, he’s not going to make that same mistake twice.  What does my son focus on?  “It wasn’t Kool-Aid, it was pop.” LOL

Focusing on the details and missing the big picture: that’s common for NVLD.  This tendency of NVLD kids to focus on details is sometimes called “being a little lawyer.”  You’ll tell them they can’t do something, but they’ll find some way that your reason is invalid, and try to argue around it. 

My little boy does that all the time.  Drives me nuts and I have to try to guide him out of it so it doesn’t cause him trouble later….Though, if he does become a lawyer, this may actually help him.  😉

And I’ve often done it, though I was a lot worse when I was younger.  Mom, you should let me do this because….  We shouldn’t break up because…. Okay, maybe we won’t be serious, but how about just dating…. (I found evidence of this in my diaries for both Peter and Shawn.) 

I used to be one of those grammar/spelling nazis on the Net, until I discovered people don’t like that.  I’ll be reading an article in the newspaper and focus on the cringeworthy spelling/grammar error (but then, that’s normal for people in my line of work). 

But this does make an NVLDer an excellent proofreader.  My scores on the entry test I took for SEEK years ago, astounded the person testing me.  She said nobody else had done that well before.  My filing skills were praised at my last job.

It’s hard to realize, because your brain naturally works this way, that it’s annoying for others, or why it’s annoying.  Honestly, we’re not trying to annoy you. 

I only learned about this NVLD trait in the last few years, and recognized it in myself. 

You just honestly think that those loopholes exist.  If that particular thing was not included in the list of “forbidden” items, you’ll think it’s not forbidden, even if your mom meant that all similar things are forbidden, and expects you to understand that. 

“I shouldn’t have to tell you that!” is a common refrain.