It was the summer of 1976, I was sixteen. I had places to go, music to learn and school friends to visit.  We four kids, (Anne, Ian, Janet and Andrew) had daily chores. Completion of these chores would result in a weekly allowance.

One of my duties was to help with the cooking of the dinner and then the cleaning up of the pots and pans. I hated doing the pots and pans!!

One particular summer’s evening, it was hot and I had made plans to connect with my best friend, Bill Bynum and walk to his place across the ravine. It would take about 20 minutes to walk. I wanted to get the dishes done and zip over to Bill’s house.   As usual, I would be complaining to my mother.  That night I asked for a favour could I leave the pots and pans for her to finish?  “NO”…was her response.

Not to cause a fuss, I did the pots and pans and started to put away the plates, cups, and saucers.  Wanting to get the job done, I stacked the dishes carelessly.  Closing the cupboard doors, I should have checked to make sure that all dishes were stacked properly.  About to leave the house, I noticed that I had missed a serving plate that needed to be put away.

As I opened the cupboard doors, there was such a roar as these plates, cups and sauces came bouncing off the countertop and then to the floor, smashing into thousands of mini pieces. I was in shock, standing there with this serving dish in my hand.

Was I in such a rush that I had just stacked the plates and other dishes any way-not noticing something wasn’t right? Was this an ADHD event or a typical teenage act of irresponsibility?

Both my mother and my father Bill came bolting into the kitchen.  My mother insisted that I clean up the broken china all over the floor and I did so. After the cleanup, my parents let me go, with the stern warning that “we would need to talk and that I would have to pay for all of the replacement of these dishes.” Specific details would follow when we had our “talk.”

The next Saturday morning, I had to accompany my mother to “Mills China Shoppe” in downtown Hamilton and we placed an order for the replacement dishes. I was embarrassed, and I asked my mother ahead of time as we walked into the store, not to tell the sales lady how these dishes got broken. Once the bill was presented to my mother for these items, it was decided that I would have five or ten dollars a month taken off my allowance.  I think that this punishment continued for six months.  Boy, did I learn my lesson!

Even today in my sixties, I check and double-check to make sure the plates, bowls and heavy mugs are placed correctly in the cupboard. In 2015, my siblings got together to clean out our parent’s home after they both had passed away. As we were cleaning up the kitchen area, I spotted the two cups and saucers and the platter of this china pattern and remembered this traumatic event. My siblings thought that it was only right (as most of these funds, to pay for the new dishes, had come from my allowance) that I should have these remaining china pieces for my own home.

Was it an ADHD moment? Was I not focused on the task ahead?   I choose not to remember. However,  I learned from this experience to do it right the first time!. Now I remember why I hate to clean “pots and pans.” as I have flashbacks to this eventful evening in my life!

QUESTION:?  Was it an ADHD moment or was it something in youthful folly?

Don’t be embarrassed, this is the place to share some of these youthful experiences and know that you are not alone!  Do you have a comment to add to this discussion?

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