‘Risey Shiney! Let me hear your feet on the floor’, my mother called up the stairs. She wanted to make sure we would be up before she left for her job as a nurse in a local hospital. A foot or two went obligingly out of the blanket on the side of the bed and pounded on the floor. We’re up, someone said, and promptly went back to sleep.
I have fond memories of getting ready for school in the morning. Five girls, four boys and one bathroom. The bathroom was a busy place and when one of us needed to get in we would pound on the door hoping the occupant would hurry. The person in the bathroom would holler ‘Occupied!’ (That word was ours way before the Occupy Wall St people thought of using it.) Many a dance was done outside the bathroom door, accompanied with, ‘Hurry, I gotta goooo.” A sister might open the door and let another sister in because after all two girls can share a bathroom and I remember a few good conversations with one of us on the loo and another at the sink.
Anyway, we would all be scurrying around getting ready and one of us would see the bus coming down the hill past Hergenrother’s farm heading toward our house. The shout would go out, ‘Heeere comes the buuusss.’ (2 syllables on buu…uuss) Here is one of the nice things about big families. We are all in this ‘getting on the bus’ thing together. Invariably one of us was not quite ready – usually it was one of the girls. ‘Walk slow, walk slow,’ the sluggard would say. So one of the brothers would walk out and when he was almost to the bus, then the second sibling stepped out the door. And the pattern continued. It was a little like a bridal procession. Watch. Wait. Walk. One by one. In this way we could have an extra 2 or 3 minutes and the last person would have time to take the rollers out of her hair, find schoolbooks, and saunter out of the house just in the nick of time.
At least that’s the way I remember it. And I – and I suspect other of my siblings, nieces and nephews – have used those very same words to raise slumbering children. Risey shiney!
This post isby the second sister and middle child.