By Matt Grose (Montreal, QC)

The stories of my childhood are infamous among my family.  Christmases, Birthdays, Thanksgivings, at some point during the evening someone will bring up stories of me as a child. I was the boy with bells on his shoes.  I was the boy in the leash.  I ran before I walked, climbed the highchair before I could crawl.  My childhood stories are littered with destruction. I put paperclips in stereos, cookies in VCRs.  I broke the TV by turning the dial on and off for an hour.  At two years old I had mastered every baby-proof lock, while my mother still struggled with them.  Compared to my older brother, who mostly slept and could entertain himself for hours with a handful of Lego, I was the devil incarnate.

On one occasion, at a clothing store, my mother went to the cashier to pay, and I ducked into a rack of clothes, concealed by the tightly packed chemises.  After paying, my mother said Time to go, and gave a small tug on the leash.  The clothes rack wobbled. Come on Matthew, I'm not playing.  Let's go. Another tug, and again, the clothes rack wobbled.  Fed up, she pushed the clothing aside.  I was gone, and the leash was attached to the clothes rack.

She spun her head just in time to see a pair of Batman sneakers vanish around the corner, and a small child's voice shouting, Help! Help! I've been kidnapped!

 That one's coming up at my wedding, they say.

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