On a Friday afternoon around Thanksgiving in 1957, Dick and Gen began arguing. The argument escalated into yelling. Dick accused Gen of having an affair and stated that Becky wasn't his daughter--a laughable assertion because Becky strongly resembles Dick. The yelling escalated to violence. Gen slapped and punched Dick. I remember hiding in my room behind Gen's Ironrite and I don't remember much after that--except that Dick disappeared again.
The weather was rainy the next day. Dick was gone. Gen loaded up Becky, Susie, and me in a car and we drove to Wichita to pick up a prescription for Susie. Susie's school homework involved learning the days of the week and I wanted in on the action. On the way back home, Gen and I began to drill so I could learn them. It was fun at first, but then I got bored with it. Unfortunately, I wanted to quit before I mastered the correct sequence, but Gen didn't let me stop.
We drilled all the way home and I got worse and worse reciting the sequence. Gen was patient, though, but when we got home, she made me stand up beside the table to recite the days of the week while everybody else ate lunch. The drilling continued all afternoon and into the evening, with Gen becoming increasingly frustrated and angry and me in tears. She wouldn't let me eat supper until I recited the days correctly, and I couldn't do it. Saturday night bathtime came and I had a reprieve while Gen bathed Becky. Then it was my turn for a bath. Gen washed our hair by laying us supine on the bathroom counter, with our heads in the sink, where she would gently suds up and rinse our hair using water she filled at the faucet and carefully poured from a glass.
Gen continued to drill me on the days of the week. I still couldn't get it right. Finally, she held the glass of water to my nose and told me "If you don't say them right, I'll pour this glass of water down your nose." Then she grabbed my hair and snapped my head back so far she could have intubated me if she wanted to. The soapy water splashed into my face, eyes, mouth, and nose. I began to sputter and cough.
Gen let go of my head and without saying another word, finished washing and drying my hair. Then she put me to bed. Later that night she came into the bedroom Becky and I shared to give Becky a bottle. I asked her "Do you want me to say the days of the week now?" Gen said "We'll talk about it in the morning." She didn't mention it in the morning and neither did I.