Diamond Experiments

Law enforcement DNI

A Normal Childhood Was Had By All

Posted March 7, 2023

Here’s a fun "question of the day" for you: As a child, when did it become obvious that you would grow up to be a mad scientist?

I was thinking this over as I was doing some not-Spring cleaning (don’t we all have a closet full of the miscellaneous junk we accrue over time?), and ended up with a mountain of stuff from my childhood and college years.

Amongst the barely-functioning college projects, untouched school yearbooks, and melancholic childhood photos, I found quite a few stuffed animals.

Perfectly normal, of course, until I noticed the eccentric stitching patterns that covered each one, and the mismatched limbs. Memories came flooding back immediately. Image ID: A gif of a pool of string alongside a sewing needle and two buttons. End ID.

It was a little like a game, really, or maybe more of an obsession. I couldn’t have been older than 10 at the time though I was quite knowledgeable with sewing, thanks to my crafts-loving mother. I was a dreadfully fidgety child, and sewing gave me something to do with my hands. Perhaps I enjoyed it a little too much.

Whenever my parents weren’t home (they had a nasty habit of leaving me unattended for hours at a time. Fun!), I would steal a few materials from my mother’s craft collection, and spend the night doing what I called “experiments.”

If I close my eyes I can still feel the sensation of tearing open the seams of my beloved stuffed animals, oh-so-diligently extracting their stuffing into neatly arranged little piles. Image ID: A gif of scissors opening and closing. End ID.

I’d experiment with switching out their filling materials, swapping limbs between them, sewing on new limbs altogether, and even making “organs” out of paper for my favorite ones. I vividly remember copying the diagrams of human organs from my surgeon father’s old university textbooks.

I would spend hours upon hours doing this, repeatedly tearing open and sewing up the poor little guys, to the point where some of the toys hardly resembled the animals they once were. Good times. Image ID: A drawing of two teddy bears that were stitched together, forming one bear. End ID.

As I type this, I have one of the plush animals on my desk with me: A raggedy old beagle made from Velboa fabric, with six legs and two tails. Even now, if I were to squeeze it gently, I can feel the crinkling of the yellowed paper organs within.

Of course, it was only a matter of time before my mother noticed the materials routinely going missing from her crafting collection. My parents…were not impressed by my little experiments, to put it lightly. At least I got some very fun therapy out of the deal.

Not that the therapy did anything, obviously. I eventually graduated from taking apart toys to dismantling electronics (I once took apart my family’s oven, and was promptly grounded for a month), and now I have quite a bit of fun dismantling living things! :D

I believe that my parents forced me to throw away all of my fun “experiments”? So, instead of doing that, I simply shoved them all in the back of my closet and took them with me when they kicked me out many years later. Remarkable that they’ve never gotten lost in the shuffle of moving several times over! Image ID: A drawing of a ball of yarn. End ID. Image ID: A gif a stuffed animal kitten, tilting its head. End ID.

There’s just something so fascinating about peeking into the inner workings of the mundane, isn’t there? I’m endlessly thankful that I have the freedom to tear apart just about anything I want these days — and I can surround myself with people who don’t mind at all!

For any fellow mad scientists with a romantic partner, I 100% recommend vivisection date nights. My lovely Alice could listen to me talk about the composition of the human body for hours ♡ Image ID: A gif a two bears hugging. End ID.

Also, I did end up finding my old copy of The Secret Life of Plants, if you were wondering :)

Stay Curious!

- Dr. Diamond