Rumpus #atozchallenge

RUMPUS


Cover of Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (source: Wikipedia, Fair Use)

I was seven when this book came out. I remember someone brought it for my brothers, who were four and five at the time. One line from the book stands out above all the others.

We have a cat named Max, and he enjoys causing trouble for the rest of the gang. We end up yelling at him and throwing things at him (paperbacks, mostly) which makes it stop, at least temporarily. It’s been worse since we lost Milton a few weeks ago. I think he’s lonely; he and Milton were best buddies. Anyway, when he gets started, we say the line from Where The Wild Things Are.


Max (center) about twelve years ago, with his sister Minnie (right, curled up beside him) and his buddy Milton (left)

He can be a little wild, but he’s also quite affectionate. He’s the only one who lets us scratch his belly.

Remember when people had “rumpus rooms”? I guess they’re called “family rooms” today, but they were basically a room (more often than not in the basement) where you would send the kids when they were getting a little wild, so they wouldn’t break anything. I tried to find pictures of rumpus rooms and instead found a restaurant in Milwaukee called The Rumpus Room. Looks like a nice place, but too many things would get broken if you treated it like an actual rumpus room. They’d probably ask you to leave.

Did you have a rumpus room when you were a kid? How about now? Have you ever read Where The Wild Things Are? What did you think?

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

26 thoughts on “Rumpus #atozchallenge”

  1. My son loved Where the Wild Things Are and I always enjoyed reading it to him. Later I bought a copy of Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen and it was pretty good too. I bought another copy of Wild Things for my daughters when they were little.

    I remember the odd term “rumpus room”. It seemed to be an alternative for family room. When we lived in Indiana we had a large room that we always called the family room, but some people also refer to it as a rumpus room including the realtor when we bought the house. I think it must be a peculiarly sixties term and maybe regional. I’ve never heard the term used elsewhere or during the last fifty years.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  2. That’s one of our favorite books! As I read it my boys act out the “roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws”. Lots of fun! Our rumpus room is outside. Sorry to hear about Milton. It’s always sad to lose a pet.

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    1. Given your situation with the two boys, I can see where putting them in the yard would be a wise choice. There were three of us, with less than three years between us, and Mom was always shooing us out of the house and telling us not to come home before dinner. We lived in the city and didn’t have much of a back yard, so we had to play in the alley…

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  3. The next several pages were just drawings of Max leading the rumpus, and when I would read it to my kids I would sing “boom boom boom boom boom Boom!” like a conga. Good times.

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  4. We never had a rumpus room, but the term was certainly used to describe, I think, what you point out is now called a family room.

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  5. This is one of the books I remember reading when I was at school – back before I could read properly and loved to just look at the pictures. I bought it when my eldest was born, and loved reading it to him too. I love the evocative language.

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  6. Confession: I was terrified of that book when I was a child. I think it had more to do with the illustrations than the book itself. I don’t really know why. My kindergarten teacher read it to us and I just remember thinking to myself “Nah. I don’t like dis.”
    So…on that note, I never read it to my son. I don’t think they read it in school either but they made a movie.
    We do have a “rompus room” however we just call it the dungeon. Which I guess sounds a lot more scarier than the book 😉
    I love your cats. So cute!!

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    1. The pictures were frightening until you read the text and saw that Max had them under control by staring into their yellow eyes. Even so, they’re a bit macabre. But the macabre appeals to young boys…

      I love the cats, too. After the number we’ve had over the years, though, we’re getting too old to cope with them, and I can’t be as much help as I’d like to be, so we’ve decided the cats we have now are the end of the line. We’ve had at least one cat since before we were married (40 years this January), so it’s going to be strange when the nest is empty…

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  7. I love that book and read it often. It really is enjoyable. Poor little tyke…maybe he needs another cat to keep him company?? How did Max pass? I remember reading your post before…it’s just always sad. We lost our Mia Dec 1st. Our Kaspar causes a real rumpus….love that word for today.

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    1. Max is still with us; it was Milton who died. His face was swelling up, which might have indicated he had a tumor underneath. We took him to the vet, and he evidently had a host of other ailments, most having to do with him being 15, so we felt it was best to say goodbye and send him on his way to the bridge. We’re anticipating several more departures, because they’re all getting older. This is the end of the line…

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  8. John, I had no clue this book was that old! It seems like it only came to my attention maybe when our kids were younger but I can’t swear to it. I never got it, though. The cover just didn’t appeal to me enough to want to know more about the story but now I’m curious to know more about it. I do remember rumpus rooms but we didn’t have one growing up and we don’t have one in this house. In our next place, I want a big family room for movie night with the kids or holiday gatherings or birthdays, etc. but to go wild in. 😀 Thanks for sharing such a fun post and thanks for visiting Art Sketching Through the Alphabet “R” (realistic rabbit & rascally roadrunner). Have a good weekend & happy a2zing, my friend!

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  9. That is sad news about Milton. 😦 My condolences. Animals grieve and I’m sure Max does miss him. Love the kitten photo! I haven’t read the book, nor did we have a rumpus room. the phrase is familiar though! Have a good weekend.

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  10. I didn’t have a rumpus room. I think my wild rumpus was restricted to the back yard… I was an only.
    BUT! We had friends who had one, in the basement, all sortsa climbing and slides and tubes and whatnot. Lots of good times there when I was little 🙂

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  11. We used the term living room but my brothers (I have three) could certainly have been a rumpus room when we were kids. LOL
    Love that book!
    Blogging from A-Z,

    M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon of:
    Reading Authors

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  12. A rumpus room is a very good name for the family room where the children (and pets) can be wild, or build tents or hop and skip. This book sounds absolutely lovely – wish I had found it when my kids were growing up. Or even for myself.

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  13. I had to chuckle – I’ve heard the term Rumpus Room, and it always brings to mind a padded cell! lol I don’t know why.

    I thought I’d read this book to my kids when they were little but for the life of me I can’t really recall! I do know we loved watching the Little Bear cartoons, also by Maurice Sendack. I think I probably loved Little Bear more than the kids!

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