A memory

Wow. On this tape, I’m yelling into the microphone “What’s your serial number?” Then I proceed to explain to my parents that this is what John, from next door, had teasingly asked me and my bestfriend Karen the other day. So, apparently, it was my new favorite phrase because I kept repeating it into the microphone. The thing is … I remember that moment exactly when John said that. I was in my yard. He was crossing the street. I remember trying to figure out in my head what a “cereal” number was. After that, Karen and I would yell this question back at him when we saw him, having no idea what we were saying. 🙂

That’s just wild. The brain doesn’t develop the capacity for long term memory until about age 3, on average. It’s just a strange feeling to have this image suddenly yanked out of the recesses of my brain and now be able to put a date on it. The act of this kind of recall gives me an eery, surreal feeling. This is so cool.

More childhood revelations

Whoa. As a 22 1/2 month old girl, I was talkative and loud (completely unlike now, of course :), I knew my alphabet by heart (pretty close anyway), knew my numbers, could read letters and a few words, and spoke in complete sentences … in a mild southern accent, which I find incredibly endearing. 🙂

How do you parents do it? I would be exhausted having to keep with 2 year old me.

Daddy’s Little Girl

Oh my god. This is the cutest thing ever. When I was little, Dad and I just adored each other and goofed around together all the time. He even wrote little poems about how special it was to be with me. Well, I just found out that he also recorded some of our conversations when I was about 2. And lately he has been transferring them from tape to CD and he just sent me a bunch for my birthday.

I just got to the part where Dad wouldn’t let me sit in my preferred chair because I had a proven tendency to smash my fingers by swiveling around in it until I whack them between the chair and the neighboring table. I’m throwing a fit and am inconsolable and keep insistently and angrily changing my mind about what would make it better. And Dad is being so great with me. He didn’t panic. He didn’t blame me. He didn’t get annoyed with my whining. He just talked to me gently about it, explained why things are the way they are, and asked me what I needed to make it better and so on. I’ve got such a great dad. Oh wait, this is too much, he said, “Daddy is going to fix us some lunch.” He just called himself “Daddy”. I love this.

The conversations on the tape seem to go like this, I just chatter on and on, commenting about things in my environment, and whatever I pick he explains to me something about how it works and why it is the way it is. He just hangs with me, wherever my attention goes (to the dog outside to the chair to the weather and so on).

Oh, now, my Dad is taking on the voice of one of my stuffed animals and I’m interviewing him on the tape. “Hi, how are you today?!? Do you like to be loved?!? Do you like to be kissed?!? Do you like to be TICKLED?!? What else do you do?” and he’s answering as if he were Elmer Fudd in his best Elmer Fudd accent. And I’m giggling and giggling and giggling. I’m not even 2 years old. Cutest. Thing. Evah.

Sorry, Dad. I hope I’m not embarrassing you. This is too good not to share. 🙂

Splinters (Age Eight)

Today I’m wearing my favorite pants: store bought, Holly Hobby, with “Love makes the world go ‘round,” written around the ankles. I proudly dressed myself this morning. Now, teased and shamed, I sit alone and straddle a log on the playground, counting the moments until recess is over. I scoot forward and the log embeds splinters into the crotch of my pants. I try not to move. Please, please, please, I hope recess is over soon.

[Other images in this scrapbook can be found here.]

Change (Age Eight)

We live in a different neighborhood now: big houses, big yards. Nobody else has a rusty Pinto station wagon parked out front. No other kids have a silver cap on a front tooth, cracked in a bicycle crash. No other kids’ moms make their clothes. These kids say words that I don’t know, like “damn,” “shit,” and “fuck”. We moved here “for the schools.” I hate change.

[Other images in this scrapbook can be found here.]