1971 – 1972

It’s May and I’m officially two years old. I can walk and run really well now, which comes in handy. One of my favorite things to do when we visit other people’s homes is to explore. Usually the first thing I want to check out is what kind of vacuum they have. Then I like to see how the master bedroom has been decorated. Most people here have really bad taste. Their homes are either Spanish Colonial or American Revival. No one has any imagination to be honest. I like our Danish modern furniture and am glad my parents at least have a little flair. We went to this one lady’s home and she had PLATES hanging on her wall. Plates! Imagine that. Every time she eats something she has to take a plate off the wall. They all had pictures of windmills on them. Okay, we get it, you like windmills.

June is here — and for a few weeks my sister is only two years older than me. On the 11th she has her birthday and she’s going rollerskating with her friends at Skateland. I can’t skate — she’s six, she can do anything. I totally hate being an infant. Toddler, I guess. I was in the Safeway with mom the other day and I could hear this baby screaming and I thought, “I hate children.” Isn’t that the strangest thing? But I really do, even though I’m two, I can’t stand kids.

July means Fireworks! You know how much I love the Fourth of July. Okay, so this year we had smoke bombs — much to my delight. They’re more of a daytime firework because colored smoke at night is kind of stupid. We went to a fireworks stand on the edge of town and dad bought everything. They had a massive display including these huge Roman candles and these tanks that roll around and fire missiles. I’m glad my dad likes fireworks as much as I do. It’s one of the few things we have in common.

UH, so I kind of broke my mom’s hand. Here’s the deal; she left the Hoover out and I was determined to get a better look at this thing. I mean, how am I supposed to resist? It’s pink and has these amazing chrome tubes and all those attachments. Anyhow, I couldn’t get it going so I thought I should unplug it and plug it back in again. My motor coordination is still a bit wonky — I could get it unplugged easily enough but the prongs wouldn’t get into the slots. I figured if I guided them in with my fingers. My mom saw me doing this and freaked out! So she comes running, trips over the hose and falls, breaking her hand. Undeterred, she grabs me with her unbroken hand just as I jammed the plug into the outlet and we were both electrocuted. My poor mom. I will say this, though, I kind of loved being electrocuted. I have got to try that again.

September — Susan is off to school again. It’s so weird. She went last year. Why are they making her go again? I suppose it will just be me and mom. We went to dad’s mom’s house last week. She paints in her basement — like actual paintings of flowers and vases and what not. Totally amazing to me. I have no idea how anyone can actually do that. The paint has this intense smell, kind of oily and appealing. She has two poodles who run all over the house. I saw one pooping in grandma’s closet on a pile of towels. I guess that’s normal, right? I wish our dog were allowed to live inside like hers. My mom does not like my dad’s mom for some reason and whenever we’re at her house she has this look on her face. She makes sure we bring our own food and we’re not allowed to eat anything grandma gives us — which is fine because I don’t love those foamy orange “circus peanuts” which are the only candy she seems to have.

October — I was thinking about being Casper the dead baby again for halloween but instead I’m going to be Cher. I’ve tried explaining this to my mom but she has no idea what I’m saying. I need a boa and a wig. How hard is that to find for a two year old? Some sequins would also be appreciated. My mom has a tiny wiglet in the closet next to my dad’s shotgun but it’s all curly and not really the look I’m going for. I might just have to use a towel wig but we don’t have any black towels. When we went to TG&Y there were no packaged Cher costumes so I’m out of luck there.

Susan came home from school with a turkey made of construction paper for Thanksgiving. I did not know she got to do things like that in school. If that’s what it’s like then I can understand why she wanted to go for a second year in a row. I wouldn’t mind getting out of here myself. My mom puts on the TV all day and sometimes she gets on the phone and cries. She says things like, “I hate my life! How did I wind up in Oklahoma? He’s probably running around with one of those floozies from his office.” Stuff like that, I have no idea what she’s talking about. Her parents are coming into town for Thanksgiving — yikes! Watch out — grandma will keep the whole house awake with her scream-snoring all night long.

Alright so my mom got me a pretty amazing present for Christmas: it’s a miniature vacuum cleaner. It’s not a globe model like the Hoover. This one is a bright red upright model — so no attachments. Still, I really love it. It has a button on it and lights and it makes the noise. Strangely, it does not actually clean the carpet but I guess you can’t have everything. Clearly my mom has an understanding of who I am as a person. She’s not foisting sports items on my like everyone else so that’s cool.

We stayed up to midnight to watch the ball drop in New York — the same filthy city where Sesame Street happens. I made my own version of the Times Square ball out of two paper plates taped together. After midnight, the baby sitter took us outside because some people were setting off fireworks and I got my finger caught in between the door frame and the screen door and it tore off the fingernail on my middle left finger. I did some screaming but to be honest it’s not that bad. The fingernail is starting to grow in already though I can tell it looks weird.

February — My mom took me to the Red Goose to get some more shoes for the T Castle. Ugh. I hate that place and I hate the hard shoes I have to wear whenever we go there. I think the t castle is designed to torture children. One good thing, though, I got a golden egg bank when we went to Red Goose, so at least there’s that. My mom is getting a mink coat for her birthday. I’m so excited!!! Maybe I can ask for a mink coat when my birthday comes around?

March — Did you know that if you put Silly Putty on the comics page of the newspaper it will copy the image onto the putty? This seems like pretty important information to keep hidden from me all this time. I’m almost three and somehow no one thought to show me this before now. I have a baseball glove, and a bat and a football and all these dumb Sooners pennants hanging in my room but the really important things in this life are being hidden from me. What else are they not telling me? I need to start doing more exploring at night — which I can do now because they no longer put me in the baby cage at night. I’m in a gigantic bed by myself in my room.

April — One more month and it will be my birthday again. I asked for a mink coat and my dad looked at me like he wanted to throw up. He got mad at my mom for some reason and said that she shouldn’t have given me my vacuum cleaner for Christmas. I have no idea what one has to do with the other. SO all that to say, I’m probably not going to get a mink coat of my own. That’s fine. We have a lot of towels that I can use to play “mink coat” whenever I want. I heard the two of them loudly talking the other night. Mostly my dad. He’s so angry all the time. What’s his deal?

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December 26, 2019

How do you remember all this stuff?  I can barley remember yesterday let alone today…..

I think you had a really cool childhood…..what was the deal with your dad?

December 26, 2019

I never understood the appeal of the orange circuit peanuts.


December 26, 2019

of course I meant *circus.*


December 27, 2019

ROFL. I love reading your stuff. It’s a mixture of going myself back in time (which is melancholic) and laughing like a hyena.

I definitely remember the wonderment (is that a word?) of Silly Putty (and the benefits of it in school exams, later in life), and I’m still trying to figure out what the foamy orange circus peanut was… never saw anything of the sort myself.