I’m participating in a project called Mommy’s Piggy Tales where I’ll be writing stories about my childhood once a week for 15 weeks, starting with birth and ending with graduation in the hopes that my children, and possibly my children’s children, will one day appreciate it.
I have just snippets of memories of my preschool years. These years just seem to be vague impressions for me, but I do have a few, relatively clear memories.
I was born in <city, state>, but at some point we moved to <a different state>. I don’t actually know when we moved, but I do know that my parents split up when I was 2 and we had already moved (at least I think that’s right). I remember next to nothing about living there and my mom and I moved back to <original state> when I was 5 and then my dad moved back too, but to the other side of the state.
My clearest memory from early preschool is losing my first tooth. I was at school and we were all getting on our cots for naptime. They were those canvas cots with the metal frames and I must have hit my mouth on the side as I went to lie down because out came my tooth! I guess I didn’t understand that you lose teeth as you grow up and I don’t remember what I thought about it, but I do remember that I THREW IT AWAY! Thankfully, one of the teachers must have noticed that my tooth was missing and learned where it had ended up because she pulled it out of the garbage for me so I could save my first tooth for the tooth fairy.
One day, when I was 4, my mom took me shoe shopping. (I have no memory of this day, but I’ve heard the story from my mom several times…) As she was paying for the shoes, I tried to say something to her, but my speech was slurred and unclear. My mom knew immediately that something was wrong and she pulled me out of the store without the shoes and headed for the doctor.
It turns out I had had a seizure. After several tests, they learned that I had some scar tissue in my brain (possibly caused from a fall down some steps that ended with me landing on my head on the concrete floor – this will become a trend throughout my childhood) that was causing very small seizures. I was put on phenobarbital which, according to my dad, made me bounce off the walls until my body had acclimated to it.
My parents get pretty upset when they remember this time. (I think I was pretty much clueless.) My dad remembers taking me in for an MRI or an EEG as one of the worst days of his life. I remember that he promised me ice cream afterwards.
Luckily, for me, the seizures were never (with one exception) very large. I actually remember sitting in Second grade having one and no one even noticed. Luckier still, they ended after a major event when I was 8. Though it was a fairly short-lived issue that I barely remember, I still consider those experiences as a defining time in my childhood.
My most clear memories are of kindergarten and they make me laugh every time I think of them. My kindergarten was offered through my day care, so I actually had no clue I was in kindergarten until I graduated. I was too busy playing Wonder Woman with the boys. This game consisted of the boys trying to get into the little play house out in the yard and me grabbing them by the wrist and swinging them around and around until they went flying off before coming back to try again. (Do you remember how Wonder Woman used to do that? She was awesome!)
The other game we played was “KISS”. No, not kiss-ING…KISS, as in the band! There were a few boys that were often there late like I was and they always wanted to pretend they were members of the band KISS. I was a girl, so I couldn’t be in the band, but I could be a groupie! They’d run around that daycare doing who knows what and I’d chase around right behind them, as any good groupie would.
Preschoolers are dorks. Gotta love ‘em!
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