Friday, August 15, 2008

Fun Toy Flursday: Write Your Own Timeline

Here’s an idea from Margaret Mason, the inimitable Mighty Girl. To me, this is fun to do if you don’t give it a lot of thought. Put down the first couple of things that come to mind when you think of each year or grade. Don’t edit yourself—just enjoy your trip down memory lane. Or cringe all over again at embarrassing things you did.

My first decade:

Age 1: The hair all over my hair sticks up so startlingly and constantly that a neighbor calls me Frankenstein Baby, which makes my Aunt Maggie furious.

Age 2: I have an adorable sailor bathing suit and my hair is still awesome.

Age 3: I love to play on the swing set. One day I drop a strawberry ice cream cone outside. I can still see it there, sad and melting on the ground.

Age 4. My mom is pregnant with a sibling. She looks like she has an actual basketball under her shirt. The baby will turn out to be my sister Amy. They ask me for name suggestions, and I say “Lisa,” which they dismiss immediately.

Age 5: I am in Kindergarten, having started at 4. My best friend is a girl named Angie Pickens, who is beautiful, and I wear lots of stripes. The lunchroom in my school is huge.

Age 6: First grade is interesting but perilous. I am learning to read, and Mrs. Simms, competent but stern, spanks me for watching the classroom toilet overflow.

Age 7: I stand up in front of my second-grade class to “share” about the book Heidi, which I haven’t actually read. Excellent preparation for grad school.

Age 8: I correct my third-grade teacher’s pronunciation of Halley’s comet, because I am insufferable. A girl named Michelle and I share Norman Ellis as our boyfriend, and we choreograph a dance to Devo’s “Whip It.” I also write my first poem, which now makes its world debut:

Spring is here
The days are warm
The flowers are in bloom;
The trees all have their new green leaves
And there’s no cause for gloom.

Age 9: Still insufferable, I win every weekly spelling bee in the 4th grade. I host my first slumber party for my birthday. We are all engrossed in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Age 10: Remember "prairie" skirts? I wear one on the first day of school. Tana Vollendorf, who is tan and beautiful, tells me, “I’m tired of being popular. This year I’m just going to be friends with you.” Hmm, okay. Also that year I learn what “sycophant” means, because my dad says my math teacher is one.

The next year, I will kiss Scott Martin while riding in his go-cart, which I regret to this day, and not only because he turned into an actual felon.

Now you go.


Amy said...

oo! i'll go.
age 1-I am adorable.My parents make a short-lived attempt to call me "Beth", which lasts about 20 minutes. I'm just such an Amy.

age 2-My earliest memory--I scrape my leg while riding in a little yellow plastic seat strapped to the back of mom's bike. I can't remember how! I just remember looking down at the broken skin and feeling so sad.

age 3-I have a blanket that I have to sleep with. It's waffle weave, and I'm always turning it over at night so that the "cool" side is against my face.

age 4-Becky and I are at the teacher's union that Dad is president of, and she torments me by pretending that her bottle of coke is whispering things about me to her. She has a whole pretend conversation with it about me. I am livid.

age 5--I start kindergarten and love it. Except when my construction paper and yarn ice skate is the last to go on the bulletin board cause I can't tie the yarn into a bow. Sigh.

age 6--My mom tells us she's pregnant and I'm like, "No way." Dave is born in September and I remember curling up next to him on the couch the day he came home and the whole fam napping in the living room.

age 7-I almost get sent to the principal's office for leaving the rug during story time. Major trauma. I remember looking down at my knees, clad in red OshKosh pants, and watching them shaking. Oh, the horror!

--This is as far as I got! Fun!

Bren said...

I have far fewer memories than other people in general, I've found. Certainly not of very young ages. Isn't that odd?

Age 5: It's the fourth of July, 1776, and my dad explains to me, at my request, how the years are numbered while he's in his dark brown leather-ette lazy-boy and there are celebrations on the street outside. I'm standing on the metal heating vent.

Age 6: We move out to the country. We meet the new neighbor kids, and they're lined up in the yard, my sister and I are lined up across from them. No one says anything. I pinch my sister's behind because I don't know what else to do.

Age 7: I remember seeing the word "tardy" written on a kid's report card, and assumed the word meant something about poor hygeine, because he was the smelly kid. I thought it rude that they would include that on his report card.

Age 8: I wear my pilgrim outfit on Thanksgiving. It's hot as summer, and my sister and the neighbor kid both give me a hard time about it wearing it. I was going to take it off before that, but their comments cause me to soldier on and wear it all day.

Age 9: I take an IQ test on a Saturday at my Elementary School. I don't remember what my third grade classroom looked like or who my teacher was, in fact, I've often thought it was weird that I remember nothing about that year at all. But I remember pulling out of the parking lot after the test very vividly.

Age 10: We did a science experiment where you put a dry shoelace over one thermometer and a wet shoelace over the other and take measurements. When it was all over, I remember asking what it proved, cuz she never did say (it was that evaporation cools things off)

Age 11: I read "The Hobbit", which I kept in a home-made denim book-cover. I wrote the play that our class performed that year. I remember volunteering to hold hands with the kid with cooties (the one no one would touch) because I thought they were being very silly, and the part where the indians hold hands with the time travelers and sing a peaceful friend song just won't work if no one holds hands with the Indian, people.

Bren said...

Oops. That would be 1976, not 1776.

Lecia said...

Wonderful idea - I'll give it a go later (birthday party tomorrow; father in law arriving in a few hours - no time now!). Wanted to let you know I pulled up your post from yesterday and read it to my husband when he got home from work, it was so funny!

Becky said...

Thank you, Lecia! Girls, I am cracking up! I love reading these. Bren, you pinching your sister's behind is such an epic, true childhood moment.

I have gone all the way to age 35. Is that weird?

And Amy, you're SUCH an Amy!

Hootie said...

I'm writing too much for these, but it's kinda therapeutic... I edit video, not text!

age 0: I’m born in Meridian, Mississippi. Or so they tell me… as many times as I’ve been to Mississippi, I’ve never returned to the city of Meridian. I’ve seen a photo of me looking sleepy and blonde in my PJs on a swingset. This is my only link to the supposed reality of Meridian, Mississippi.

age 1 or 2: Earliest memory-- being held in arms like a baby, possibly by my father. Whoever it was was wearing a khaki uniform. So probably Dad. Nice memory.

My older sister and I wake up earlier than my parents in a motel in the desert. It must be Saturday, because we watch cartoons. There is the pleasant southern smell of pralines… probably my mom bringing some with her from Mississippi, to lighten the emotional strain of moving across country.

age 3: I’m fascinated by the fact that it’s raining over one corner of the house, but not the rest.

One day, I’m gazing lazily out a front window, and an egg hits the window right in front of my face. I am startled, and cry. My parents track down the pre-teens responsible and their parents make them come scrub the muck off our house. All of this is in our little house on Mercer Street in San Diego.

I am in front of my house, and a boy (older than me) named Whitney grabs me and starts to strangle me. I am rescued, by whom I don’t remember. I am told later that day that Whitney was tied down in his crib when he was a baby.

I am at the top of a hill next to our house, and I am holding a garden trowel. My older sister, lower on the hill, tells me to throw it to her. I do, and it hits her in the face. I receive a spanking. The injustice haunts me, obviously.

We are at the beach in La Jolla, and I am stung by a bee. My mother soothes my stung foot with iced tea.

My dad’s dad comes for a visit, and brings toys. I get a little circus train, and he cuts arches in the box to make a tunnel for the train to pass through. Once he leaves, and I think Dad had to leave town too, my mother cries. I try to comfort her by showing her how the train goes around the track. She laughs while still crying.

age 4: We move to Jacksonville. On the flight from CA to FL, I sleep through breakfast on the plane. I am upset when I realize everyone else got to eat but me.

When we first move to Jax, we live on the Navy base in a single-wide trailer. I get out of bed many nights and go to the fridge to eat portions of uncooked hot dogs, replacing the unused wienage back in the package.

Mom makes rice one night that turns out very sticky. She packs the rice into a bowl to shape it a la jell-o, pops it out on a plate, and adds eyes, nose and mouth (raisins? olives? don’t recall…) We kids are thoroughly amused.

Becky said...

I really like these, Hoot! I think you keep going and you've got a memoir.

Jenna said...

I like this so much I did this on my blog! Thanks for the idea.