When I was three years old I fractured my skull. I had to wear a hockey helmet at all times for six weeks. Doctors were worried the injury would have long lasting effects on my behavior and motor skills.
This basically explains everything.
As a kid I was incredibly dramatic and outgoing. I was small for my age with an unnatural amount of body hair. This lead to my parents “affectionately” calling me Mowgli for the first five years of my life.
Mowgli (from the Jungle Book):
I like to think from a young age I really worked on developing my negotiating skills through several trips to the emergency room. I can remember after a particularly nasty fall off our porch while trying to catch bubbles, I tried to convince the attending physician that I didn’t need stitches for my split chin which had ruined several tea towels and stained my parents clothes with blood.
“Let’s just talk about this,” I cried in vain. “You don’t have to do this, we can figure something out!”
One week later I was back in the hospital for stitches on my eyebrow.
“She did it again,” My parents told our neighbours who agreed to watch my sister while we went back to the ER to be treated by the same doctor.
How Child Protective Services weren’t immediately notified of my existence is beyond me. A sign of the times, I guess. I was a late 80’s baby where a Rubbermaid container and a blanket was considered a sufficient car seat. Everyone was a lot more relaxed back then.
My parents encouraged my sister and me to be imaginative and express ourselves from a very young age. This explains why I wore a bathing suit at all times, even in the dead of winter. When I insisted I call my sister Dorothy for a solid six months, they went along with it. Everything was make believe and magical, and my sister, Carrera, was the mastermind behind it all.
My older sister, was a very shy and quiet child; a stark contrast to me who demanded attention at all times. Carrera would write plays for us to perform in front of our family and she happily let me step into the spotlight.
“Say this!” She would say. “Now do this, Lib!” If anything weren’t to her Spielberg-like standards, she would make me run scenes again until they were perfect.
Our relationship was balanced. For as sensitive as she was, I was a complete brute. I did whatever I could to protect her, even if that meant punching a neighbourhood bully of his bike for making her cry, or yelling at our dance teacher for trying to separate us during class.
“If your daughter can’t take my direction, I don’t know if she should be in this class.” The instructor, Anita, told my Mom after the incident.
But my Mom never believed in silencing my wild heart. She always encouraged me to stand my ground and march to the beat of my own drum. On my first day of kindergarten she received a call from the school saying I wasn’t cooperating and needed to be taken home. She found me sitting in the rocking chair of my classroom, arms crossed, pouting and pissed as Hell.
“What did you say to Mrs. Dennison?” she asked when we were in the car.
“She told me to stop painting,” I replied, “And I told her she wasn’t my Mommy, so I didn’t have to do what she said.”
I think we stopped at McDonald’s that night.
As I grew up I became very shy and reserved, only opening up to close friends and family. Teenage years? Forget about it. I hated the world but loved everything Volcom. I have a theory that we all eventually return to who we were in Kindergarten, and even now my little defiant and dramatic self makes her presence known.
This piece was inspired by Martina at A Splash of Mimosa and Taylor from The Daily Tay, who commissioned bloggers to talk about their childhoods and share with the blogging community a little about themselves.
What were you like as a child?
Take a walk down memory lane and tell me all about it!
But you don’t have to listen to me- I’m not your Mom.