First Memories

Pulling the pot out of the cupboard without Ma catching me is my first memory. I planned to bring it to Pa, since he was cool about the whole pot thing. Mom was a little stressed about it. Yup. That potty was pink. I hauled the sucker beside Pa and sat down, ready to commit to this whole diaperless world Ma was trying to convince me rocked. 
Actually, if I think really hard, I have one memory before that, but it's kinda like an episode from a horrible comedy show, so I'm not sure how real it is. I asked Ma about it once and her eyes got huge and she said, "You remember that? Yeah, the bears were bad up north." That was her only comment on my twisted memory. huh.
This is what I remember and how my mind plays it back for me. It involves me in a highchair watching my dad make an ass of himself. Yes, my exact thoughts. He was on his hands and knees with a cigarette in hand, although I was pretty sure he didn't smoke. Ma had her hands on her hips, getting ready to tear him a new one for touching her secret cigarettes. "What are you doing?" she demanded.
“They said it’s burn proof, I’m gonna try it out.”
"You're not burning a hole in my new linoleum."
She dived at him to get the cigarette, but he raised a hand and gave her that winning smile that could stop a bull on a rampage. "Trust me," he said as he pushed the cigarette into the middle of the kitchen floor. Even I knew better than to do that.  
I waited for Ma to say something logical, since she was the brains of this operation. “At least pick a spot that we won’t be able to see, in case it’s not burn proof.” She ordered, clearly too late.
“Look at that— see nothing- oh shit.”
“Now, what did you do?”
Just at that moment a giant bird to my left squawk “Oh shit now what did you do?”  I really liked that bird, but Pa gave it a dirty look so I did too.
"Maybe they only meant if you dropped a cigarette on it." Now he was repeatedly dropping the cigarette.
To my right, a sea of suds was creeping at me. Scary stuff and I wasn't sure what to do about that so I cried.
The front door opened and in came Pa’s best friend. He had a wicked cool name like Bruno or Brian and he owned the bird. I was glad he shut the door quickly, because there was a bear out there, I knew that and it always surprised me when people showed up not eaten alive. Then again, this guy was as big as that bear. I cried louder though, because I didn’t want him to take that bird away, and the white foam to my right was getting closer. No one was paying me attention though, because as Ma started to tell Bruno or Brian how foolish Pa was, the washing machine down the hall made a deathly sound. That's when they all saw the white terror creeping at us, and I apparently was in my right to freak out, because they did too. The suds came at us much quicker now, and within moments, they covered the burn mark.
"I thought you fixed that!" Ma yelled at Pa frantically, sloshing through the mess, heading to the bathroom for towels. Hopefully not mine. He had fixed it. I was there, but honestly I only remember that thought, I don't remember actually fixing it. The tools had been cool though, and he let me mess with them.
"Oh shit now what did you do?" The bird squawked again when we were alone in the kitchen, watching the men freak out on the washing machine down the hall. Yup. I loved that bird and offered it the cracker I was supposed to eat, but it was too far away so I chucked it at him, regretting it instantly. What was I gonna eat now?
Welcome to my world, it really doesn’t get any better than that, does it?
What's your first memory? I got reading a memoir last night, and really, don't real world characters just rock?

9 comments:

Reece said...

To be completely honest, I'm not sure. I have lots of memories of my early childhood, but I literally don't know what order they go in! How sad is that?

Richard said...

Sounds like your memory was a si-fi adventure.

Angela Brown said...

That is certainly a vivid and funny memory.

The funny thing is, my first few years sort of rolled by in my mind with one thing in common: a different cake for my birthday. The last one I remember was made like Raggedy Ann. Not sure if Andy made it to the festivities. I had friends at the party...must have been about five and we were dancing to some music. I also remember the red icing tasting horrible but the cake was yummy.

DUTA said...

Here's something I remembered from my first years.

I was about five years old, playing outside in front of the house. I heard some voices and saw a funeral procession with the unveiled dead man in a casket up on a horse-drawn cart.

I got scared and entered the house turning to my mother with questions about what I've just seen. She was at the sewing machine deep in her work and barely said a word.

I was dissappointed. I needed a hug, a good word. I was a frightened little girl.

Tanya Reimer said...

Funny how memories are like that, eh Reece?

Gee Richard, maybe you have a point. My own sci-fi adventure.

Memories around food are common for me too. What does that say about us, eh Angela?

Oh my Duta! I love that memory, it's so full of emotions! As they say, it's not a date or time we remember but moments filled with emotions. Hugs.

Jemi Fraser said...

That's a great memory! :)

The first one I can remember is hiding behind the piano in kindergarten because the kids were too noisy. :)

Vicki Tremper said...

You remember all that? Wow, you continue to amaze me. Funny how your mom reacted to it. I don't remember anything from the high chair. I used to have a memory from my 4th birthday party, but I think it may be gone now. I remember cutting my hair and hiding from my mom - I was 4 or 5.

Another great story!

Arlee Bird said...

You really remembered that in detail--or at least you wrote it so. But I guess that's what brings memoir to life. I'm not sure about my earliest memories--how old I was or whether some of the snippets really even happened--but I do remember a lot of things that perhaps go back to about 2 or 3.
This week on my memoir blog I have Linda Hoye who talks about her early life in Canada and on being adopted.


Lee
Linda Hoye discusses adoption
Wrote By Rote

Teresa Cypher aka T K CypherBuss said...

Funny story, Tanya. :-) The oldest of memories are sort of fuzzy like that--did it really happen?? I guess perception comes into play--and you have clearly expressed yours, which is what made this snippet so funny and so charming. My earliest memory on which I can place an actual date, was the Soviet Missile Crisis which began the summer I was 2 1/2 years old. My memory of it was my grandmother telling me--after watching the news, that bombs were going to drop from the sky and burn everybody--just make us disappear. that was her perception of an "atomic" bomb. I was so afraid to leave the house or to be away from my mom if the "bombs" dropped. :-) Fuzzy at best ;-)