Monday, February 9, 2009

Double Nickels

This Friday I will turn 55. Which is just the coolest thing, because it's a Significant Birthday.

What's a Significant Birthday? A birthday that has some legal or cultural significance. (Okay, I made that up, but I can, because it’s my birthday.)

For example, 10 (double-digits), 13 (teenager), 16 (driving), 18 (voting age), 21 (drinking age), 25 (able to hold a Congressional seat), 30 (able to hold a Senate seat), 36 (able to be President). But 55 is perhaps the coolest of all, because of, yep, you guessed it.

Senior Menu!

Anyway, in honor of this major event, which I've waiting on for, like, 55 years, I'm going to do a post for each decade of my life this week. Today, zero to 10.

Although the tike in the picture looks really adorable, I was apparently a real pain-in-the-ass as a child. As in, when my mom found out she was pregnant with my younger brother she sat down and cried. Of course, the fact that my sister, Rita, is only 16 months older than me and my brother, Lynn, is only 20 months younger might have had something to do with it.

Mom said that one time I climbed up onto the sink and invaded the medicine cabinet, eating an entire bottle of baby aspirin and washing it down with a bottle of Castoria and a mercurochrome chaser. They rushed me to the doctor, who looked me over and said I was fine, the drugs must have counteracted each other. (The old quack.)

Another time, she asked Rita to keep an eye on me while she ran down to the basement to check on the laundry. When she came back up, I had lit the broom on fire and was swinging it around my head. And Rita, wide-eyed, said, "I'm watching her, Mommy." (She never was much good at stopping me from doing things, because when she tried I'd punch her in the stomach.)

And there are other stories, involving bringing bugs into the house and storing them under my pillow and then getting mad when I went back to retrieve them and they weren't there. And carrying bees around inside my closed fists, explaining, "They won't sting you if you don't frighten them.”

The worst one, though, without a doubt, was the time I took the magnet from my paper doll set (remember those paper dolls whose clothes adhered via little magnets?), unscrewed the bulb from Rudolph-the-Red-Nose-Lamp, and stuck the magnet into the socket to see what would happen. Mom and Dad were in the living room, watching Ed Sullivan, and I still remember the blue spark that shot out before all the lights went out and then the sound of Mom's voice in the darkness, saying plaintively:

"Oh, lord, what has that child done now?"


  1. 'i'm watching her mommy'

    oh that is Classic!!!

    and Happy Birthday

  2. Oh dear. I think you have science in your blood...

  3. Sounds like you were a handful. Happy Birthday! I'm looking forward to the week ;)

  4. Great idea for a post. Cant wait for the next decade!

  5. You should have grown up to be an engineer! Guess I guess you did computers so that's close. I spent my childhood taking stuff apart and getting yelled at for it.

    Happy Birthday!!!! 55 means lots of discounts. Very exciting.

  6. OMG....the last line!

    This is going to be a fun week!

  7. Happy Birthday! Hope you've joined AARP...

  8. You sound like a great kid! And what a good idea for posts leading up to the big day.

  9. Happy Birthday! I'm only 6 months behind you. Oh lord.

  10. Thanks for the laugh! And the reminder that my kids are fairly well behaved!

  11. Precious!

    During your early interpretation of Elphaba Thropp, you inadvertently invented the first analog light saber!

    Time traveling with you is such a treat!

    Happy BD. Mine was last week. Of course, we're Aquarians!


  12. My favorite Jeanne age 0-10 story is the classic "don't throw dirt in your sister's hair"

  13. What a fun idea! I'll be checking for each decade. We have a radio program here in Phx that celebrates birthdays if you write in. They tell your age and if you don't put down the age, they yell out "FIFTY-FIVE" and it's supposed to be the total insult. I heard that coming for years. Yup! Finally passed that age up. Can they give me anymore grift?

  14. See, these are the EXACT kind of nightmares I have surrounding Kate's first decade.

    I love your idea of decade posts and can't wait to see them this week.

    Any big birthday plans? You should have invited us all over :)

  15. I LOVE it!!!

    I'm about five years behind you.........I mean TEN.

  16. Oh - that's a hilarious classic! You were a live wire all right - but all the best ones are!

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. What a great post!! Congratulations on your birthday! I am celebrating 44 on Sunday and I tell you, I am with you on the numbers. Birthdays are meant to be celebrated and mine is special because...well, it's mine. I loved 40, I am digging the double digits of 44 and now you have given me another reason to look forward to 55!! Enjoy YOUR day!! I can't wait to hear about the next decade!!

  19. I'm so glad you mentioned setting the broom on fire.. I feel like I have one more thing to watch out for when my toddler is old enough to strike a match. He WILL find them. He WILL light something.

    Happy early b-day, and what a fabulous idea for your b-day week! Great guest post on K's, too.

  20. Thanks for the uplifting post. Now I don't feel like things are really that bad.

  21. SG -- I actually remembered your birthday, and debated posting a greeting, but (if you don't take into account that I remember whole conversations from when I was FOUR), thought it might seem bizarre that I recalled the date. (Conversation: You (in a lofty tone): "I'm so much older than you." Me (in a tone that can only be described as sulky): "You are not. You're one year, one week, and one day older."

    Lee -- I believe the admonition was "Don't let me CATCH YOU throwing dirt in your sisters' hair." And she didn't.

  22. Oh my you were a handful! LOL you are too funny! I can hardly wait to see what you did as a teenager!:)

  23. So funny. If you were 1-10 now your mom would have you on so many ADHD drugs...

  24. Happy Double Nickels!




  25. Thanks for the scratch behind the ears! I owe you a 5 cent coke at Winnies, unless you want me to spring for a cherry coke at 6 cents.

    But since it's Jeanne's Birthday Week, I'll challenge you this:

    It's all about the five fives, so name your favorite FIVE TV shows. I'll be first, since I'm older than you!

    1. 60 minutes. I want to be as liberal as Andy Rooney before I die

    2. "Today" with Matt Lauer. I like them only because I rejected Diane Sawyer's constipated demeanor years ago.

    3.Brothers and Sisters. I like to watch K's expresssion when I pull the blankey over my head when two hairy men get way too affectionate on network TV! This is true sharing.

    4.Grey's Anatomy. I enjoy the time K and I have to weep together. I just pray to Almighty God in Heaven above that they let Denny freakin' DIE!!!! and stay dead, for Chrisssssakes! Go into the light, stubles. Go on... Buh Bye!!

    5. Jeopardy. Whenever I watch this, I always think of Jeanne because she was always the most intelligent person I've ever known. Ironic that she also inevitably became the snarkiest too!

  26. At this rate you will have '55' post on here...we are not far in age...I have sisters older than you!

    Happy Birthday early, and no wonder you are a great story writer with that good memory!

  27. Spunky child makes for an interesting adult.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts with Thumbnails