Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Goals and Favorites from My Childhood

The Runaway Bunny: One of the coolest kid books ever.
I'm going to take a little time to talk about my early childhood today. I could go on forever about it, but I'll focus on my goals and interests when I was very young. Sometime I'll probably write more about my early childhood, because everyone has awesomely bad or hilarious stories about their childhood and I don't really care about telling you them as long as they don't involve toilet training or bathtimes. Those are subjects that only an oblivious mother would tell stories about. I'd like to make you laugh without losing my dignity, thanks.

Anyway, I like to think I had a very happy childhood. Sure, at the time it didn't seem like I was any happier than any other kid, but that's because I was ignorant. Lots of kids go through a lot of crap when they're under 5, and I didn't. But talking about the trauma I didn't endure was not my intention for this post, and I digress.

I was a very eccentric child. I set many high goals for myself. I wanted to be an author since I was able to hold a pencil (or crayon, as it might have been sometimes). I would make my own home-made books with construction paper, a hole punch, and string (for binding). I also invented my own spelling system, because the real one wasn't good enough for me when I was three. I also illustrated my own "books." I was told I was a very talented artist by everyone, which really pisses me off now because no one says, "You drew five fingers on each hand!! That's excellent!" to me anymore.

Of course, "author" was not the only thing I wanted to be as a child. Let's look through some of my other childhood dreams.

1) Be a veterinarian.

I've always liked animals a whole lot. So naturally, when you're a kid, veterinarian is the only job involving animals that you really hear about, so I wanted to be one. I had a Barbie veterinarian set, and this cool Dalmatian vet kit with a pet carrier and a fake can of vitamin supplements and everything. It was freaking awesome.
Later, I found out that veterinarians had to deal with things like guts and poop and other unpleasant things. So that dream went poof.
Ohmygawd, I actually found a picture of this thing online.
2) Be a firefighter.
I really liked the idea of being a firefighter when I was little. I had one of the red hats and everything. I think I was a firefighter for Halloween once, too. I also really liked that dalmatians hung around firefighters (in fact, that was probably the primary reason I wanted to be a firefighter). I really liked dalmatians. Of course, this was a rather shallow dream, so I didn't really ever give it serious thought.

And of course one of my biggest dreams was...wait for iiiiit...

3) Be a dog.
I seriously loved dogs when I was little. Dogs were the shit. I loved them so much I wanted to be one. Pretty much everything I owned or wanted was dog-related. I would dress up in this dalmatian outfit I had, walk around on all fours (which was more difficult when going down the stairs than up them), drink from bowls, and refuse to communicate except through barks. This was when I was like 4 or 5. Of course, I'd also pretend to be a cat, horse, dinosaur, or dragon, but 'dog' was the old standby.

I also was a dog for at least two Halloweens. I think my mom made a poodle costume once. Somewhere in a box in our house is a photo of me in my dalmatian costume with our new (at the time) puppy, Duffy (and if I knew where that photo was, I would show you, but I have no idea where it might be). When my friends and I played house as a preschooler at daycare, I'd always volunteer to be the family dog. I was good at it, too. I'd pant and wag my imaginary tail and thump my foot on the ground when someone scratched behind my ears and jump all over whoever came into the "house" and all that. I didn't lick anyone though, because that's just gross.

Dogs were the reason I wanted to be a veterinarian. When I wrote books as a young child, they were nearly always about dogs, especially our dog Duffy. I made up a comic strip when I was a little older about a dog named Jellybean. I wanted to be a dog breeder when I was a little older because I wanted to have lots and lots of dogs.

So yeah. I idolized dogs as a child. And you wonder why I'm so messed-up...

Anyway, childhood was awesome. In preschool, life was so great that all you had to do to earn endless praise was use the toilet. Or tie your shoes. But I sucked at tying shoes. I still can only tie them bunny-ears style. Also, I had a really tough time with learning my left from right. I'm told that's a sign of retardation. But then they told me I was gifted in school, although I expressed it by being a little "cheeky" to my preschool instructors, so whatever. I was also apparently "musically inclined" because whenever they put on music I'd dance around like a freaking retarded trained monkey with one of those organ grinder street performers. Only not as graceful.

Yeah, like that.
I used to really love being read to as a young child. We had this book about this guy and it's his birthday, so he goes around knocking on everyone's doors like, "It's my birthday! Why the heck doesn't anyone care?!" and then at the end he finds out everyone was waiting to throw him a surprise party and he gets all this awesome shit. I wanted to be that kid when I was little. I wanted to go around knocking on people's doors and be like, "Where is everyone?" and then have a huge surprise party and be like, "HOLY SHIT! This strange little robot thing is just what I wanted! Thanks, Jimmy (or whoever you are)!" That kid had it great. I wish I could remember what this book was called, because we probably don't have it anyone.

There was also this story about a calf who couldn't moo. I don't remember it too well now, but I think he got into some trouble and learned how to moo for help. It sounds dumb as crap now, but that book was awesome.

There was this one called How Fletcher was Hatched, I think, about this dog who got jealous that his little girl mistress became all enamored with a baby chick. So he gets his friends to make a giant egg for him. The little girl gets really worried about her missing dog but at the end, he bursts out of the egg and she's so happy to see him and they get covered in mud but it's really sweet.

I freaking loved this book, and I still do.
Oh, I also freaking loved the Runaway Bunny. That book was awesome. I wanted it read to me all the time, and it was one of my all-time favorites.

I remember I once rented this book from the library called Harry the Dirty dog. He's white with black spots, and he doesn't like baths, so he rolls in some mud and becomes black with white spots, fooling his family into thinking he's a different dog. I think I had to do a school report on this book or something. But at least I chose it.

This book was pretty cute.
If I really thought about it, I could think of a bunch of my other favorites. I didn't really have many favorites that you'd call "traditional." Like, I didn't really know about Goodnight Moon or any of that. I did really like the Velveteen Rabbit and in preschool we read Corduroy. And I guess I liked Where the Wild Things Are. In kindergarten we read those books like "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" or whatever.

Wow, I'm talking too much about my favorite childhood books. Maybe sometime I'll make a whole post about them and tell why I think they are awesome, because I am sure we have most of them laying around somewhere. In fact, count on it, because I really like looking back on things from my childhood.

Anyway, that's enough for now.

Bottom line: Childhood was awesome.

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