Friday, October 25, 2013

Documentation That I Once Was a Baby

It's only natural when you finally grow up and buy a house that your parents drop off boxes of your childhood memories they've been hauling around for the better part of 20 years. They happily wave good-bye, as they drive away from your house quickly, knowing that these boxes are now your problem.

I refuse to haul around the 7-8 boxes that Sallie and I now have in our possession. I've been going through them, digitizing pictures and awards, and throwing some stuff out. My goal is to get my boxes of memories down to one box.

I found one of those baby books where your parents keep track of special occasions. The calendar came with stickers celebrating events like first Christmas. The thing that cracks me up is how mundane things have stickers in the calendar. Things like "Finds Hands (11/16/84)" and "Turns to Sound." I guess I'm not a parent, so I don't understand how these things are important or exciting.

 Anyway, here are some highlights of my first year with a commentary track.

  • Included in the calendar was a piece of paper my dad was writing his thoughts down on as I was being born. It's a really touching front and back where he ponders life, talks about how scared and excited he is, and then he ends this touching piece of history with, "Danny J. Let's you know when he poops in his drawers - he farts real loud (and it sounds awful wet!)"
  • July 26th, 1984 - 3:48 AM - Thursday - I am born after 9 hours of labor to the Raymond W. Bliss Army Community Hospital in Arizona. 6 lbs 1 oz and 20 inches tall. 
  • On the day I was born, Russia announces they are going to boycott the LA Olympics, Ronald Reagan was president, Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark is the most popular song, and break dancing is all the rage. 
  • December 25th, 1984 - I'm put in my walker after being all sorts of amped up playing with wrapping paper, immediately run off the concrete patio, flipped over, and was left on my head, feet in the air, while the parents laughed at me. 
  • September 7th, 1984 - I sleep through the night for the first time. And according to the notes, that means I slept until 4 am. 
  • October 1st, 1984 - First solid food, rice cereal. Sounds gross.
  • February 6th, 1985 - First words, "Momma." Baby Dan was a giant ball of cliche. 
  • February 25th, 1985 - "Pickup a Cheerio off his tray and put it in his mouth." Setting the bar really high early on.
  • March 12th, 1985 - "While in the bath tub, Daniel discovered his personal area." Now this is starting to sound like me. 
  • March 15th, 1985 - "Daniel tipped over in walker, head on floor, feet in the air, for the second time this month..." By my count, that's the third time I've flipped over. Maybe we needed a fence?
  • April 3rd, 1985 - "...Is falling down a lot and hitting his head." Beginning to think there was a little neglect happening.
  • April 17th, 1985 - "Went outside today and when it was time to come in, Daniel screamed. I think he'll grow up loving the outdoors." HA! Pave the world!
  • May 25th, 1985 - "Daniel went up Grandma's stairs with no one watching." Where the hell were my parents? No wonder I'm such an independent person, I basically survived on my own.
  • June 9th, 1985 - "Ate his first McDonald's hamburger." A true American accomplishment.
  • July 4th, 1985 - First Cardinal's game. $4 for tickets, Cards beat Dodgers 3-2. 
So there you have it folks, the blue print on how to grow the perfect child.