My Memoir: Part III
Dec. 1, 2000
Welcome back to chapter three of my autobiography, "From Embryo to Imbecile."
When I last left you, it was September of 1965. I had recently turned two years old and, quite frankly, I was king of my own little world.
Then one day in September of '65, my world came crashing down around me. My mother, whom I had grown very attached to, had the gall to bring home another baby. I simply couldn't understand it.
Up until that point, I had been exemplary at performing all of the duties that a baby is supposed to accomplish. I was adorable. I made the other family members laugh. I gave my mother plenty of opportunities to snuggle with me. I even sucked my thumb, risking permanent dental disfigurement, just so I could enhance my cuteness factor.
When my mother brought home another baby, I was crushed. I had been working 24 hours a day for the last two years with only one goal in mind. I wanted to be the best darn baby this family had ever seen. In spite of this, they turned around and stabbed me in the back by bringing in another baby. The whole thing sickened me and made me terribly resentful.
When my mother arrived home with the new baby, there was a lot of hoopla involving all of the family with the exception of me. I decided to retire to the bedroom that I shared with my two brothers, for a bit of introspection. After an hour or two of whining and crying, with no one even bothering to look for me, I determined that it was time to swallow my pride.
I decided that if, in fact, this baby, was more adorable than I, it would be in the best interest of the family to concede defeat and let this new baby declare herself as "Baby of the House."
I left the sanctuary of my bedroom and headed downstairs to have a good look at the new baby.
When I arrived downstairs, I could see that the entire family was gathered around the newer model baby. They were making a huge fuss over her and I could only think that this must be the most beautiful baby the world has ever known. When I entered, with my tear stained face, a hush fell over the room. My family members parted and let me make my way towards the new baby. I knew that my family was staring at me with pity knowing that I was a washed up, old baby about to hand over his kingdom to the brand new princess.
As I toddled my way up to the new baby, who was being cradled in my mothers arms, I was fully prepared to hand over the throne. However, when my mother pulled the blanket down off the baby's face, I couldn't believe it. There staring back at me was a hideous creature. This baby wasn't cute or adorable. It was grotesque.
The new baby looked like a cross between Winston Churchill and a grapefruit that has been sitting in the back of your refrigerator for six months.
I couldn't believe it. Here I was a strapping young baby with rugged good looks and all of my family's attention was turned towards this repulsive little beast that resembled a prune. I immediately decided that if this was the kind of taste that this family had in babies, it was time for me to move out.
I slowly backed away from the new baby. I was scared to death that a claw would suddenly emerge from underneath its swaddling and try to tear my face off. As soon as I was out of harms way, I burst into tears and made my way up to my room to pack my things.
I knew it was going to be tough living on my own being only two years old, but I decided that I was going to make the best of it. I laid my "blanky" on the ground and began to roll up the essentials that I was would need to survive. I packed my pillow, my "GI Joe," three cans of "Play Dough," my "View Master," and a "Twinkie" that I had hidden in my underwear drawer.
As I was leaving, my father asked me, "Where are you going?" Even though I knew he would be crushed, I answered, "I'm running away from home."
Need any help?'
I guess he was just trying to be strong because he said, "Okay, do you need any help?" I said, "No," and I left.
It was around 4 p.m. when I left my home that day. By five o'clock, I had already eaten my "Twinkie" and I had just made it to the end of the driveway. On top of that, it was starting to get dark and I soon remembered that I was very afraid of the dark.
I was beginning to think I had made a huge mistake but now I was too embarrassed to go back.
At 5:30 p.m., my mother sent my oldest brother out to the end of the driveway with dinner. My brother asked, "Why don't you just come inside? You can't live at the end of the driveway, you'll get hit by a car?" This made a lot of sense to me, and I was really starting to get scared. I decided that my family had suffered enough so I grabbed my brother's hand and I returned triumphantly to my home.
Please join me next time when I delve into the triumphs and tragedies of year three.
Jim Cegielski writes weekly for The Meridian Star.