the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Leave me my tonles!

(While I’m out of the country, I’m reposting some content from my archives. This one was originally published in the summer of 2005 right after my father moved from Memphis to Salt Lake.)

I thought my mother had thrown out my red Mead spiral notebook from second grade, but when my father moved here a couple of weeks ago and dropped off all my boxes from childhood I found it underneath a stack of typed vocabulary lists and sentences. Starting in fifth grade I started typing all my homework assignments, not because it was required but because I thought it might improve America’s chances at defeating communism. Every little bit counted!

Here are a few excerpts from that notebook. Interesting that even in second grade I made use of the emphatic all caps outburst:

Making Pac Man Proud:

One day I was on a boat. But suddunly our boat was shaking. I looked into the water. Out jumped Pac Man. He was chasing a blue gost. When we got on the island he bumped into our sand castle. That was it. I jumped on that gost. Now Pac Man was proud of me. There was a hotel there. We ate toast, eggs, and ice cream. But Pac Man had the gost and sand.

Oh, you sweet thing, completely oblivious to the horror of adolescence:

I like to do every day: I would like to open present’s. I would tear the rapping paper and see what was in it. If I got a barbie siwmming pool I would scream. I love to open present’s.

One day, hon, you’re going to give birth without drugs. Tonles ain’t nothing:

What I hate: If I had to go to the hospital I would cry very hard. I would get mad if they had to take my tonles out. Who cares if they give you ice cream I HATE THE HOSPITAL!

Did I know I would eventually live in Utah?

The good part about living in the mountains: I would like to live in the mountains because you can plant gardens. Also when its snows you can get around the fire. And in summer when its hot you can lay out in the sun. Also you can get some wood and rocks and build something like a play telephone. You can put your feet in some dirt. Theres many things to do in the mountains.

Oh, wait. You’re talking about those mountains? UGH! THE INDOCTRINATION AT THIS AGE!

Bad part: I would not like to live in the mountains because theres no school. And when your barefooted and you could stumb your toe. And you have to kill animals for your food. And its a long way to town. When you need some sugar you have to go very far. Also you don’t have any shoes.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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