This is my 5-year-old, approximately 37 times a day:
“Tell me a story from when you were young.”
Either I’m really bad at remembering stories from when I was a kid, or I had a boring childhood. Maybe both.
I have three stories I rotate through to appease her, and two of them involve dictionaries. The other, an encyclopedia.
A few days ago, I asked Abby what her favorite story is from when I was young. Sure she was going to pick that GREAT one about the dictionary.
Me: “Oh, c’mon. You’ve got to have a favorite. Which one do you like to hear the most?”
Abby shrugged. “I don’t know.”
My husband Ty walked into the kitchen where Abby and I were standing.
She glanced at him then back to me. “His stories are better.”
He laughed. I rolled my eyes.
Me: “Why do you like them better?”
Abby: “They’re sillier.”
His stories are all about broken bones and trips to the ER and brothers shooting paintball guns at his ass. The stuff of good drama.
Still, when I tell this dictionary story, she does smile big. And on the thousandth retelling of the day, she even fills in the details I happen to leave out.
You Be the Judge
In school, I was always a full year younger than everyone else. I started kindergarten at the age of 4, which makes it kind of difficult to catch up to your classmates in age.
(Before you get the idea this was due to me being really smart, I’m 99% sure my mom was just ready to be done with a daycare bill.)
Flash forward to fourth grade. My classmates were sprouting up in size. I was not.
In class when I was sitting at my desk, I couldn’t see over the giants in front of me to the blackboard.
But rather than tell the teacher so she could move me to the front row, I took matters into my own hands.
I walked to the back of the room and stood in front of the bookshelf. I pulled the huge dictionary down and carried it back to my desk, where I put it on my chair. And then sat on it.
At the end of the year when they handed out the awards for Best Speller and Fastest Runner, my teacher Mrs. Clifton made me a special award: The Sitting Tall Award.
Hats off to Mrs. C for celebrating, not shaming, my weird little brain.
Maybe This Story Is Better?
Kept you on the edge of your seat with that one, did I?
Here’s a bonus story in honor of Abby’s insatiable appetite for them.
A couple weeks ago, this is what my kitchen countertop looked like:
I could blame it on having a newborn, but we also have a storage room in the house filled with boxes of my old papers.
I’ve kept old book reports, published letters to the editor, birthday cards, all W2s (plus my very first paycheck), my collection of Happy Meal toys – a lot of stuff, basically.
Ty is the exact opposite and has like ONE stack of papers to his name.
I was starting to worry he had plans to submit my name to Hoarders.
Since then, I’ve been slowly making my way through each box – sorting and purging and filing.
I’ve cleared out 4 boxes, with 19 more to go.
That’s not a typo. NINETEEN.
But guess what I found?
Ty’s stories may be more entertaining, but at least mine have props.
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What question do you hear twenty thousand times a day? Share in a comment below!