Thursday, May 7, 2009

In Which I Get Stuck

I don't remember a whole lot about my early childhood. I'm not sure if my clumsiness as a toddler caused some memory loss or if I just blocked parts of it out, but all I have are fragments of memories, mental Polaroids of certain moments. My first consistent memories start around age six or seven, but anything before that, short of the crumbs of memories I've somehow retained, is just blank.

The earliest memory I have of my life prior to age six or seven is kind of embarrassing. Considering my apparently subconscious inclination towards doing embarrassing things, that really shouldn't be of any surprise to anyone, least of all to me. I suppose that I shouldn't have to say that I don't remember why I felt so compelled to do this, but my earliest memory is of crawling inside of a pillowcase and getting stuck. 

While I don't remember why I did this, I do remember a couple of other details. It happened after my parents had sent my sisters and I off to bed, and the pillowcase in question was quite large (relative to my size at the time, at least). I remember that I crawled in headfirst, and once inside I pulled my knees up to my chest. There was a fleeting sense of accomplishment at this point, but that quickly faded when I attempted to get out of the pillowcase and realized I was stuck.

With my legs folded against my chest, I couldn't take in a full breath. I gasped at what little air filtered in through the cloth and tried to free my legs. I flopped around, kicking and stretching, and eventually fell over onto my side. Panic set in as I struggled inside my cotton prison, and it never occurred to me to call to my parents for help. 

Eventually I managed to get my legs free and I ripped the pillowcase off of my head, throwing it to the floor. I remember breathing deep the cool air and listening to the heavy thudding of my heartbeat in my ears. The memory fades to black from here. I'm assuming that I either passed out or I fell asleep from exhaustion. Either one would make sense. 

As first memories go, that has to be one of the strangest ones I have heard. Everyone that I have told it to has laughed, and I do have to admit... It is pretty funny. Who thinks to crawl inside of a pillowcase? Only with the logic that a young boy possess would that seem like a good idea.

What is your first memory?


Kat said...

Dude, my brother did the same thing. Only we were sharing a room at the time, me on the top bunk, him on the bottom bunk and I was laughing so hard. I remember my dad coming into the room and having to shake him out of the pillow case like a pillow. It was hysterical.

Jenn(ifer) said...

This is hilarious! I can *so* picture it. This has to be a boy thing because if my son could/can crawl into a space, or anything for that matter he does it.
This seems to carry on to adulthood too; if a man... well, you get the idea.

Moonspun said...

This is what struck me most about the post "it never occurred to me to call to my parents for help." I think that's incredibly telling.
I remember being 2 1/2 and having just moved into our new house (where my parents still live now). I underestimated the time I needed to get to from the back yard to the 2nd floor bathroom. As my mom was at the screen door, I peed all over my toddler legs and the back outside stairs!

Laura said...

I have the same problem with early memories. My husband remembers so much from his early childhood and shares things with me all the time. I am just blank. Thank goodness my dad was so into video taping everything when we were little, so atleast I have proof I was there.

Children of the Nineties said...

Oh, this completely made me laugh out loud. I guess this bunk bed trauma has to be common, but I distinctly remember falling from my top bunk. Ouch.

Employee No. 3699 said...

A new twist on 'pillow fights'?

Lola said...

What was that theory I wrote about boys? Hmmm...

I don't have really vivid memories of my childhood either. Most of mine revolve around the animals we had, but there was the time I got a fishing bobber stuck on my lip at three.

I was sitting at the table, pushing the little spring-loaded thingy out, and the metal eye-hook somehow ended up on my lip, 'cuz kids do the damndest things, and when I let the spring-loaded thingy go, the bobber was firmly attached to my bottom lip.

I freaked, my mother freaked, and I remember being in the ER and the mean-ass doctor that finally got it off.

I guess it has to be painful or scary to remember the whole event when you're that young.

Sus said...

Oh man. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. Classic.

Heather said...

I'll just snicker quietly over here in the corner for a minute....ahem.

My earliest memory is of being born. Yes, it's true, I remember it. My mom used to tell people that story all the time. The feelings of it have faded, but I still remember the details.

My next earliest memory was of being able to just barely walk, being sick and vomiting and wandering around the apartment looking for my mother in the middle of the night. She eventually found me standing in the kitchen, and put me back to bed. In that same apartment, my older siblings would climb up onto a shelf in the walk in closet, from where they could see our parents watching television, after we were supposed to be in bed. I always wanted them to help me up on the shelf, but they never would. Assholes.

areason2write said...

I remember getting stuck in a pillowcase - nope, that's just me living vicariously thru your memories - you have some great ones! Thanks for sharing1

Badass Geek said...

Kat: It must be a little boy thing. I remember my cousin trying to fit himself into the dryer.

Jenn(ifer): Yeah, point taken.

Moonspun: At least it wasn't inside the house, right?

Laura: I'm glad its not just me. Video tapes would have been nice.

COTN: Oh, yeah. I did that, too.

Employee No 3699: I suppose so, yes.

Lola: Ouch. OUCH.

Sus: Glad you enjoyed it!

Heather: You remember being born? I'm glad I don't remember that. Wouldn't want to.

A Reason 2 Write: Greatly strange, yes.

Aunt Becky said...

I have no idea which my earliest memory is. Honestly. I just don't know.

I was, and always will be a moron, tho, so you can fill in the blanks on that.

Cape Cod Gal said...

Honey, only you!!!

I don't really remember much...I'm not sure what that means.

Jen W said...

One of my first memories is when my family was moving. I remember sitting in my room thinking, "No one is going to remember that I ever lived here" so I crawled in the space between my bed and the wall, took out a marker, and wrote my name on the wall.

Needless to say, I got in a bit of trouble for that one.

Roberto said...

Well, I guess my earliest is remembering the set-up of my parent's room. I can recall where my crib was in relation to their bed and what other furniture was in the room. Mom finds this shocking, since I was just a baby.

Though you could also count my chasing a ball into a rose bush when I was 2. I remember flailing in the rose bush and my parents talking to some other grown-ups. Mom says it was my own fault for not sticking close to her.

And then there was the time I was playing with the xmas tree and it fell down on top of me; I think I was 1 or 2. Mom says this was also my fault because she told me not to pull on/play with the tree.

Ah yes, little Berto has wonderful memories of his childhood.

daria said...

I remember swinging on these makeshift swinging devices my dad built in our door frame when i was about 4. And also when i was 4, there was a sweater my mom knit for me that was supposed to involve a polar bear, except i simply COULD NOT see the polar bear in the stitching. So I used to think that all adults who said "awww!!! Look at your polar bear sweater!!! So cute!!!" were stupid. I would just look at them thinking, are you kidding me? That I do remember.

Badass Geek said...

Aunt Becky: You? A moron? Never would have guessed.

Cape Cod Gal: Me, neither.

Jen W: Childhood logic is a strange thing.

Roberto: Sounds like you went to the doctors a lot as a kid.

Daria: I used to think a lot of my adult relatives were stupid, too.

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