Archives for posts with tag: childhood

I was nine the first time I realized my sense of humor wasn’t always considered…appropriate.

I was at a friend’s birthday party, and, as I have done for probably every friend’s birthday since I learned how to work a computer mouse, I had made her an extra-special birthday card.

I’d heard a pretty funny joke shortly before said party, and thought I was pretty much the smartest person ever when I figured out how to turn it into a birthday note.

It’s festive because of the clown; it’s funny because of the cannibals (right?).  I was so excited when she peeled the card off the top of her gift, but…something was off as she started reading my joke.  Was she…confused? a slow reader? disgusted?

And then the reality of what I’d done began to sink in.

Panic started seeping in as she flipped open the card.

I was momentarily relieved!  My joke wasn’t a flop, my friend was just dumber than I’d thought.  Phew!

But then.  But then she handed the note to her mom.

And she got the joke.

And she didn’t think my joke was “age-appropriate.”


Now I only tell that joke to ten-year-olds.


When I was a kid, they called me “Baby Katie.”

When I was a kid, I liked to play with Barbies.

When I was a kid, sometimes we went to church.

When I was a kid, I got to bring one Barbie with me when we went to church to keep me quiet.

Like that worked.

But sometimes Barbie did admittedly get a little rambunctious.

A little too “girls gone wild”, if you know what I mean.

And at church, no less!

And sometimes I just felt like swinging my naked Barbie around my head by her hair.

Aaaaaand that’s how I found out my real name.

PS:  This blog has more than a thousand followers.  Like, WAY more than a thousand followers.  Thanks, guys :)

According to my mom, our parents learned very early that my sister could handle rational discussions.  She was very mature that way.  If something big was coming up in her life, our parents would give her plenty of warning, and she would go off on her own to mentally prepare herself for the event.

So it makes since that, having a wonderfully sweet and intelligent first child (and she still is that way…love you, sis!), our parents would use the same tactics on their second.

My whirlwind of hysteria was enough to pick up a heifer and take it for a ride, a la “Twister.”  So you can imagine how it fared against the good intentions of my parents.

Which is why I found myself with increasing frequency in the backseat of our minivan for inexplicably long periods of time.

I knew that tone.

I’ve come so far.

I was three or four years old when I was invited to my first real birthday party.  It was a “real” birthday party because my older sister was going, too, and that meant our mom wasn’t staying.

I was so grown up.

Going to a birthday party meant the purchase of a gift was in order, and if you were a child in the ’90s, you probably got all of your birthday presents from Toys ‘R’ Us, too.  So Amanda Watermelon (or whatever her name was) was getting a Toys ‘R’ Us birthday present.

Toys ‘R’ Us was the MECCA of Barbies.  There was nothing else.  It was pink.  It was shiny.  It was…beautiful.

I couldn’t imagine wanting anything else–EVER–for my birthday.  And neither, I was certain, would Amanda Watermelon.

My Barbie obsession endured for YEARS; my lipstick fixation, however, was more short-lived and experienced its peak on the week of this birthday party.  Hey, I was going to a party–my first as a “big girl”–and I wanted to look good.

So when we rounded the corner and saw a box of PINK BARBIE CHAPSTICK…ohhh my goodness, there has never been greater excitement in the heart of a preschooler.

But I had to play it right.  I desperately wanted one of my very own, but how was I–a penniless toddler–supposed to acquire this for myself without the assistance of my mother’s wallet?  And how was I–a mere child entering into battle with my brilliant mother–supposed to outwit and outsmart her?  The way I saw it, there were three options:

1.  I could beg.

2.  I could beat her up and steal her wallet.

3.  I could earn it.  And fast.

But when I offered to do a backflip, all that came out was

Oh no!  I’d ruined everything!  I’d screamed “BARBIE CHAPSTICK!!!” at my mother!  Not only had the chapstick never been further from my grasp, my pride was slowly slipping away, too!  I needed to recover!  And fast!

And that’s how Amanda Watermelon got to have my Barbie chapstick.


My awesome sister (with whom I have shared probably every chapstick the two of us have owned ever in our lives) has an incredible memory, and GUESS WHAT I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR?

Not one, but two Barbie chapsticks!  The flavor of which, by the way, is “sugar.”  (Guess they save all their creativity for Barbie’s outfits?)


(Sunglasses not included.)