When we moved into town from Rock Creek, I found a cardboard box full of old things. Things that were my mother’s and father’s together. Salt and pepper shakers, photographs of them before I was in the picture, and a yellow baby book. My baby book.
It was like finding gold. It had my mother’s handwriting in it–she has excellent print. And it had a sheet of paper from the hospital I think with my little baby hand and footprints. There was also a section in the baby book that said “Baby’s First Birthday” and a list of what people gave me: jonny jumper, dress, teddy bear. Then there were questions where my mom would fill in the blanks. Favorite toy: stuffed lobster.
Then it ended.
I wouldn’t have a blank baby book, so I took a pen and started to fill in the blanks. I was twelve at the time. I tried to make my handwriting look as much like my mother’s as possible. But it was pointless. Oh well, most likely no one else would see it. I spent all afternoon filling in my baby book. She hadn’t even done hair color, eye color, weight. But I knew those things because I’d asked my dad one-hundred times. Brown, blue (they were hazel now but apparently, like most kids, they’d started out blue), 4 lbs. 5 oz. First word: bite or Da-da but I liked “bite” better. I didn’t know when I took my first step or first smiled. So I just made it up. May 2nd, 1986, February 17th, 1986. I messed up a few times and had to scribble in the otherwise perfect (though blank) book which really pissed me off because my mother hadn’t scribbled even once and here I was ruining the book. My mother’s handwriting was one-hundred times better than mine. Her’s was curvy and girly and mine was just plain ugly.
I looked at the yellow baby book with the few lines of my mother’s womanly, round handwriting and the baby’s scrawly, childish, boyish handwriting which now filled the pages with mostly lies and I pushed it under my bed underneath where I sometimes stuck boogers when I was lazy and if I wasn’t already disgusted then I really was then.
Later, I was quiet during dinner with dad and great grandma Faith and I snapped at dad then went in the bathroom and cried.
After that I went to Travis’s for a bit, we got high and watched The Simpson’s. I still didn’t feel any better and when I left I bit Travis on the arm really hard and played it off as a joke. I walked home at sunset on a surprisingly warm fall day and I didn’t realize it then, but I do now: I cried in the bathroom and bit Travis because I was pissed about being a forgotten baby. Not even a baby’s book. My dad could’ve filled it out but that would’ve been a lot to ask of a twenty-two year old man. Or would it have been? When I have a baby, she’s gon have the best damn baby book.
I think my baby book had a duck on it. It was yellow satin with a duck. Don’t know where it is now. Got lost along the way.