I was born in Nova Scotia, a small peninsula Provence of Canada nearly surrounded by the ocean. My father was in the Canadian Military and my mother, Darlene, had dedicated herself to being the house wife–at least, I like to imagine my mother like that. Full of innocence toward motherhood, with no clue what-so-ever at the sort of thing she was about to unleash on the world (me) her husband (me), and herself. (me.) I lived in Nova Scotia, I am told, from the ages of birth to roughly two years old the first time and I hold very few memories of that time at all. Since telling the world that I was going to do this blog-a-thon for 24 hours to raise money for Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes as well as raise funds via paypal for my tattoo, one of the most difficult things was wondering where to start. The earliest memories are often the haziest, but often the most amusing.
One story that my father adored telling me about, especially when I had company, was the story of my first Artistic endeavours in this world. The creation of my very first masterpiece which have either haunted my parents forever in order to remember it, or it’s embarassing enough they take great glee in retelling it. Either way: I wouldn’t begrude them.
I do have hazy memories of my first exploration in impressionistic art. I remember a small, bright room and a crib. Wooden with maybe bright mattress In the memory, my crib was far from the wall and settled decently in the middle of the room and I was standing. I remember feeling intensely overjoyed by something. I was having fun of some sort of very amused by whatever it was I was doing. In the midst of jumping and cooing and doing whatever it was I can’t quiet remember now–my father, every morning, dressed in miltiary uniform, sharp pressed and spotlessly clean, not a wrinkle or button out of place–would duck his head in the room to say good morning and good bye, and let my mother know if I was awake or needed anything.
I do seem to remember that happening. My father, with his close-cropped, dark black hair and silver aviator like glasses, the dark blue of a sharp uniform with brass and gold buttons on lapel. I want to say what happened next was that my father started laughing uncontrollably. And so far, my father agrees my memories are close enough.
Apparently what I was missing out on at such a tender age, was that my father was laughing and gagging uncontrollably at the same time. He spent a few minutes, he said, standing in the door helplessly, and then like any brave man conscripted to serve your country, he quietly shut the door and called down the hall, “Darlene! Baby needs to be changed!” And ran–I mean–meandered leisurely to work.
My mother would chime in now while Dad, 30 years later, still snorted and giggled. My mother of course, all these years ago–would roll her eyes and glare at my father before telling me what she found in my room.
“Shit,” my mother would begin darkly. “There was shit everywhere. You had it all over the crib, the walls, your matress, your toys, the blankets, all over your face and your hands. You were standing in the middle of your crib covered in shit, grinning and cooing like a fool. You were very proud of your artwork, and you loving father left me to clean it up.” This point, Dad would begin laughing again and admit without remorse that he was sure nobody wanted to clean it up.
My mother would lean in, her eyes glittering with a sense of humor unique and often contained unless in certain situations–She’d lean in to me and ask, “And do you know what your first words were?” I’d shake my head, while behind my mother my father would call in an approximate of a little toddler girls voice–
“Shit, daddy! Shit!”
[box type=”bio”] Melissa Pence is wife to the husband and wife team here behind 2 phatgeeks. On December 11th, 2011, Melissa lost her mother to a long, difficult battle to diabetes. In her memory, Melissa is blogging 24 hours in order to raise funds for her through the organization: Step Out: End to Walk Diabetes, and for the personal goal to finish a humming bird tattoo on her right arm in memory of her mother. [/box]