Famous First Words

bermudajumpBehind every adult is a “funny” baby story. A story her parents like to whip out in fits of nostalgia.

You know what kind of stories I mean — your parents have at least three about you that they’ve told you 1,000 times, your cousins 50 times, and your friends at least a dozen.

Well, for those of you who haven’t had the fortune of meeting my parents, these are the stories they’re likely to tell about me when you do finally meet them (potential boyfriends, take note). For those that do know Mama and Papa Reckling, you’d understand why these are probably their favorite toddler-Kathleen tales.

Famous First Words:
Apparently, I was a late talker. I was almost 2 and there had been no “Ma ma” and no “da da.” Just some squeaks and hand gestures. They were starting to get worried I was “slow.” But then I had a break-through that quieted their fears… and gave rise to a few new ones.

There I was, with my big blue doe eyes and my curly blond hair (yes, blond), perched on the stairs joyfully playing with my stuffed dog. But oh no! Fiasco! I dropped the dog down the stairs.

I looked at the beloved toy dog, and cried “Oh, Shit!”

Personally, I think it was a sign of genius-level intellect — obviously, I understood that phrases like “oh, shit” were best used in moments of frustration. My father took this a sign my mother would be a bad influence. My mother was relieved to know that, along with her curls, I had inherited her brains…
Born to Shop
My father was holding a toddler me in his arms while the cashier was ringing up a few items he had purchased at the drug store. In my father’s other hand was his wallet, open, poised to provide payment for the listerine. I reached over to the wallet, pulled out his Amex and handed it to the cashier. Clearly, from early on, I understood the ease of paying with plastic.

Hockey Players Don’t Cry
When I was 4, I slipped on a bar of soap and split my head open. Of course, it hurt and there was blood and I was crying frantically all the way to the doctor’s office. Then when they told me they were going to have to sew it up, well the sobs and screams soared to new decibels. My father looked at me, and said “Hockey players don’t cry.” Well, for whatever reason that turned off the waterworks and there wasn’t another peep out of me, even while the doctor stitched me up.

I think this is my father’s favorite toddler tale, especially since the day he overheard three of his 6-foot, 200-pound rugby players talking about what kind of tea they prefer — which just so happened to be the day after he heard a 20-year-old me compare how much I could bench-press with a few of my girlfriends.


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