Cute? Don’t Let the Picture Fool You!

My Real Memoir

Mitch, age 5I’ve always lived in my head. And, although it’s undoubtedly in my nature to be that way, nurture also played a role. Or rather a certain lack of nurture, which is not to say that my parents were neglectful. Far from it. My very love of story is rooted in those heavenly times when I would squeeze between them in bed (becoming the “&” in Mom & Dad) and listen to fairytales from a spell-casting hardbound volume (oh, the smell of that book!). Or the time I wriggled in agony when my eardrum was attacked by an alien infection and medical soldiers had to be sent in one drop at a time to defeat it. Stories alone had the power to protect me until that horrendous war came to an end.

Still, life is messy. It was particularly messy and sad when my father, whose truck-driving for the Herald-Express was paying the mortgage on our little suburban bungalow, lost his job. His driving literally came to a halt when an old man stepped off the curb in front of him. Result? The old man spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair, and Dad, who wasn’t really at fault, lost his driver’s license. The Herald offered him a loading dock position at half the previous pay.

So Mom returned to work at a venerable leather goods company in downtown Los Angeles. But that, of course, meant I had to spend my days under someone else’s supervision. Grandma Teemley lived nearby, but after Grandpa died the year before she too went back to work.

Mom tried taking me with her a few times, but a creaky old ten-story factory wasn’t the ideal place to set a three-year-old amuck. And amuck I was, as my “Wild Indian” phase had demonstrated. The law and common sense agreed that a kid my age—and with my imagination—needed close supervision or the human race as we know it was doomed.

And so I was enrolled in preschool. Yeah, that was a disaster. Six months and four warnings later, I was summarily expelled for continually “correcting” the teacher. I mean, how was she ever going learn if someone didn’t point out her mistakes?

Enter Frieda and her Magical Garden. The most wonderful babysitter–and place–in the history of, well, maybe not humankind…

But my kind anyway.

To read the next My Real Memoir post, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Cute? Don’t Let the Picture Fool You!

  1. I want to read more! Love your true stories

    Liked by 3 people

  2. MousumiSays says:

    Really cute, and such resemblance to your adult self!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. tracykard says:

    “. . . becoming the ‘&’ in Mom & Dad . . .”
    Love this!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Erika says:

    Awh, at last, you arrived! It must have been a hard time for your parents.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. trE says:

    Mitch, you still look the same!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Well, a good teacher should be open to learning and perfecting themselves – their loss for throwing you out.

    and great cliffhanger ending … dude where’s part two?

    Liked by 3 people

  7. K.L. Hale says:

    Keep going….I love it. And we won’t let the cute fool us 😉! It’s such a joy writing a memoir 💚

    Liked by 3 people

  8. You got expelled for correcting a teacher? Oh, wow! That wasn’t a nice approach at that time.

    Lovely sharing your story and seeing how you looked like when you were younger. A really cute picture!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Nancy Ruegg says:

    I wonder what the correlation is between mischief and creative ability? I’m thinking, had you been able to write and compose music and make films at age 3, there would have been no wild Indian stage. But then you wouldn’t have had this entertaining post to share with us either!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Did your correcting of the teacher result in appreciative giggles from your classmates?

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Looking forward to the next part, this is such an engaging story.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Bob Teague says:

    Loved this one, grew up extremely poor and know what you felt.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Rhonda says:

    Sweet story there. Looking forward to hearing the rest of it, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Ann Coleman says:

    I love real memoirs, and yours is very good. I hope we get to hear the rest!

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Thank you, Ann. Hoping to piece it together with these Tuesday posts, and then eventually refine it into a book (we’ll see).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Coleman says:

        My guess is that it will be a very good book. Sometimes the difficulties we face early in our lives seem to be a trial without any reason, but they shape us in ways that allow us to be our best selves as adults. I’m guessing that’s what happened in your case, and I look forward to reading about it!

        Liked by 2 people

  15. D Breezy says:

    Aw I can so relate to this i think most of my life happened in my head these days.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Jennie says:

    Please, tell me more about Frieda and her magical garden. I’m sorry your preschool teacher was…well… the way many teachers were back in the day. And guess what? When my preschoolers correct me, it opens the door for the best conversations and bonding. Really!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. KK says:

    Your story is a bit relatable to me. Referring & between mom & dad is wonderful. Loved it.

    Liked by 2 people

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