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reading tiger

I think that my left ear may have finally unclogged, after almost two straight weeks of partial deafness, occasional shooting pains from the pressure, and a general feeling of wrongness.

So here is a note on the vicissitudes of memory. As I hinted at earlier, April is preparing to lose her first tooth. I have all sorts of "they're growing up so fast" angst around this fact, but that's beside the point at the moment. We are administering medicinal popsicles at regular intervals. As I was stocking up at the grocery store, I almost bought a package of fudgicles, until I remembered that April is ambivalent about chocolate.

Fudgsicles have a talismanic value in my family when it comes to helping along loose teeth. And this is where the memory weirdness comes in. In my memory, I lost a tooth to a fudgsicle once; I can picture it embedded in the frozen fudge, even, and feel the cool numbness in my mouth. But my memory also has a clear place: I was sitting at the dining room table in our townhouse in Iowa.

Now, this detail fixes the time of this memory quite precisely, as I only lived in Iowa for 3 months. The fall of 1982, in fact, from August to October. When I was 12. Far too old to be losing teeth, in other words -- especially since, as it happens, all but four of my baby teeth were pulled due to crowding.

However, my brother was 6. In other words, the right age to be losing teeth due to fudgsicles. So it is probably his tooth that I am remembering as mine. My memory is completely convincing! It is also, clearly, in one dimension or another, wrong. Not just wrong but impossible. It's weird sitting with these vivid sensory impressions that I know must be false.

P.S. fun fact: I went through four spellings of 'fudgsicle' while composing this post before deciding to stick with the brand name's version.


My kid sister spent several weeks in therapy trying to deal with a trauma (fight with horrible grandmother over not finishing the sweet potatoes on her plate) that actually happened to me.

::shrug:: Whatever. We both had the horrible grandmother, and the trauma was real in its effect even if the particulars weren't quite right.

But, yeah, memories are weird.