Things I Learned About Myself From My Baby Book

memory-lane

I once shit my pants four times during a wedding and everyone in the church heard each one.

Four times.

Last time my mom visited, she asked me whether I ever looked at my baby book.

She had given it to me to keep on my 30th birthday. I put it with the photo albums and never thought much about it.

I told her no, and I think it made her feel bad.

My ex-wife asked me recently for the cabinet in which we kept keepsakes like that. So now I have a bunch of old photo albums and my baby book sitting out.

I decided to commit some time to going through them.

Reading my baby book—which I haven’t completed yet, as I want to do this in real-time—I’m learning some things about myself I didn’t know.

That’s fascinating to me. I DID all these things. And I have no idea I did them.

Like all those keg parties in college.

I’m kidding.

Probably.

A Trip Down No-Memory Lane

I was so blessed to know all four of my great-grandparents on my mother’s side. A perk of being born to a young mother. They were beautiful people.

On my father’s side, I only knew my great-grandmother—the mother of my dad’s dad. The other three had died, as had my dad’s mom, prior to my birth.

I now know all of their names.

Earl and Laura. Lewis and Edith.

Maybe I’ll look them up someday.

My mother (who did a ridiculously good job detailing my early years) wrote that it took me four days to recognize her, but that I recognized my father almost immediately.

“He really is a Daddy’s boy!” she wrote.

My first word was “Ma-ma.” Good for mom. She deserved that.

I apparently loved to sing. Which is weird because I’m really terrible at it now, when I can speak well and know a lot of songs. I can’t even begin to fathom how shitty I must have been at singing when my vocabulary was predominantly baby gibberish.

My favorite stuff to play with were things I wasn’t supposed to. Shocking.

They used to call me Matrick Fitzpatrick as a nickname. Rad.

Oh, hell no…

My mother wrote that my first “girlfriend” was a girl named Kristy. When we were both babies.

The reason this is awesome is because I remember who this is.

When we were in junior high, Kristy’s dad used to come over once in a while and bring her along.

She was uncomfortably hot (you know, in junior-high terms). And I was a lot more confident back then.

One night, I stole some of my stepdad’s cologne so Kristy would think I smelled sexy.

We fell asleep on the couch together watching the original 1960s Batman film with Adam West.

Kristy and Batman. I must have been on Cloud Nine.

But when I woke up, Kristy was gone. And my mother was sniffing my neck.

“Are you wearing… cologne!?!?”

“Umm. No! What? No way. How would that happen? Of course not. Why would I be wearing cologne?”

I’m not sure I ever saw Kristy again after that.

Thanks a lot, mom.

I was two months old during the quad-shit wedding incident.

One of the gifts I received on my first birthday in 1980: “A leisure suit.”

Even+Goldmember+is+grossed+out+_7287f853faf49e5d134885d168995d81

One of the gifts I received on my third birthday (1982): 50 cents.

You’ve got to be shitting me. So this is what gypped restaurant servers feel like.

My first celebrity meeting?

*drumroll*

TOM POSTON!

Wait. What? You don’t think that’s awesome? Tom freaking Poston, baby!

No?

He played Mr. Bickley in Mork & Mindy!

tompostonsmallerYeah, I didn’t watch it either.

I was busy being a toddler.

In October 1986, I took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and scored better than 89 percent of all the other second graders in the United States.

Suck it, other second graders!

My worst score, by far? Word analysis. I ranked 59th for that.

I got three 93s. Vocabularly. Spelling. Math concepts.

59th for word analysis?!?!

inconceivable“Hey Matt! You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

What they should have tested me on was my sick art skills.

If you need a reindeer drawn that looks like a cow, I’m your huckleberry, according to my letter to Santa in 1986.

IMG_0577

Just as I was feeling bad about my subpar art skills, I stumbled upon this gem, created by my aunt, who is just four years older than me. I’m assuming she made this for us when I was born. And I’m also assuming she didn’t mean to draw a bunch of multi-colored penises and upside-down Ls. If that’s my dad in the middle, he’s about to have a really bad day. But at least he has his entire body. I look like a turd with limbs.

IMG_0576

My letter to Santa in 1987. I didn’t believe in proper punctuation or capitalization back then:

“Dear. Saint Nick,

Please tell the Reindeer I said hi please give me some Ghostbusters and some Ghost

Please give me the Ecto 1 and Headquarters

Turn Over!”

*turns paper over*

“Hope you like the cupcake! Please Write Back!”

And then I drew Santa a very nice picture of himself with a black ink pen. He has just one boot on and a bunch of stars surrounding his face.

No wonder I didn’t get the damn firehouse headquarters.

I received my first-ever phone call from a girl in the fourth grade.

It was on May 6, 1989 at 9:38 a.m. This was apparently a big deal to my mom. But she didn’t write down who it was.

Which is a bummer because I was just about to call her up to see if she is single.

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33 thoughts on “Things I Learned About Myself From My Baby Book

  1. Thank you! Is it ok that I am laughing so hard I am crying?? What an awesome thing to have. Matt your Mom is awesome.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I am very blessed that my mom invested so much time in the little things. There is absolutely no questioning her love for her son.

      I couldn’t be more blessed in that department.

      Like

  2. DailyMusings says:

    Greatest post. My mom filled in the first 3 pages the rest are blank- what an amazing keepsake. Amazing mom. And I LOVE the drawings.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I don’t treat my mom half as well as she deserves. On the personality front, we can clash a bit.

      But on the love and care side of things? She’s second to none.

      She is as considerate and thoughtful as anyone I’ve ever known. Traits I failed to pick up as I’m infinitely less considerate and thoughtful than she.

      I’m glad you liked the post. :)

      Like

      • DailyMusings says:

        Maybe you used to be less considerate and thoughtful, but that does not seem to be the person you are today. Consider yourself fortunate to have that kind of mom- not everyone does. (thankfully I had a wonderful father)
        How’s the throat?

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        • Matt says:

          I assure you, not everyone thinks I’m very considerate. But thank you.

          I feel pretty good. Appreciate you asking. I don’t know how I came out of this well, but I really got lucky. Not procrastinating on getting meds, I’m guessing.

          Like

          • DailyMusings says:

            Glad to hear you are felling better. I’m a firm believer in jumping right on it, and prevention. I work in a 1st grade classroom so I spend alot of time washing my hands and gargling with salt water ;-)

            Like

  3. sinecostan says:

    Not only is this a wonderful story, but you are the master of the killer one-liner ending! I bow to your writing prowess, sir.

    Like

  4. OHkls says:

    The penis picture is the best! Your mom knew a keeper when saw one.

    Your first phone call from a girl happened the same day I turned 18 and went to my senior prom. God, I feel old!

    Like

  5. OHkls says:

    As long as you don’t call me ma’am.

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  6. OHkls says:

    :)

    Are you doing anything like this book for your son?

    Like

  7. Aussa Lorens says:

    This is absolutely amazing. I’m so jealous, I wish I had something like this. All I have are books written by my father that are full of charming childhood stories that I later learned were all figments of his imagination. *sigh*

    What do you think it means that on the day of your birth the world was assaulted with an army of penises?

    Like

    • Matt says:

      The Technicolor Penis Army is not to be trifled with.

      I laugh every time I look at that. I wish I shared my blog with family members just so I could have the artist explain this one to me. :)

      The hands and fingers are amazing.

      Kids’ artwork is hilarious.

      I’m sorry you only have made-up stories. I’m very blessed that my mom put in the work on this.

      What about those imaginary stories?

      Aren’t they worth telling? Would love to read them.

      Like

  8. lk says:

    How nice to have a keepsake like that?! Very sweet and funny post! thanks

    Like

  9. This beyond rad. I wish my mother would have kept up with mine, and I wish i would have kept up with my kiddos.

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  10. […] proud to introduce you to WordPress.com blogger Matt, the man behind Must Be This Tall To Ride, a hilarious and often poignant chronicle of his life as a single divorced father. Matt took some time out to […]

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  11. Just Sayin' says:

    Isn’t it funny how becoming a parent makes you appreciate all that your parents did for you? I call my mom to thank her all the time now.

    Like

  12. […] proud to introduce you to WordPress.com blogger Matt, the man behind Must Be This Tall To Ride, a hilarious and often poignant chronicle of his life as a single divorced father. Matt took some time out to […]

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  13. suzjones says:

    Matt, this is just awesome :) I love it.

    Like

  14. shanicedixie says:

    I probably started reading your blog about 10 mins ago and so far this post had me laughing the most. I admire that your mom took the time to create a baby book for you. So much of my childhood I missed out on (because I feel like I simply lost the first 8 – 10 years of my life), I wish my mom had created some sort of memorabilia for me to look back on. I look forward to reading more ;-)

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Thank you so much.

      I’m really lucky mom invested that time so unselfishly.

      And I’m very lucky that you visited and read a few things. I can’t thank you enough for doing that. :)

      Like

  15. […] proud to introduce you to WordPress.com blogger Matt, the man behind Must Be This Tall To Ride, a hilarious and often poignant chronicle of his life as a single divorced father. Matt took some time out to […]

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  16. […] how shitty I was at writing (and drawing reindeer). I found it in my baby book, along with this turd from the following […]

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  17. Please don’t stop writing :)

    Like

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