Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Look Back: The Life of Daniel F. Ford
Chapter 2 & 3: The Early Years

I combed through my personal archives to get a sense of the person I was in order to understand the person I am. I unearthed an autobiography I was assigned to write in the 8th grade. For the next several weeks, I’ll be publishing each chapter of the book.

Chapter 2: I Make an Appearance

I was born on a snowy day on January 17, 1984 at New Britain General Hospital at 9 p.m. My mom came into the hospital early in the morning and it ended up that I was born late at night. Go figure, huh?

My parents named me Daniel Francis Ford. My first name is Grandpa Ford’s middle name—unfortunately, that’s not why they named me Daniel. Francis is my great-grandfather’s name. I like both Dan and Danny. My mom hates Danny. All my teachers call me Danny. 

I was a very cranky baby. I loved my older brother Tom though. My mom says I used to listen endlessly to him telling me stories. My first doctor was Dr. Glass, and I don’t know why but I didn’t like him. Me being a cranky baby, I used to cry on the way to his office. That I remember.

Look how gorgeous my mother is not too long after having me. What is she doing with my father's mustache and ugly sweater?
I am a middle child. As I said, I loved my brother Tom, and he loved me otherwise I don’t think he would have put up with me (editorial note: still true). He loved me the second I was born. There’s a picture of Tom holding me and smiling. I guess it was because I was his first sibling.

Christmas 1985
I have—and will always have—a yellow Winnie the Pooh blanket (editorial note: also true, although it may have been lost in last year’s flood in Connecticut). It’s now folded on my bed and is in pretty good condition. Also, I have a Roger Rabbit stuffed animal, which I will always have no matter what happens to him (editorial note: Roger is indeed still around and safe and sound in one of my trunks back home). He is also on my bed. 

I first talked some time in August 1984. My mom heard me say, “Dada.” I learned most babies say that first. Maybe it is easier. 

My favorite song was the Winnie the Pooh song. I was a big Winnie the Pooh fan. I would sit on my couch and sing along to the Winnie the Pooh song. Also, my favorite movie was Dumbo.

Chapter 3: Before I Started School

After my baby years, I was a pretty active toddler. I was like what I am now, just smaller with fatter cheeks.

I loved to chase my mother’s cat Kitto and my dog Benji. I would always go into my older brother’s room and start playing with his He-Man figures, which used to get him mad. It was hard to tell when someone was annoyed at me because they were always annoyed at me. 

There is one thing that got my brother Tom really annoyed. I would dump my toy box out and always go after the toy at the very bottom. I would then run off, not cleaning up the mess. My brother would then pick everything up and go finish whatever what ever he was doing. A few minutes later—after I had gotten bored with the toy I had—I came back and dumped my toy box out again in search of another toy at the bottom. Again, with no smile on his face, Tom picked up all the toys once more. That probably began the famous sibling rivalry between my brother and me.

Tom and Daniel 1985
I can only recall one time when I embarrassed someone (editorial note: the way I used to cry and get bent out of shape, this is an egregious fabrication). It was when I had my first day of nursery school. I had checked the place out beforehand with my Mom and thought it was okay. Well, the first day of school I cried bloody murder. I clung to my Mom’s leg and would not let go. I wouldn’t blame me; I hadn’t left her side since I was born. I did let go eventually, but didn’t enjoy the day (editorial note: this episode pales in comparison to the day I chased after her car in the school parking lot when I was in elementary school. Love you Mom!). She ended up being proud of me when I sang my heart out at the end of a school recital.

Me on the first day of kindergarten
Usually, after my Mom went to work, I was at my Mémère’s house. She was my first babysitter. As I said earlier, she would let me eat in the living room and drink Sprite with a spoon. She was very special to me and I will never, ever forget her. There is one incident that sticks out in my mind that all the family members involved remember as well. I usually hung on to something at my Mémère’s house, and usually it was her dress. Not on this occasion. I grabbed onto her television cart in her kitchen and everything on the television came toppling down on my head. I got a cut above my right eye, as well as a black eye. My Mémère used to cry whenever she saw pictures of me that my Mom took. I sort of made up for it when I took my first steps at her house. So, you could say that she lived with me through good and bad times. 

My most vivid memory was when my little brother Patrick was born. I was happy he was born because now that Tommy was getting older, I would have another playmate. When it was my turn to hold him though, I was not a happy camper. This is a picture of me scowling holding him.

Patrick and me back in the day.
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