I got to thinking about a few of the pieces I turned up yesterday. I said something about stomach aches and going home early starting up when I was in third grade or so; after I'd finished the entry, I remembered something else.
By third grade, we had moved out on our own again, so I know that some of my tummy woe memories were before that, because I specifically remember them being at the house in San Gabriel. Back then, some doctor put me on a glass of Metamucil once a day, and Mom always made me drink it at bedtime. It was supposed to help matters, but I never thought it helped any, and I came to hate the stuff with a passion.
Any time Mom left me alone in the kitchen to drink it, I'd carefully pour it down the sink. I'm sure I must have been caught a time or two, but the stuff was really vile, and even now, anything that smells even faintly like it has the power to make me gag. (Berry Blue Kool-Aid is one of those things, which I found out quite by accident sometime later.) I don't know if Mom told the doctor it didn't seem to help and he took me off of it, or if she just had sympathy on me and let me stop taking it.
Right around then was when I changed hospitals from Kaiser to UCLA. They did a whole abdominal workup on me and couldn't find anything wrong, so that could be when the torture stopped. Still, I don't remember often having to go home in the middle of the day before third grade. Of course, I really don't remember a whole lot of school before third grade to begin with.
If memory serves correctly, third grade was also when I started having problems with the occasional teasing. I'd tell the playground supervisor, because that's where it usually happened, and she either ignored me or told me to deal with it myself, sometimes she was downright hateful about it, too. I told my mom, and she had a talk with someone, but I don't remember things getting any better. I do remember starting to stay in the classroom at recess any time the teacher would let me, though. I really hated that school, and eventually I got to the point where I told Mom I didn't want to go back.
We moved again after that, and wound up in Bellflower. I knew we were close enough to the school that I'd gone to preschool and kindergarten to, that I could go there... if we had the money. I know it was a hardship, but Mom scraped up the money, and talked to the school and they let her make installment payments for my tuition, and as the summer before my fourth grade year came to a close, I was back at my old favorite school.
There were just a couple differences, though. My first sweetheart, Todd, had just moved away. I had very happy memories of Todd, and I'm sure he was the main reason I wanted to go back to that school. There were still some other kids I knew, though, and I managed. But I've always wondered where Todd went off to.
Fourth grade was a happy year for me, for the most part. Even without Todd, I had old friends, a familiar school, and I don't really remember being teased that year. I do remember one incident, after school, when I was still in the classroom: and another girl's Mom had come up to the room, and was talking to Miss Garcia -- just general chitchat -- and she must have said something nice to me, because I hugged her. And then I got a look like 'what did she do that for?' I don't remember why now, or anything like that, but I think that's probably the last time I hugged anyone spontaneously... except Jev, or Jonathan, my other childhood sweetheart, who came along a few years later.
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