For example, babies. People ask me how I know that I don’t want babies – how can I be so sure – and my answer is that I just never did. Even as a kid. For Christmas one year, I was given one of those baby dolls that actually pees. You pour water into the doll’s mouth with a little pretend baby bottle, effectively forcing water down its plastic throat, and the water comes out the baby’s vagina (which was just one tiny hole – very confusing). It’s meant to help you understand how to take care of a real baby one day. (Some seriously early conditioning, no?) I did it a couple of times, because, you know, why not? When I squeezed the baby’s belly, the water came out faster. That was cool. But, of course, all the water ended up on the floor. I recall being super disappointed – I have to clean up after this thing? Deal breaker. Baby doll found some devalued real estate in the closet (where my Cabbage Patch dolls would later reside).
Had I known it then, I would have marked that as the first day I knew I didn’t want to have children and was totally okay with that decision.
Now, you might be thinking that everything you did as a kid will make-up who you are today. Maybe not! When I was about eight or so, I was in a neighbourhood skipping rope competition. It was down to me and another girl. I was skipping so hard I gave myself a nosebleed. You’d think, with that level of fight in me, that I would be very competitive today. I’m not.
But I am a smart-ass, and that started a loooooong time ago. At about nine-years-old, I was doing my homework with a classmate and she asked me my favourite way to spell favourite and I answered: “The right way.” What a jackass.
And I am a know-it-all. In grade four(ish), I told a classmate she was pronouncing her name incorrectly. Ya. I know, right? Her name was Shana (likely still is) and she pronounced it just fine. But I had never heard that name before, saw the spelling, and naturally assumed Shana (Shay-nah) would sound more like Shannon (Sha-na), and I told her so. I even wrote our names out on a piece of paper to illustrate my point, and then summed my argument by slowly sounding out the correct way to pronounce her name for her. Later that same year, I asked to borrow a pencil and she turned me down. Can’t blame her.
And, finally, I have always been a potty mouth. At about age six, I let the subway doors close on my arm because I wanted to know if it would hurt. It didn’t, because the edges of the doors are made of rubber, but I was so scared that it would hurt that I let out a big FUUUUUUCK when the doors softly closed on my arm. My mother was appropriately mortified.
Anyhoo, it’s a totally narcissistic exercise. Try it!