Christian Side-Part
Sentimental Hogwash

Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Girl

Photo (27)  Today's childhood relic, scanned and color-corrected and offered up for your mockery, is the very first thing I ever wrote in my life. I believe I have mentioned its existence before, though it turns out I had the title and some very important plot points wrong, and now here it is: Half short story, half children's book, half early experiment in Seinfeldian-like narrative structure of NOTHING HAPPENING, and yes, I know I've included too many halves there but I'm leaving it like that.

After the jump, I present the newly remastered and out-of-my-mom's-hope-chest edition of The Little Bunny Rabbit, by Amy, age 5. 

*Clears throat* Ahem. Page one.


"Once upon a time in a little blue"

(In a little blue WHAT? Oh my God, this thing just hooks you in from the very first page.)


(The accompanying illustration. Which MIGHT contain a hint, but I don't know. I was a tricky little thing back then.)

"house there lived a little pink rabbit with a little gray tail"

(Oh, It was the house. Never mind then.) 

"One time the little pink rabbit invited her friend the little orange turkey."


(I so did not draw that turkey. My neighbor's older sister did, I think. I'm sorry, Heather, for taking credit for your illustration all these years. Also for calling it a turkey when it might actually be a chicken.)

"For lunch they had a delicious lunch then the little orange turkey" 

(I was either a big fan of the cliffhanger or just a poor planner when it came to page space.)

"Left the little blue house! Then the little cat came to play with" 
(First caps-lock, now exclamation points! So you know for sure that I wrote this.)

"the pink rabbit. After they played, the little cat left. Her friend" 


(The little cat. FROM HELL!!!!11!!!!)

"Dindy came she took off her hat and coat. After they played Dindy left"

(Dindy? The fuck?)


(This, apparently, is Dindy. At first I thought it was a bit unlike me to draw a witch, but now I think Dindy was actually modeled after the Cone Head ice cream sundae from Friendly's.)

Cone Head Sundae[1]

(It WAS a pretty big thing in my life, at the time.)

"The pink rabbit sat down in her chair and watched 321 Contact and ate popcorn."

"And they lived happily ever after." 


(Our hero, pictured at last, with what I guess is her chair and popcorn. Or maybe a butterfly with an afro.)

(And now I can never throw out anything my children produce ever again.)




Oh my god, I loved 321 Contact.

You were/are adorable.


I love the captial R's the best.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

That is the best story I've ever read! The cliffhangers were killer! And I love it when 321 Contact saves the day. (As per usual.)

kari weber

OMG! This is the cutest thing EVER! And props to 5-year-old Amy for spelling so many words right! And using such great suspense!


OMG, I want a ConeHead now. The last time I asked, they still made me one. :D


Gah, this is amazing. If I didn't have to pee before (which I did) I really have to go now.


Aw, that was so adorable! I just imagine little you slaving away over that story. It had a beginning, a middle and an end so looks like a perfect children's book to me!

And I loved the illustrations. Very appropriate. I too shall never throw anything my kids make ever again. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!


That was hillarious and sweet at the same time!!!


Awesome! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.


I wrote a TON of stuff like that complete with incomplete sentences! (The little blue duck.....He bought sneakers.) Yes, because in my hellish mind, ducks wear sneakers.


LOVE the R's

Sprite's Keeper

So sweet! And snarky with the interpretations. Enjoyed both!

Nothing But Bonfires

At the part where you wrote "For lunch they had a delicious lunch then the little orange turkey" I was like WHAT? THEY ATE THE TURKEY? I DON'T LIKE THE WAY THIS IS GOING. ALSO, SHE DID NOT MENTION IT WAS THANKSGIVING, NOW I AM CONFUSED.

And then I turned the page! Ah! I see! No turkey-eating here. No callous and unexpected consuming of one's friends. Thank goodness.


The authenticity was nailed by the exclamation point!!!


I, too, love the Rs, and PARTICULARLY love that it appears you learned how to write them properly DURING the production of this story- they evolve from circles with legs to real honest-to-goodness Rs! Kids! They change before your very eyes!

Niki the the reason...that everything happens!

Thank you for sharing this Amy. It's so charming.

Guess I'll be stocking up on storage boxes for my daughter.


haha. this is lovely. i like that the cat is named dindy and not the turkey... because dinde is french for turkey... look at you playing with us.

C @ Kid Things

At first, I thought it said "a little PIMP rabbit" and that would have been awesome.


OMG!! 3-2-1 Coooontact! LOVED that show. That and Mr. Wizard. :)


pseudostoops: I didn't even notice that! But you're right, at some point someone must have intervened and demonstrated proper R form.

As for the spelling, That was all my mom. I asked her how to spell each.and.every.single. word. One right after another. And then I presented her with the finished product like, "Surprise! I totally wrote a book! Bet you'll never guess how it ends!"


I'm with Nothing But Bonfires - I thought the pink bunny was going to eat the orange turkey! Cliffhanger, indeed. I'm glad to see that awesome 80s after-school television programming was the hero of the story. As it should be.


321 Contact was awesome - I loved the Bloodhound Gand.

I have one these stories too, I was maybe a little older. It has a bit more of a plot and a little better illustrations - just the fact that I still have the thing is what is important to me now. So many people I know have nothing or very little from their childhood so I am so glad my mom kept some stuff to give me when I got older! Love the demon cat!!


gang, gang, gang. Dammit, I hate stupid typos like that.


With all the colorful animals, this has all the makings of an early "Blue's Clues". In fact, you might consider reaching out to Traci Paige Johnson, et al. to see if maybe they would be interested in settling out of court.

I think it's awesome that your mother saved that for you.


This is my new favorite book of all time ever. The end.

Amy M.

Great use of suspense & a better speller than many adults I know. *ahem* Also, love for 321 Contact! Still remember the theme song! (which will be in my head the rest of the day - thanks)


I was totally going to comment on the adorable Rs until I saw the comment that you learned how to correct them. And then I had to go back and read it because that's pretty cool.

Excellent story. I was also going to remark on your excellent spelling, but I guess you've debunked that one for me too!

Oh and the satanic cat is awesome.

Jen L.

I'm pretty sure this is the greatest thing I've ever seen.


I loved every second of this. Snarky commentary posts are my favorite, and you have outdone yourself here. It was even better than the family lifestyles book because it was an Amalah original! Truley awesome!
It looks like on page 8 your mom showed you how to do the R in rabbit, then you were on your own. Too precious. Thanks for sharing this.

PopMommy Pam

This is just too awesome. Don't you love when you find stuff like this?? I need to go dig around my own hope chest now....


Amazing spelling. Spellbinding story. I am so impressed! You should write a sequel.



I've been lurking around your blog for longer than I'd like to admit. I'm so excited to get a shout-out for a turkey I may have guest-illustrated for you at the age of 10! LOVE THE BLOG. It pleases me to no end to see that you grew up to drop the "f" bomb almost as much as I do. I'd like to think that I somehow contributed to that in your formative years. I'll have to email some photos that I have of you and David at around age 3.



My favorite part about this is the way you made your R's. haha So cute!


My 4.5 year old makes her capital R's like that! Even after instruction she still prefers the circle with 2 legs approach. I'm not sure if I should be worried or relieved that little Amalah made hers the same way...:)


What a bright and creative five-year-old!

Two thumbs up!


As a first grade teacher, I must say, DOOOOOOD! You were a freakin' PRODIGY, even if your mom did help you spell quite a bit. Great sentence structure and letter formation.


As a first grade teacher, can I say DOOOOOOOOOOOD! You were a freakin' PRODIGY, even if your mom did help you spell quite bit. Great sentence structure and letter formation.


3-2-1 Contact!!! Yup, the theme song will be in my head for the rest of the day too.

This is GENIUS. I love the page numbers at the bottom-I used to put them on my literary works as a kid too. It just gives it that extra bit of gravitas, don't you think?

Also, Dindy Rules. Her name, her hat-love her! And I love that the pink rabbit and her popcorn live happily ever after together. This is the way I envision my own life story turning out.


3-2-1 Contact!!! Yup, the theme song will be in my head for the rest of the day too.

This is GENIUS. I love the page numbers at the bottom-I used to put them on my literary works as a kid too. It just gives it that extra bit of gravitas, don't you think?

Also, Dindy Rules. Her name, her hat-love her! And I love that the pink rabbit and her popcorn live happily ever after together. This is the way I envision my own life story turning out.


No wonder your kids are so smart.


We bought a very old car for my son from an English friend. Before we go it, it was very well used by exchange students to drive back and forth to the ski hill. The car came to us with the name Dindy. I have never heard that name before...


I don't know whats wrong with me but I laugh until I start crying every time you write something like this or the deodorant wars or the messed up world of Thomas the Tank, THANKS! I'm sure I look like an idiot trying to hold in my laughs here at my little cubicle!


OMG, nobody ever remembers 3-2-1 Contact and it was my FAVORITE SHOW EVAR!!!!1


Love love the 3-2-1 Contact reference!!! Too rad. And the R's! too cute! Until you told me your mom helped, I was like BEYOND impressed that you could spell "delicious" as a 5 year old!

Adorable. And now, I too, shall never throw away any of my child's creations.... :-)


That was so freaking hilarious. But mostly, you were a really great speller! I know adults who don't spell that well.

*snort* Dindy... I'm going to be laughing about that all day.


That story was so good I read it twice. Five-year-old you ROCKED. Love the cliffhangers and the simple, yet complete plot.


Love the story.... the 321 Contact reference was the icing on the cake!



(Man, the Internet is so weird.)

(And would also probably love to see those pictures of me and David.)

(Who was my first husband in preschool. And probably my second, third and fourth. We got divorced a lot, whenever we had a fight about what game to play next.)


I loved 3-2-1 Contact! :)

Personally, I'm a big fan of the color references in this story. NOT JUST ANY TURKEY, people. An ORANGE turkey.


When my brother was in second grade, he had to write a storybook. He wrote a little story about "Ted the Teddybear" (modeled after his favorite teddy bear, natch--and what a clever name for a teddybear!)who grew vegetables in his garden, but had to pass by an evil troll in order to sell them in the village. This was, as you can imagine, a pressing problem for an enterprising bear. One day a cabbage told him, helpfully, that if Ted just waved one of his carrots at the monster it would go away. And it did. The END.

The teacher went so far as to have the kids' books BOUND. My mom kept it, as evidence that once her son, who had absolutely no artistic or creative inclinations, had been forced to be creative. When my brother passed away, I got this book and I still have it. It is awesome.

So no, you cannot destroy anything your kids write. In fact, you need to have them all professionally bound in book form so later they can marvel at them.


And my first thought at the end of the story was - "Somebody else who watched 3,2,1 Contact! Awesome!"


My kids think "Dindy" is a word when they are trying to say "then they." I will now be able to say such correcting things as "ain't isn't a word!" and "Dindy is a witch!"


"Contact! Is the answer! Is the reason! That everything happens!"

This is giving me a retroactive mom-crush on Young Amalah. Like, I want to have her over for a playdate with my 7-year-old and eavesdrop while y'all come up with fictional scenarios for your stuffed animals or something. No wonder your kids are so cool.


I am starting to clean out all of my old things from my parent's house, and I've come across some real good ones like that. Love it! I haven't yet gotten to the cassette tapes I made of me just talking about anything that popped into my little head. I was a weird child.
Thanks for letting us all see what 5 year old Amy was like!


That is so freaking precious. I loved 321 Contact! Great show. I think. I may be remembering 321 mixed in with a little Electric Company because there was just a plethora of quality children's programming back then...


But of course they lived happily ever after...they watched 321 Contact and ate popcorn!


321 Contact!


You can throw it out. Just take great photos of it before you do and then turn it into a photo book of their artwork each year. That's what I do. A way to keep the memories without the tattered paper scraps.


Jumping on the turkey-eating bandwagon because OMG!!! The bunny ate the turkey??? Oh. OH. Thank GOD. I'm so relieved.

And also, Dindy just rawks.


Okay, I definitely laughed out loud at this. More than once. And then had flashbacks to the stories my best friend and I typed out in 1st grade on those crappy computers--all stories were called "The Mother and the Baby."

And yeah, the inclusion of 3-2-1 Contact was awesome. I will now be singing the theme song for the rest of the night.


Here you go--now the rest of you can sing the theme song, too!

Naked Girl in a Dress

What a great piece of your childhood to still have today. My mother saved many of the books I wrote and my children love to read them. Thanks for sharing your adorable story!


Were you ever NOT hilarious?


Brilliant! Laughing so hard, that I am literally crying. I do so love your snarky commentary, you are so delightful and funny and wonderful.
Your mother was a saint the day you wrote this story. My MIL actually went back and corrected my hubby's first story. Don't know why he isn't in therapy over that.


I thought they were going to eat the orange turkey too! I was somewhat disappointed when the turkey left the blue house. It would have added such drama if the turkey got eaten. I'm not sure what this says about me...


And to think I almost went to bed without reading your blog today! Thanks so much for sharing and for the commentary (fabulous and snarky as always).

Maxine Dangerous



O.M.G. I JUST searched for 3-2-1-Contact eps on youtube for my daughter! Mostly for The Bloodhound Gang parts, my favs!! and SOOO CHEESY now that I see them them. I am certain I have early "books" as well, just not sure where they are.


The whole time I was reading that post my husband kept glancing at me and asking "What the hell are you laughing about??"

You crack me up!


The whole time I was reading that post my husband kept glancing at me and asking "What the hell are you laughing about??"

You crack me up!


I used to make my "R's" EXACTLY like that....too funny :-)

beta dad

You were clearly influenced by the absurdist writings of Kierkegaard, Camus, and Beckett.

From Belgium

Now I feel sad because I don't have early childhood drawings anymore. They got left behind in Africa and where probably used as bonfire food by rebel forces.

From Belgium

Now I feel sad because I don't have early childhood drawings anymore. They got left behind in Africa and where probably used as bonfire food by rebel forces.

Plano Mom

I so want to copy you on my blog but nothing I've ever done comes close to this.


Awesome! And I had totally forgotten about 321 Contact! I am now reliving my early TV days....



You and David were hilarious together as little kids. You were so serious and sensitive, and David had serious anger management issues (which I am proud to report he has overcome). The combination was lethal--I don't know how many times your playdates ended with you crying "Mom--David hollared at me!" Ah, good times. Great to be back in touch. When I get 2 seconds to myself (which actually, may never happen again), I will send those photos along.



This is not exactly on topic but I thought this Star Wars item might be of interest - . My husband is a bit of a SciFi geek and loves space (although also obsessed with sports) and he emailed me this link with just the subject line "Your son's future."


The spacing made me think that the little pink bunny ATE the little orange turkey for dessert right after the delicious lunch.

My Mom made me take a box of stuff home from her house after the attic got cleaned out a while back. I am so going through it later tonight to see if there are any gems like this in there.

Can't wait to see what else you find. Hooray for Amy's Mom for keeping them!


Now I'm totally craving the watermelon shaped dessert that Friendly's would serve every summer. I miss Friendly's...or at least the seven year old inside me does.


This is a masterpiece.


Dindy is a witch. With a Princess Leia hairstyle.


I have stories just like this locked away in a chest somewhere. How have I not tapped this potential fount of entries? Must get on that.

Love the remark about the exclamation points and caps lock - totally made me laugh out loud. You rock, Amy!

Morgan | Mrs. Priss

THAT was the best thing I've read all week... SO hysterical! 321 contact, lol! I forgot about that show!

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