Sore Gums


I know I am going to like some people before ever having met them. So it is with Jean Thompson, the editor of the spring issue of Emerson College’s Ploughshares. I bet I will be buying one of her books soon.

Her Ploughshares’ profile, written by Ladette Randolph, begins with a quote from Thompson about her crib experience as a small child, “Whenever I woke up with sore gums instead of screaming, I’d find my books and my graham crackers and snack and read myself to sleep.”

Ladette writes, “Thompson’s sleep deprived parents put a stack of graham crackers in one corner of Thompson’s crib and a stack of Little Golden Books in the other.”

Thompson wonders, “What might have been different if they had put me to bed with a bassoon and a strong cup of coffee.”

I relate to the cookies and the books, but I am not sure who put them there. My mother insisted I take piano, trumpet and trombone lessons. Fortunately none of them fit in the crib. Books did.

Maybe the lack of musical instruments in the crib is the reason they always made my gums sore, not alleviated them.

I do love coffee. Thanks mom and dad.

8 thoughts on “Sore Gums

  1. jhvn April 9, 2014 / 9:21 am

    How our early experienced do shape us – far beyond whatever Mom and Dad imagined!

    • fictionfitz April 9, 2014 / 9:27 am

      I love your question, “How did we get to this day?”

  2. evelyneholingue April 9, 2014 / 10:38 am

    Thank you for this fun and unusual story.
    I wish my parents had put an English dictionnary in my crib.

    • fictionfitz April 10, 2014 / 7:05 am

      Me too. I would have used it.

  3. Carole Webber April 9, 2014 / 11:10 am

    I have no recollection of crib days or sore gums. I do remember my parents teaching me to read before I went to first gradeThey instilled in me a love for reading.I thank them for it.

    • fictionfitz April 10, 2014 / 6:59 am

      The only time I remember being in a crib is on the front porch of our home, saying hello to passersby. A book I was born with, must have been from heaven’s library, or so I hope.

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