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The Way I Is the Way I Is

I have about 20 of my mother’s journals , her diaries I guess I’ll call them…lots of cringingly-bad life choices and social ineptitude. They’re a frickin’ goldmine. I’m contemplating adding a little Linda Jernigan adventure at the end of each of my short stories that I’m trying to get published. My mother was fired from EVERY job she ever had, we had some evictions for hoarding and whatnot, my credit was ruined by my sophomore year of high school…
My mother has a Master’s in music and when I was young she taught first grade, then music, then teacher’s aide, then Head Start, then daycare, then she was a nanny…then disability. A steady downhill slide professionally…
Here is one of her journal entries, from when she was working at a Head Start program in Talladega, verbatim:

“Dontarious and Kimani were soo wild again today! They were running everywhere and Dontarious was grunting and kept saying he was a little pig! I told him he was acting like a little pig! Ms.Carmen took a way too long break after lunch and left me all alone with the kids, knowing how bad they are and that they won’t listen. I think she did it on purpose! Dontarious would NOT listen to me so I scratched him on his arm with my fingernail. He cried a little bit but then he went and laid down for his nap. I told Ms.Carmen I had to scratch him when she came back. She looked at his arm and said he probably deserved it.”
Two subsequent journal entries note that Dontarious’ arm had gotten infected. My mother notes that she told him that “With as long as your arm has been infected, you will remember to not act bad with me anymore.” She was let go about two months later, and in her journal entry she is shocked and confused, has absolutely no idea why she was fired…scratchin’ and shakin’ babies, 45 days called in sick, asking parents to stay at school and “help” her watch the kids, wearing jogging suits with no bra to work, taking a $100 box of sausages from the lunchroom and promising she was going to pay for them next payday(when caught), eating the leftovers from the children’s lunches once they were full…those are only the things she “journaled” about. No one will ever know the true extent of her terrordome while responsible for those kids…but I think I have a pretty good idea.

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