Missing Tricycle Seats can cause Hernias, Right?

I can't hear you!

I can’t hear you!

My dad was in the Marine Corps after high school.  He graduated in 1955, he and Mom were married in ’57 after she graduated and they were off to southern California; boot camp, Camp Pendleton – home of Gomer Pyle.

Yup - that's them

Yup – that’s them

Well, ok, so Gomer was filmed in Desilu and Paramount Studios, but it was supposed to be Pendleton in the show.

We lived somewhere up there where you're looking - we left this place??!

We lived somewhere up there where you’re looking – we left this place??!

I was born in Oceanside, California and my parents lived in an apartment close to the pier in San Clemente, home of Richard Nixon.  That they soon moved to Fairfield, Ohio after Dad got out of the Marines is a minor shock to me now but had they not, everything in my life would be totally different – everything.  Likely I would be writing stories today about surfing and getting attacked by sharks instead of getting hit by school buses.

We're going to need a bigger boat!

We’re going to need a bigger boat!

I was born with what is called a minor inguinal hernia (sounds like I born with reptilian features, doesn’t it).  Girl and boy fetuses both have an inguinal canal.  For boys it is the area just above the scrotum.  The testicles develop in the abdomen and then travel down through the inguinal canal.  Soon after the baby is born, the canal closes, preventing the testicles from moving back up into the abdomen.  If the canal doesn’t close off properly, a small section of the intestine can move into the opening, causing a hernia.  Typically it can be noticed as a small bulge on the skin.


I have only two memories of California.  One is a brief one of being surrounded by a bunch of birds.

Yeah, the memory's sorta' like this except I was confined to a stroller

Yeah, the memory’s sorta’ like this except I was confined to a stroller

My mom told me that was at San Juan Capistrano.  The other is a memory of being in a hospital room in a crib with 5 other cribs in the same room.  I was sure I had just been born.  The kid in the crib right across from me would stand up and hang on the railing for a long time.  I imagine that today he’s a prison stoolie.  This is all I remember of monkey boy.  The last memory I have of ‘my birth’ is that of seeing a man, (doctor I presume), walking in with my mom and they had some kind of toy with them, something I sat on, like maybe a wooden horse.

For many years I kept this memory all to myself, thinking it was a memory of being born.  I think I was perhaps 7 or 8 when I finally asked my mom if I was in the hospital for anything when I was young.  She was surprised at the question.  “Do you remember being in the hospital? You were only two.  Yes, you had a hernia surgery”.  And that’s when my dad chimed in to tell me I sat on a tricycle without a seat – that’s how I got the hernia.

I believed the tricycle seat story for a long time.  I believe I was 13 or 14 before I brought the topic up again and finally learned the truth.  I wrote this story merely to document my earliest memory from childhood, but I also wanted to share a very important lesson I learned from this episode in my life.  I learned that it could be funny as Hell to play a 10 year prank on my kids.

For proof, please branch on over to this joke played on our youngest – AD – After Dinosaurs, there were Jackalopes & Christmas Surprise

Feel free to explore the other stories in this month’s memory hop

Remember the Time Blog Hop

13 comments on “Missing Tricycle Seats can cause Hernias, Right?

  1. […] Missing Tricycle Seats can cause Hernias, Right? (growinguponprytania.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] Missing Tricycle Seats can cause Hernias, Right? « Growing up on Prytania says: October 21, 2013 at 7:00 am […]

  3. […] read What’s That Smell?  (read me)  Still no?  Well then certainly you’ve read one of these: Missing Tricycle Seats can cause Hernias, Right?, Burn ‘Em or Morning Breeze.  Alright, well if the answer is still no then read this one – […]

  4. […] learning that California had the tallest, the oldest and the trees with the most mass.  I had been born in California (read me) but moved out when I was only 3 years old so didn’t remember much about living […]

  5. ha! So now we know why you like to yank people’s chains…it’s hereditary! I remember my great-grandma used to tell us that if we picked our noses we’d pop out our eyeballs.

  6. The Waiting says:

    I remember being in the hospital to have tubes put in my ears when I was really little, but my memory definitely wasn’t as vivid as yours!

    • rlwyattcali says:

      We did that for our first son at the age of 4 or 5. We felt guilty that we weren’t educated enough to recognize it was needed and his hearing blockage explained then how he pronounced some words. Today my wife and I still lovingly refer to eggs as “edds”.

      • The Waiting says:

        I love that! Cee is changing some of our vocabulary too as she learns to talk. I caught myself almost saying “goppy” (“thank you”) to the lady who bagged my groceries!

  7. Charity says:

    We’d get appendicitis if we chewed our fingernails or gnawed on chicken bones. Dangers lurk everywhere, apparently.

    I was in the hospital over my second birthday, and I remember that (mostly that I was in a crib and I was angry to be in a crib because I slept in a “big girl bed” at home. Actually, now that I think of it, that was probably my earliest memory, rather than the one I wrote about on my blog. Oh, well).

    • rlwyattcali says:

      I have been trying to stop nail biting for almost 50 years. I figure I’ve read that they continue to grow for a time after we die. Maybe they’ll look good then? 🙂

      Do you recall what you were in for?

      • Charity says:

        Some stomach ailment. I don’t think they ever figured out what it was.

        I was thinking that we might have been in the same hospital (albeit at different times). Not sure what hospital Pendelton used, but my dad was Navy down in San Diego, which isn’t far.

  8. Charity says:

    (I meant “Pendleton”.)

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