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I had a peripatetic childhood, and by the time I finished high school I’d attended well over a dozen schools on three different continents, with time off for good behavior during a glorious year (in about third grade) where there wasn’t a school anywhere in sight. My mother, who was largely disinterested in her parenting responsibilities for most of her life, wasn’t really into the idea of homeschooling, and so I spent most of that year loafing with what few little English friends I had, and playing with the children of the Nigerian house staff. The following year I resumed school somewhere else, in the appropriate grade, with apparently no ill effects at all.
I remember reading only one really childish picture book, although surely there were more. That book was Little Chick Chick, a tiny paperback about a small chick who disobeyed his mother, got himself lost, and ended up spending the night all alone in the pouring rain, hiding underneath an empty tomato soup can by the side of the road. Fortunately for my own mother’s sanity, his mother hen retrieved him the next day, slapped him upside the head with her wing, and all ended well. But before this happy outcome, and at each sight of poor Little Chick Chick shivering and desolate next to the tomato soup can, the two-year-old me would cry floods and floods of inconsolable tears.