Earliest Memories

39 months, Nessness

I wonder what, if anything, Nessness will remember from this period of her life. One of my earliest memories was of trying to find my toy and I was looking in a closet. I can still recall the frustrating feeling in my brain of not being able to recall where I put that toy and how I kept looking and looking. I don’t remember what toy it was though. Another one was of being on my parent’s bed in the evening. I remember the glow of a light above me as I sprawled on my belly. I was probably around three or four.

Nessness mixes up her time periods. She’ll refer to “this morning before nap” as “yesterday”. She’ll also refer to various events in the past as “today” or “yesterday”. But she remembers the event. She recognizes the boardwalk in Steveston that she and her cousin played along when they visited in April. She remembers random places that she’s hidden away a hair elastic when I ask her to grab one. She remembers what she’s tucked away in her plastic Easter eggs and lined up in order on her shelf. She remembers her nanny from a year ago as well as what they played together that one time. She totally remembers if I said I’d take her to the park and failed to do so.

One time I dismantled the gingerbread house she and Daddy built this past Christmas, and put all the pieces in a ziploc bag on the counter. She saw it, went up to the counter, pointed and said, “Who took apart my gingerbread man house?” I replied, “I did.” She furrowed her brows, “I’m not happy. I build this with baba.” I apologized. And then EVERY DAY for a MONTH she’d point to the ziplocked gingerbread house and say, “Who took apart my gingerbread man house? Mommy. I’m not happy about this. I build with baba.” Even after I threw away the stale leftovers, she’d point to that spot on the counter where I last had it. I bet this Christmas she’ll remind me of the time I threw away her gingerbread man house.

I hope she forgets my mommy fails though. The times when I should’ve been more understanding instead of being frustrated with her toddlerness. I’m counting on childhood amnesia to take care of that. I hope to create more times when she’s laughing instead of when she’s upset so she can, if she does, think back and remember there was happiness.

What’s your earliest memory?

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