Friday, April 13, 2012

Babies and what's in their heads

I've featured these photos before, but this is me. Or, it was. Though I don't remember the photo being taken so it hardly feels like me.
This does feel like me because I remember the occasion.
What do babies think about? Grandson looks here as if something very startling has suddenly occurred to him.
And now he's just a-setting a-contemplating it. With his ankles crossed - his habitual attitude.
I remember climbing on the chair in the second photo (it was covered in fawn patterned material - very 50s - and was slightly shiny and slippery) and I remember the excitement of a real photographer coming to the house. And I remember the dress, which was white with tiny tufts of red, white and blue on it. My mother called it my Coronation dress because the Queen had just been crowned, or perhaps was about to be crowned.
But it'll be a long time till Grandson retains a memory of anything about his life so far.
Come on, you 100+ people who click on this blog every day - how about telling me your earliest memory?


  1. Well, here goes. But I warn you, it won't have anywhere near the poeticism with which you beautifully write! I have a very clear, if sepia tinited, memory of riding along beside the railings of Ormeau Park high on my father's shoulders. The thing is, dad doesn't have this memeory at all so I think it might be a dream! I think I remember being put to bed in a cot in a bare room with bare floorboards which Mum tells me might have been when we moved into the house I lived in for most of my life pre-marriage- except that I would have been 3! And I definitely remember being tripped over by Uncle Robert as I sat small on the bottom step of a boat we'd all hired together to cruise the Shannon-Erne- there is photographic proof of my being there in little Aran jumper. Do you think our little ones will ever see a Diamond Jubilee again? I think not. I'll have them rivetted to the screen come the day- living history!

  2. walking past our city's baseball stadium on the way to kindergarten, i guess i was about 5 years old

  3. I can remember walking down the streets of Fort Wayne Indiana with my Oma Elly. Sometimes instead of riding in the stroller she would let me push it (I must have been two and a half or so). This was in the middle of summer, and I remember finding brightly colored feathers, which we collected in an envelope to bring home to my heavily pregnant mother. Decades later I realized that Oma was responsible for the strewing of the feathers, and these outings designed to give my mother a little breathing room since I probably wasn't napping enough in the afternoons.

  4. In Gibralter, trying to turn a blue saucer from a dolls' teaset over on the wet draining board - potatoes waiting to be peeled in a bowl in the sink. Mum and Francesca laughing at my frustration. Three-ish?

  5. I crept downstairs in the middle of the night to visit the outside loo of our country cottage when I must have been about three. I can clearly remember sitting on the loo, with the door open, and looking at the stars! I've obviously never been afraid of the dark!

  6. I remember sitting up in my big old fashioned pram, when a large black dog looked in. I think it was a black labrador type. I wasn`t a bit frightened and probably had some sort of conversation with it!

  7. Doing this on my phone as I'm visiting DD, SIL and the new grand daughter so please forgive the typos! I distinctly remember my aunt giving me my teddy bear in a grey and green St Michael's paper bag - how long ago did M & S abandon the St Michael's brand name? My mother said I was one and a half when the teddy arrived & she never believed I remembered it. Who knows? Still have the teddy & I'm an OAP now. Current memory not so hot though :)

  8. I remember going to my grandparents house and their being outside already to greet us. I think I was only two years old. But I can definitely date my memories of being 3 years old in 1948 when I flew to New York with my mother to visit my aunt. And I recall being sick on the plane into one of those little bags.

  9. Any memory from our lovely old colonial house in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, as we moved to Kano just before my 4th birthday. I remember the house and gardens surprisingly well but few actual events.

    I do remember going into my brother's bedroom to look at a red capped shrike which had flown in and was perched on his bed then standing on a hornet and being stung on the sole of my foot. Well, you would.....

    I also remember my nightly ritual with my dad of walking round spraying the ants in the citrus orchard and picking juicy oranges and grapefruits for breakfast.

    Thanks for prompting this trip down memory lane.

    Lesley xx

  10. Don't totally discount Grandson's ability to form memories at this stage. My elder son has startled me by having clear and authentic memories of experiences before he was a year old, and I can recall the sensation of being in a pram, under the hood.

  11. Sad but true I have few memories before the age of 8, I can vaguely remember, not sure if it's my memory or something I was told, moving from Oklahoma to California, 6 people in a small car.

  12. My earliest memories include saying "Goodnight, baby!" to my mother's pregnant belly, and picking up my mother and newborn baby sister from the hospital. My sister was born one month after I turned 3.

  13. Gosh, it's hard to know which memory was earliest -- I have some memories, but not much sense of time with them. I don't really remember much before the age of 4. On one visit to grandparents, Grandma used to dress us up in our jammies every night and then take us "uptown" for a little ride -- to the dairy queen for an ice cream. When we returned home, I stepped out of the car and into a ditch -- my ice cream ended up all over me and I remember a lot of crying! ;-D

    You were a gorgeous baby! Your photo reminds me of Shirley Temple. Look at all those curls!

  14. Looking out at the world from my big pram. It had a fringed white sun canopy. Also the weight of my baby sister being placed on my lap for a photo. I have the photo and my expression reflects the way I felt about the huge responsibility of being told to hold on to her and sit still . I was 2.

  15. It's funny how memories from our most formative years are the most elusive! I do remember standing at a lock of some kind on the river Shannon, when I was three or four maybe, watching the rush of water and listening to it roar, and feeling very glad that my dad had a firm grip on my hand! Another time, maybe at age five, we were coming out from church and I got separated from my parents....Finally, in the crowd of knees and skirts and coats, I found a familiar brown tweed and latched on, sure I had found my dad. To my consternation it wasn't him, but the stranger found him and all was well.

  16. Riding in the old station wagon with my mom and my little sister.

  17. I remember being besieged in the bedroom of our flat with my mum because there was a mouse outside in the hall and my mum refused to open the door until my dad came home from work. Not fond of rodents, my mother. I must have been about 3.

  18. Earliest memory .. ah ... I don't know if I go back further than 5 or 6, in Singapore, watching my mum yell her head off about cockroaches in the cupboards.

  19. It's certainly made me very, very unhappy about any big black beetles since.

  20. I can't say I remember the coronation dress picture being taken: was there also one of me? (And why is there a nuclear missile about to land on your right shoulder?)

    My earliest memory is you being born - or rather you being brought home in a very interesting taxi. I remember that the taxi driver was Mr Coutts - who lived at the other end of our street.

  21. Sophie Jane5:32 am

    It was in 1942 and I was 4 years old. My father's mother had died at our home. There were lots of aunts and uncles visiting. I collected the paper scissors from the drawer where we kept them and was going of to cut as usual and was quite taken back when one of these unknown relations came up to me and took away the scissors saying "No you cannot use these". I cannot recall what I did next but distinctly remember the feeling of surprise.

  22. Well that was an innovative way to get people to post comments on your blog! I haven't got any early childhood memories to tell you about because like Thimbleanna, I don't know how old I was at the time of the events that I do vaguely recall. One vivid memory is being violently sick and hearing Dad tell Mum 'The poor little mite just about turned herself inside out'. Ugh...

  23. My earliest memory is rolling down the hill in the backyard. It was a house we moved from just before I turned 3. Lots of memories from the next house where we lived until just after I turned 5. Going down the coal cellar, climbing the apple trees, climbing over the neighbors barbed wire fence, playing in the kiddie pool, free hot dogs from the butcher, crawling next to the heater when in the car (gee, and I survived without a seatbelt or car seat!). No wonder I can't remember anything today---I used up all of the space.

  24. I was born just after the war in bomb-damaged Glasgow , where the housing shortage was acute , especially for newlyweds with not a cent to their name . So we shared a flat for a while with "the Corduroys" ( I think their real name was Leroy ) and I remember their son always eating cereal ( so glamorous ) for breakfast , while I got porridge .
    My mother must have been so glad to get her own kitchen eventually ... and force feed me porridge in peace !

  25. P.S. I now eat porridge every morning with great relish , I must add .... but you can never quite escape your mother , can you !

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