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Zer Netmouse
October 8th, 2014
11:04 am


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You can take a kid to an experience, but you can't make them remember it.
I don't remember being 2. or 3. But it still sometimes catches me off guard when Rosie doesn't remember something from then, either. She's just 4. It wasn't that long ago!

Brian brought up the Eclipse this morning, and I was telling her about solar and lunar eclipses, using acorns to demonstrate the orbits involved.

"You've seen a solar eclipse," I said. "Remember? We went over to Steven and Laura's, where they had the chickens? And Steven set up a telescope and projected the shape of the sun on a big board?"


"And before that we went to a big field where there were lots of people, and you got to look through a telescope?"


If I show her pictures, she might remember then. But right now? A big blank. I'm sure it's in there, informing her understanding of the universe. But all we can do is keep giving her these experiences. We can't control which ones will get recalled.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
I've noticed something related with my kids. They immediately assimilate new information and they don't record it as new or an event. They claim they "always knew it."
[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2014 09:20 pm (UTC)
That's very interesting, and sounds right. My son learned to read at a ridiculously early age (before the age of 3) and he has no memory whatsoever of learning to read. I learned to read in 1st grade and remember it quite clearly. I remember learning to swim, which was probably the summer before I turned 5 (birthday in September). I think that's the earliest I remember specifically learning something new. One of my younger brothers remembers me teaching him to read at the age of 4 or 5, right down to the specific book we used.

I also remember the "big sister" phenomenon. My 2-years-younger sister would ask me a question like, "How far away are those mountains?" and I would give her an answer like, "Those darker ones are 100 miles away. The light blue ones are 1000 miles." Both answers were completely ridiculous of course, but as they formed in my mind I was sure that they were true. And once I "knew" these things I continued to believe them for quite a long time.
[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
Memory is a fascinating subject. We know from research that much of what we think we remember is partially or totally fabricated. The brain is still organizing itself at age three, and while those kids will remember routines and familiar people, incidents are hazy at best. I'm highly skeptical of anyone who claims memories before age 4 or 5.

Rosie is one of the brightest children I've observed. Her social and communicative abilities were advanced at age three. If she can't remember that lends more support to the idea that retrievable memories just aren't there before that age.
[User Picture]
Date:October 9th, 2014 02:03 am (UTC)
Two is pre big words, so she might not have had a thing to apply which means "solar eclipse" but the picture will jive with the thing that's actually her memory. I have a couple of those I worked out a few years after the fact when I put things together later. So don't be so convinced she doesn't remember, she might just not be able to connect that memory with words.

Edited at 2014-10-09 02:03 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:October 9th, 2014 01:28 pm (UTC)
Two was not pre-words for Rosie. She had over a hundred signs and over 30 spoken words by 17 months. By 2 she was mastering spoken words so fast I had stopped keeping track. But it definitely was pre- a lot of words and concepts, and by now she knows enough people named Laura that I'm sure Steven and Laura's house is not enough to identify it.

I think part of the reason this sort of thing takes me by surprise is sometimes her memory of something is startlingly clear and detailed, and she's very good at putting it into words.
[User Picture]
Date:October 9th, 2014 04:43 am (UTC)
I thought the brain underwent a period of pruning around that age (either 3 or 4)?

By the by, my great-niece remembers meeting you & Rosie--in fact, she was quite distraught that you were moving away. Her remembrance is almost certainly coupled with the trauma she experienced with her knee injury, but she remembers both of you fondly as folks who helped her knee heal/"feel better".

(Of course, it wasn't that far removed in time that you all met, but her younger memory hasn't let go of you yet.)
[User Picture]
Date:October 23rd, 2014 01:26 pm (UTC)
I don't remember *being* 2 or 3, if you were to put it that way, but I definitely remember some things from ages 2 and 3 (and 1 and probably some a little before 1, though I don't clearly know which fell before or after that birthday).
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