Do Toddlers Have Memories?
From almost birth, Fia spent the first 18 months with her friend Teddy. I wrote about how Courtney (Teddy’s mom) and I first connected back in Brooklyn, bonding over
tortured writer husbands, sleep deprivation, and baby barf. When I moved to LA, she was the only person I cried over when saying goodbye.
Fast forward to July. In a crazy twist of fate, Courtney’s husband’s TV show got picked up and they moved to LA. I couldn’t believe my luck. Naturally, they found a house 2 miles away from us. Teddy will go to Fia’s preschool. Courtney’s main priority was being close to me. We are now seasoned screenwriter wives (Courtney is basically a “TV widow”) and know what the long hours entail.
Side note: We joke that it’s like being married to the Secretary of State. They can be called at all hours and often have to hop on planes or go into a studio at a moments notice. In fact, I never even wrote about this, but Phil had to leave me a day after Emmett was born and crank out a script for 2 days with a figurative gun to his head. That’s one of the reasons we didn’t have a name for so long. It’s not world peace on the line, but in Hollywood they think it is. Or at least the drama seems just as great.
Anyway, back to memory. Courtney and I wondered if our babies—now toddlers—would remember each other. A third of their life had passed since they had been together.
I told Fia that Teddy was coming over. I asked if she remembered him. “Yes, and Courtney too,” she said. I wondered if that was just a good guess? Or if she had heard me saying Courtney’s name?
She was so excited about Teddy’s arrival she sat on the front steps waiting for him. Out of the car he came. They ran up to each other and hugged. I swear it was a scene from “Sweet Home Alabama,” where Reese Witherspoon sees her childhood love Josh Lucas. That is, if Reese and Josh were toddlers.
It really did seem like Fia and Teddy remembered each other. Is that possible? They’ve been apart from 18 months to 2 years 7 months. According to an article in Parents, the answer is yes and no. And gets too complex for this blog, though it’s interesting, like, ie.. left-handers seem to remember earlier than right-handers.
On a non-scientific note though, this got me thinking what my earliest memory is/was. I have fuzzy/hazy memories of scenes. And I remember distinctly at the age of 7 having a near nervous breakdown when I thought a snapping turtle was after me in a lake. But specific memories? Not so much.
Do any of you have a memory bank back to those toddler years? I know the first few years shape us immensely. Knowing you were safe and loved are factors that affect you the rest of your life. But the memories themselves seem hard to conjure up. At least for me. Will be curious on your thoughts.
At Preschool Together
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Tags: animal practice, hollywood, memories, memory, memory lane, mom friends, movies, nbc, preschool, screenwriters, Secretary of State, toddler memories, tv | Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Moving to Los Angeles, Must Read