Posts Tagged ‘ movies ’

Do Toddlers Have Memories?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

BestFriends: Reunited

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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Do We Overbook Ourselves and Our Kids?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

In the running world it’s called bonking. In motherhood it’s called overbooking. The end result is the same: exhaustion.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the endless stream of company and chaos (albeit, self-imposed) affected my milk supply. Luckily I got it back up by putting brakes on the crazy. Things are much more calm around here lately.

I  started to think about why I pushed myself to such a ridiculous point and to to thinking: does it seem like our generation of moms feel the need to constantly get out and “do” more than previous generations? My mother-in-law, my aunt, and countless older moms have teased me about how much Fia and I were on the go the first two years. Part of it was living in an apartment in Brooklyn. You’ll go stir crazy if you don’t get outside. Part of it was the need to connect to other moms. But is there another part in our technologically-obsessed, plugged-in culture that makes us incapable of sitting at home? Or god forbid, letting our children entertain themselves?

Recently I was feeling guilty for not taking Emmett to the “Mommy and Me” movies. Every week in LA a couple of the movie theaters show a new release for moms.  You bring your babies. Diaper changes, crying and breastfeeding are the norm. No one cares because you’re all in the same boat. I did it when Fia was 3 months old (we were out here for a brief stretch). Her first movie was “Shutter Island.” Okay, now read the first sentence of this paragraph again. Guilty? For Emmett? He gets no benefit from the movies. It’s purely for me.

Could  the play date and having to ”do” something with the kids end up being harmful? Does it gear them up to think they ”have” to be entertained or go somewhere? Instead should we be teaching them calm and quiet? To play with themselves? Commune in nature?  My aunt thinks so. She feels that the drive in this generation of moms will lead to some uncontrollable kids/tweens/teens who don’t know what to do with themselves if they aren’t “doing.”  As she put it, “Being able to be alone with yourself, entertain yourself, read, etc., is paramount to becoming a well balanced, non-hyperactive teen and adult.”

Are we selfish in wanting to see movies and do yoga while dragging our babies along for the ride in the guise of “mommy and me” classes?  Or are we helping ourselves get through motherhood by creating our own villages? If it’s the latter, they are very activity-centered villages. At least mine always have been.

I’m sure the ability to text a friend and get an instant response contributes to the ease of meeting up. Before the age of email and cell phones, it may have been different by default, not choice. But is this the right choice for us and our kids? I don’t know. I think it’s something to ponder.

Thoughts anyone?

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Moving to LA–The Fun Part!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

We'll Have The Beach! And Warm Weather!

So big news on our end: We’re moving to LA. In a few weeks. I’ve known for a while but just haven’t wanted to deal. It’s not that I’m not excited about it. The idea of a HOUSE, a YARD, even maybe a POOL makes me giddy (though nothing is yet in place, which is nerve-wracking). But leaving my beloved Brooklyn is going to be tough. We decided to make the move for several reasons, with Little Leroy (working title) solidifying the deal.

When I got pregnant and found out my due date was the end of January, we groaned. Good god, not another winter cooped up in a Brooklyn apartment with a newborn. Not to mention our pad is a landmine. It’s a loft with 28-foot ceilings, which means upstairs Fia could climb over the ledge and drop at least 20 feet. Even with all the baby-proofing, it’s just not set up for a toddler, much less two of them.

Phil is always flying back and forth to LA with his career as a screenwriter. It drives us both crazy. For example, here is our latest scenario: he flew to LA today, takes a redeye home on Friday, then next Monday he flies back, has a 10:00 a.m. meeting on Tuesday and comes home that night.  It’s getting a tad absurd.

Our phone rings regularly at 10 pm, usually bringing some sort of drama. The 3-hour time change is a relaxation killer.

He works from home. In the open loft, we have completely blurred the boundaries between his working hours and playing hours. I walk in the door and Fia beelines to him, even if he’s on the phone (his office is in her eye line. Impossible to prevent). I dash after her as fast as I can, but once she sees him it’s all over. She is very attached to her Daddy and if he doesn’t come out and hold her/play with her, a crying fit ensues. Doesn’t make for a great business call. Then I get the glare. I in turn get pissy, and so it goes.

I actually think living in LA in a spacious house, with a separate office for him and a time zone that matches the industry he’s in is going to really simplify our lives. But here’s where I get sad… click here to continue reading.

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