Yammer, Memory

Shannon's blogged about it already, but Julia has what seems to me to be an awfully impressive memory - for a toddler as well as for a human. Maybe all kids, possessing minds as yet uncluttered with the trivia accumulated by growing up, have memories as good as hers; I'll test the hypothesis with Genevieve. Right now, though, I'm flabbergasted by it. Some of it is fairly routine - meaning, frequent, not necessarily common to all kids. For instance, Julia routinely fills in missing words in books we haven't read in weeks, or describes a very minute aspect of a picture she saw for five minutes in a store we visited two months ago. I suppose many of us can do that, if we try. It just doesn't seem like she's trying: the details are as immediate for her as the color of her bedroom walls. Perhaps more impressively, she accurately describes the food, toys, and activities at a birthday party we attended in March. And her encyclopedic retellings of what we did while running errands or at home during the thunderstorm can take longer than the events themselves, as she repeatedly loops back to bring in every detail she can.

And then there are the mindblowers. Today at library playtime, she asked for and directed the attendant to various toys with which I've never seen her play in the two months I've been going with her. And she was never wrong: if she said the "wed baw" was in that drawer, well, lady, keep hunting, because it was. And then there was the Wolvies Incident. The other day, we were talking about her cousin Gabe's dad. She asked me (rhetorically, I realized), "What's on Oncle Greg's shirt?" I said I didn't know. She said, "Wolvies." It's true: he was wearing a shirt with wolves on it the last time we saw him - at Christmas. I don't remember what I got for Christmas; she's commenting on people's attire. I'm amazed. Should I be?

email: christopher at tassava dot com