Creepy

How is it possible that Klara remembers something that happened back in November or in February and that we never discussed since? I thought they don’t retain memories for this long at this age.

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15 thoughts on “Creepy”

  1. Aren’t you a Jungian fan, Clarissa? He was a big fan of inherited memories.

    Think about it: According to Jung, aren’t the children whose parents come from certain countries with horrific pasts born with a thousand graveyard memories that a hack writer like me could sell for $100 apiece, if I wasn’t too lazy to write them?

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    1. It’s true that we carry the burden of our families’ past. But it doesn’t mean we can actually remember.

      Klara remembers that a girl refused to share her plush piggy with her back in February. We never saw the girl or the piggy again. If I’d known this would be such an important experience, I would have fought the kid for the piggy.

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      1. “I would have fought the kid for the piggy.”

        Probably better that you didn’t realize she’d remember – or her memory might be “that time that Mommy turned into a big scary monster”….

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  2. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the inaccesibility of pre-3-years-old memory is mostly due to the fact that remembering (in the sequential-experiences way rather than the flashes-of-images one) is a verbal process, and the linguistic skills necessary for this don’t really show in most kids before age 3-4. Klara’s linguistic skills are truly impressive for her age, so it makes sense that she’d be able to verbalize her memories to herself, and thus fixate them, earlier than other kids. Seeing if she remembers any other stuff from a few months ago would be a good way of checking this hypothesis

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    1. Yes, my assumption about what I call ‘narrative memory’ depends on language so that very young children have flashes of memory without much context (I have a few of those some of which were very puzzling until I got context for them) the next step would be isolated incidents that are reflected upon with language (but not context) and once enough of those are built up then they’re placed in narrative order.

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      1. Interesting. My very earliest memories are visual and not at all verbal. In my earliest memory, I am standing in my crib looking at a woman who was not my mother. I think she was my aunt. The vivid part is the vertical wooden bars of the crib. I must have been less than two years old, since my brother, not I, would have been in the crib after I was two.

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        1. Mine are visual as well, but, just like yours, they’re timeless scenes focused on one very vivid detail. Stuff like “girl didn’t want to give me the stuffed animal” appear only after I started talking well, and could verbalize to myself things like “I am bringing the eggs to mom”


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    2. I think this is the answer. And look, I can even remember people telling me “you will not remember this” … and being MAD about the condescension.

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    3. I have no idea how this works, but what you say makes sense. My earliest memory is from 22 months old but it was a major event. I stuck a mimosa bud in my nose and had to be rushed to the hospital.

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      1. My early memories are all visual (more like tableaux with very minimum movement) but they’re distorted too and sometimes in places they couldn’t have taken place.
        Weirdest one: there’s a lot of red and there are women dressed in black and white around me, it was a very vivid single image that made no sense until my parents explained (they had no idea I’d remembered). I had cut myself and there was a lot of blood. They freaked out at the sight and wrapped me up in a towel and rushed me to a hospital which happened to be catholic and largely staffed with nuns. As it turned out the cut was minor (but I had apparently thought the blood was fun and managed to smear it all over myself).

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        1. From that 22-month-old memory, I remember my mother rushing me to the hospital and there was this huge person in flowing white robes. It was my grandpa who was a doctor (he’d been a handyman who turned himself into a doctor to satisfy the snobbish mother-in-law). And I remember thinking, “Oh, so this is grandpa!” I think I remember it because it was an instance where I made a connection between a sound and a signifier. 🙂

          Human brain is a fascinating thing. Klara recently started doing the “but you said we were going to do this and we aren’t ” stage. I honestly had no idea kids developed these reasoning skills and verbal capacities so early. I thought they were like little animals until much later. It amazes me how much Klara can say and understand and make logical connections. I really didn’t expect this.

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          1. In Baltimore last month, I met my friend’s grandchild who was just making 1. She can’t talk yet. But it was totally clear she understood every dynamic. I decided she was ready for college already. I am not really joking.

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            1. Isn’t this along the same line as the notion “kids can’t have sexual desires” because they “only show up after puberty” due to “only being inspired and influenced by hormones”.
              Academics and accepted beliefs have their fair share of collective dogma much the same way religions do.

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              1. You mean the idea that kids don’t reason / talk? I think it is just wishful thinking, or something, on the part of adults. It’s very frustrating for kids, I remember it well. But the scientific (“academic”) work on that contradicts, and does not support this idea, I thought — and ditto re child sexuality —
                ? Is there still serious work claiming children are asexual and cannot reason?

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