Alethea is our first-born child. Thus, I’m sure we’re making all sorts of mistakes in our parenting, but I’ve always taken comfort in the thought that at least she’s young enough that our mistakes won’t make much of an impression on her yet. After all, at this age, how long could her memory actively retain things? A week or two, maybe a month?
Turns out I was wrong.
Yesterday we were outside shoveling the snow off the back deck. I had a big shovel and Alethea had a little one.
During a break from snow removal, Alethea pointed at the grill and said, “Hot.” To which I responded, “The grill is hot when Daddy is cooking food on it, but it isn’t hot right now.”
Alethea’s reply was, “Eat.”
“You like to eat the food that Daddy cooks on the grill, don’t you?”
And then Alethea pointed at the corner of the table where the two benches come together and uttered the words that showed me just how much I’ve been underestimating her memory. She said, “Eat. Highchair goes here.”
Her meaning couldn’t have been clearer. When we eat outside, we roll her highchair out of the kitchen right to the very spot she indicated.
Only thing is, we haven’t eaten outside since probably September, maybe the beginning of October. That means she remembered where her highchair sits for at least four months.
Okay, time for a new plan.
Last night I told Peter, “From now on we have to assume that she will remember everything we say or do and may even repeat it.”