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Your Earliest Memory

Gedunker

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Yesterday, my 4-year old daughter spent her day with her grandma. She apparently spent a good deal of time talking about how daddy "blew up" the groundhog living under our barn, with a "big explosion". (I did drop a "Giant Killer" smoke bomb into the woodchuck's nest underneath our garage, and it did disperse quite a bit of smoke. There was no "explosion" and nothing "blew up" 8-! And old Woody hasn't been seen since ;-)) I hope this isn't her first memory.

This little episode got me to thinking about earliest memories.

I was 4 years old when I walked in the breezeway between my parents house and our best friend neighbors' house. There was a tetherball pole and a game going on. (You see where this is headed, don't you?) I somehow managed to get close enough to get my fingernail knocked off as our neighbor's son struck at the ball. Mom didn't drive, so we had to take the bus to the Doctor's office. The Doctor put some sort of salve on the exposed finger and wrapped it in gauze and sent us on our way. Mom had us get off the bus downtown so we could get ice cream and then we walked the rest of the way home. I remember the whole expereince and especially how my finger throbbed.

So, Cyburbia, what are your earliest memories?
 

Budgie

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When I was around 3 a camper fell off it's blocks and landed on my foot. Broke it and hurt like hell. I also have vivid memories of riding my bike into a large cactus in Tucson. I had needles imbedded in me on my entire left side. AH, those were the days.
 

Maister

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My earliest memory.....don't know how old I was but I was standing in a crib(!). My mother was reading me a book. When she got done reading she left the hard bound book open and I watched it close itself after she had left the room. I was convinced that a ghost shut the book. Took me years of therapy to get over it :-D
 
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My earliest memory is of riding in a tank on my mom's lap at Ft. Benning, GA at some kind of 'family day'. My sister tells me I was less than 2 years old. I am sure she is right because dad retired the summer I turned 3. A tank is damnably impressive. My next memory is the summer I turned 3 -- the first time I saw the house my parents were buying, where I lived until I was 20.
 

Seabishop

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I remember where my diapers were changed so I must have been 2.

Other early ones are getting my arm burned by hot jello, and throwing fits at Stop and Shop and my cousin's house (where I broke their clock). :-$

Edit: Other early memories are being scared of things like low flying airplanes (near a department store near the airport). And one time I was for some reason scared that when my older cousin would jump off a swing it would make a loud noise. :-\

I always hope that my kids first memories won't be something like me falling asleep with a bag of doritos on the couch. ;-)
 

biscuit

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My earliest memory is from when I was around 2 years old and my Mom and Dad took me on a trip to visit the cheese factory that is Santa's Land theme park in North Carolina. I remember being really excited and climbing through an 'igloo' in the middle of a patch of 'snow' (white gravel).

Good times. :)
 

jestes

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My earliest memory is of riding in a tank on my mom's lap at Ft. Benning, GA
My wife also spent some years growing up at Fort Benning. Perhaps you were there at the same time. Do you remember what years you were there?

Now back to the thread at hand:

My earliest memories were of living in Baton Rouge. My Dad had been somewhat of a football star at Louisiana State and I pretty much grew up bleeding purple and gold. I can remember playing football in the front yard with some of the neighborhood kids. I had full gear complete with helmet, LSU jersey and ball. I also remember my nearest neighbor being almost grandmotherly to me. She always offered pretzels for me to snack on when I was over there. We moved from Baton Rouge when I was four so those memories had to have been from when I was 2-4 years old.
 
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jestes said:
My wife also spent some years growing up at Fort Benning. Perhaps you were there at the same time. Do you remember what years you were there?
I was born in Columbus, GA (not on the base -- I don't remember why mom went to a civilian doctor, but she did) and probably concieved there as well. I left for a time when I was under the age of three -- while dad was still in the army -- and lived for a few months (or a year or so) in Germany (which I don't remember). So, except for a few months, I lived there from 1965 until ....1986? Yeah, eldest was born in 1987. He was concieved about 3 months or so after I left the town where I grew up. I left in May of 1986. I "arrived" in June of 1965 (yes, that means my birthday is next month).

And if you want anymore particulars, PM me. That is probably too much info on the WWW as is. :-\
 

SlaveToTheGrind

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Getting carpet in our family room. I remember running from the front room to the family room waiting for the truck. Each time I ran to the family room, I'd jump up on down on the wood floor with my leather soled infant shoes to make a noise. Why I remember this, I don't know. But we got some nice purple, red, and gold shag carpet.:)
 

Zoning Goddess

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Bits and pieces of a train trip when I was 2. My mom swears I couldn't be remembering that particular trip, since I was so young, but I think I'm right because my brother was a baby in my memory, and he's 22 mos younger than me.
 

mendelman

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Mine is when I was about 3 yrs and it involves stepping over the curb and gutter as I was getting out of the car. We were going to a house to get our first family cat - Morris. That was a cool cat.
 

Dragon

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One of my earliest memories (I’m not sure which is first) is when I was in the backseat of my dad’s car coming back to Mississippi from Alaska. Yeah, one fun trip. Anyway, someone handed me a soda, which I dropped on the floorboard. Dad, driving, turned to scream or something, and off the road we went into a snowy ditch in Unknown, Canada. The nearest town, 60+ miles away.
 

Elisabeth

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my first memory is my vantage point from my stroller at around age three--we were at the Bronx Zoo and were right by the polar bears--I remember seeing them and that it was sunny. that's about it.
 

pete-rock

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I remember seeing Michigan National Guard tanks going down my street in Detroit during the riots in July 1967, making me 2 1/2 at the time.
 

Plannerbabs

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My earliest memory is when we took a trip to Caernarvon Castle, in North Wales. It was mid-summer and very hot, unusually so, and I remember a bright blue sky, a mass of yellowish stone, and the black leatherette seats of our Mini. My mom swears I can't remember this, since I was an infant--probably less than three months old--but it's just a collection of tactile and visual impressions that I only figured out much later, after visiting the Castle again. Then again, maybe she's right and I'm making it up. B-)
 

Mud Princess

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When I was a toddler, we lived in a garden apartment complex with several buildings facing an interior courtyard. The outer edge of the complex was ringed by flower beds and a low wall made from piles of slate. One day I decided to follow my older sister as she walked with a friend along the wall. Apparently, I walked in at least one area they had missed, where bees or maybe wasps had made a nest... I vaguely recall being surrounded by bees and getting stung hundreds of times, and going to the hospital with my mom, and having my dad meet us.

I also have a memory of playing musical chairs in nursery school -- much happier!
 

Tranplanner

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Plannerbabs said:
My earliest memory is when we took a trip to Caernarvon Castle, in North Wales.
My earliest memory is also of visiting a castle in the UK. I was three and dropped a load in my pants while visiting Windsor Castle. Probably my first display of true feelings regarding the royal family...

I also remember going to a Guy Fawkes bonfire during the same trip.
 
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I have a terrible memory - killed to many brain cells drinking in college.

When I was 2 3/4, I remember neighbors staying with me while my mom was at the hospital having my brother, she burned the toast at breakfast and the smoke detector went off and wouldn't stop.

I also remember a trip to Lake Placid when I was maybe 4 - we went up a mountain and I thought we were in heaven, since we were so high up, and there were all these stairs.
 

NHPlanner

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Mine is when I was about 2 or so, I just remember every Saturday, Papa (my late grandfather) would come over for lunch, I'd sit on his lap, and we'd watch candlepin bowling on TV.
 

otterpop

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My earliest memory is also captured on film. I took a picture of my dad, using his Polaroid camera - one of those one from the 60's, not the kind that spits out a photo from the front. I was probably 4 at the time.
 

plankton

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Not a great first memory for me. About 3 years old, I found my brother's easter basket before he did. Big mistake, my ears are still ringing from the head beating I took for that one. x|
 

Wulf9

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Snow above my head in Denver. It was probably 2-3 feet high on the sides of the cleared sidewalk.

We couldn't drive anywhere, so my dad took us all to the store on a wooden sled.

It's nice that the first memories are of a fun time.
 

pandersen

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Earliest Memory

For me, it was age two and I was miserable suffering from double pneumonia. From what my parents say - it damn near killed me.

My most unpleasant recent memory - suffering through SARS last winter!

O.K., O.K., I'm a sick bastard - or so most developers tell me!
 

Floridays

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getting stung in the EYEBALL by a bee...laying on a couch bawling my head off while they tried to remove the stinger 8-! (still hate bees to this day!)
 

plankton

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Floridays said:
getting stung in the EYEBALL by a bee...laying on a couch bawling my head off while they tried to remove the stinger 8-! (still hate bees to this day!)
Yeesh...and I thought I had it bad!
 

Howard Roark

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Christmas Eve when I was 3 - my Dad pulled me around the park down the block in my wagon w/ fluries in the air, while Mom wraped my presents and got them under the tree. We always "did" Christmas the night before, of course at the time I had no clue what was going on, but it must have seemed like something pretty cool or else I would not have remembered it.
 

JNL

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Question: are you sure these are your earliest memories, or are they your memories of your memories, from dragging them out over the years and re-examining them, or hearing them re-told by other family members? :-\ (I did a course in memory and cognition at university and it was fascinating)

I think it's hard to tell, and maybe it doesn't matter :)

I recall a nightmare I had when I was in my cot/crib involving toy cars being driven around my room by tiny angry men :-$ but I believe the original images have faded and been replaced by my knowledge of what that dream contained....

Apparently, earliest memories for many people start from around age 3, but some people remember things from earlier than that.
 

Gedunker

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JNL said:
Question: are you sure these are your earliest memories, or are they your memories of your memories, from dragging them out over the years and re-examining them, or hearing them re-told by other family members? :-\ (I did a course in memory and cognition at university and it was fascinating)

I think it's hard to tell, and maybe it doesn't matter :)
JNL I was thinking the same thing as I started this topic. I "remember" when JFK was assassinated because my family recalls the whole thing and the images have been broadcast so much. I "remember" other family events from age 2 or so, although I am sure it is a memory that has been implanted more than my actual sensory memory.

JNL said:
I recall a nightmare I had when I was in my cot/crib involving toy cars being driven around my room by tiny angry men :-$ but I believe the original images have faded and been replaced by my knowledge of what that dream contained....
I had a nightmare as a child of these large geometrical shapes, brightly colored, rolling to run me down in a non-dimensional black environment. Scared me pretty good 8-!
 

JNL

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Gedunker said:
JNL
I had a nightmare as a child of these large geometrical shapes, brightly colored, rolling to run me down in a non-dimensional black environment. Scared me pretty good 8-!
I forgot to say, the toy cars were brightly coloured; red, yellow and blue :-0
 

otterpop

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Floridays said:
getting stung in the EYEBALL by a bee...laying on a couch bawling my head off while they tried to remove the stinger 8-! (still hate bees to this day!)
Man, that reminds me of another childhood memory of mine. I was six or so and my brother and I were playing "Moby Dick" on the couch. I fell off and cut the corner of my eye on the coffee table leg. My grandfather was a surgeon, so my mother took me to his office. He wasn't there but his partner was. Due to the closeness to my eye, no local painkillers could be used. My mom laid across me, to hold me still, while the doctor stitched up the deep cut. I can still remember seeing that suturing needle coming at my eye over and over. Gives me the wileys to this day.
 

JNL

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otterpop said:
Due to the closeness to my eye, no local painkillers could be used.
Similar thing here... cat scratched me when I was about 6, opening up my upper lip and the doctor thought the painkiller injection would hurt more than the stitches so they just sewed it up, 3 stitches 8-! :m: 8-! I still have a small scar.
 

Gedunker

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Obviously this is going a little OT, but I beleive threads should have a life of their own:

[OT] When I was a freshman in high school, I fractured my wrist and forearm when I tackled a player (perfectly legal in soccer -aka football-- although the terminology might confuse some). In the ER the nurses came in, gave me a wad of gauze to bite and held my feet and shoulder down. The doctor raised my arm over his head and WHAM! smacked it over his knee to set the fracture. After the hot plaster was put on my arm from finger tips to armpit, he told me they'd need to x-ray it to be sure they got it right. I told him that he'd better have got it right because he wouldn't get another chance :-D :-D [/OT]
 
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Gedunker said:
Obviously this is going a little OT, but I beleive threads should have a life of their own:
Well, you started the thread and told your first (traumatic) memory and your worries that your child's first memory will be traumatic. Me thinks you are still on the same topic, you just misnamed the thread. :-D

I quit counting after the 11th time I had stitches. I had a green stick fracture of my right arm at age 11. Not only was I Tom Boy, but sometimes doing ordinary things like showering turned out to be seriously dangerous. :-0 (Do you really want to go there?)
 

boiker

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I can't pin-point an age.. but I remember laying on my parents brown, shag carpeting and playing with a play-skool record player.. my guess is <2 yr old.

my first traumatic memory was when i was about 4 and burned my left arm from my elbow to my shoulder on a gas grill. I remember ice packs, melted skin, and then a very, very, large scab
 

Rem

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First memory - we lived across the road from a big dairy factory. I can remember 'playing' under the parked trucks from the factory, wiping the excess grease from the drive shafts with my finger. What would I do today if I saw a 3-4 year old Remette playing under a truck? :-c

Trauma - same house as above we lived on the first floor (second storey for the Nth. Americans) with a long flight of stairs down the front with a steal bannister I used to slide down. Fell off and landed on my back. I was winded and quite panicked by it but no real damage done. I cut my leg on an opened tin of beetroot as a toddler - 3 I think. I remember being taken to the ambulance station and held down while being stitched - it was Xmas day and getting a GP wasn't on in a small country town.

Sutures (stitches) without anaesthetic - had a few, the worst was my ear - split down the middle, cartilage and all, while playing rugby. I was only making up the numbers for a lower grade team (I'd already played that day) and smashed this guy (a Canadian I think) with the plan of making him less desirous of running in my direction later in the game. The first aid officer nearly fainted and everyone that looked at it said a rude word - luckily I couldn't see it. Had to be stitched without a local because there is nowhere to put the needle in your ear. I would have settled for a general. Don't know the final tally of stitches - I stopped counting at 20.
 

DA Monkey

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Not my earliest memory, but one of my most traumatic.

I remember Mum and Dad had a huge fishtank and some really cool fish. I also remember I couldnt see much above the edge of the table the fishtank sat on, so like a normal child, I jumped up and grabbed the edge of the tank. It crashed down and gashed my leg from just below my groin to below my knee.

I can remember sitting on the ground holding my leg stuff in with my hands and our dog eating something from the pooling blood. I thought he had eaten something important and Dad says I was trying to get the dog to give it back when he found me.

I refuse to have fishtanks anywhere in my house now, and dogs are kept outside at all times and are well fed :-D

Just reading through the thread again made me wonder about which type of activities created the clearest memories - traumatic events, repetitive events, happy/good times. Most of my memories seem to belie the common understanding that traumatic or othewise outstanding events are the clearest. I seem to recall inconsequential things the most clearly - like the colour of a bike I had (not my most favourite), or the smell of the stock route on a market day.

As an adult, i always try to create a happy enjoyable environment for my kids, particularly on special days like Xmass and birthdays. In hindsight now, perhaps its the mundane things they will recall the most when I am gone. 8-!

Sorry for getting off thread a little.
 
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Rumpy Tunanator

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Slowly drifting farther out into the Gulf of Mexico while in Florida. Think I was 2 or 3. Man thats what happens when you put a kid in an inner tube and forget you left them in the ocean.
 

Planit

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Your earilest memory

We were discussing an interesting topic with some friends. We all have kids between 5 & 9 and were doing some walks down memory lane when we were that age. But then it turned...we were trying to figure out what was our first memory and at what age we were at the time.

It should go wthout saying that none of us could remember popping out of mom (thank goodness). But one of the first things I can remember is in nursery school - so 4 years old - and we were all pretending to different roles in a circus. I was a swordswallower and had this plastic collasping plastic sword. I have no idea where that could have come from, but we did go to the RB&BB Circus every year for a while (early 1960s).

Maybe I've killed too many brian cells over the years. What is your first memory and how old were you?
 

Gedunker

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Moderator note:

~Gedunker~
Merged into existing thread. Carry on.
 

ofos

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I remember waking up this morning at 4:13 a.m. That was an early memory I'd rather not have had. :D

My earliest memory is my Dad throwing me up on his shoulders and being afraid of the height or that I'd hit my head on the doorways as he walked around. I never got over the fear of heights.
 

Masswich

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Its always hard with early memories to tell how much of it is true and how much is created, either from dreams or from being told over and over again that something happened.

I have a (real or reconstructed) memory of being stung by a bee when I was 2 and we lived in Oxford, England. I have a similarly dubious memory of first coming back to our home in the USA after being in the UK for a year, and seeing our house for the "first" time. Then I have a slightly more reliable memory of being 4 and in nursery school - typical church basement model.

After 5 the memories get firmer. So now that my son is 5+ I am being much more careful with what memories of me he will retain...
 

dandy_warhol

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My earliest "real" memory is our trip to Cali when I was 4. I can remember being excited that I got the entire middle section of our row to myself so I could lie down. I also have snippets of Dumbo flying overhead while at Disneyland.
 

Richmond Jake

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My mom's. I was breastfeed.


Oh....memory. I first read "mammary."
Never mind. :-$
 

johnelsden1

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Burning my hand on the toaster around age 2

Getting thrown out of kindergarten at age 5 (I must not have liked it!)

Running from school to home during a fire drill, 1st grade
 

southsideamy

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Going to Baskin-Robins with my Dad -- eating off a pink spoon there and sitting in the chairs with the table attached. I was probably 3. I also remember being in the car while my grandparents picked my mom up at the hospital after she had my brother....3 1/2.
 

Jazzman

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My earliest memory - first day of Kindergarten (age 5), and having my teachers and fellow classmates ask me why I couldn't speak English properly :(
 
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