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To be sad that my teens don't remember being toddlers?

(178 Posts)
Glastonbury2020 Sat 15-Aug-20 00:15:57

They are now 16 and 18. They don't remember the endless boring mums and tots groups, the soft play centres, the hours in the park on the swings, the 6am Postman Pat jigsaws, the play doh, the stories at bedtime, the educational songs at the library! Nothing!
They remember stupid things like a jam sandwich at nursery and punching their siblings in the paddling pool.
So much for making memories!
Was it all worth it?

OP’s posts: |
Queenoftheashes Sat 15-Aug-20 00:17:40

Guess not!

DressingGownofDoom Sat 15-Aug-20 00:18:45

All that stuff created those lovely big brains they have now.
Punching their siblings made me laugh grin

Jellycatspyjamas Sat 15-Aug-20 00:19:26

I always assume mum and baby groups, toddler groups etc are for mums benefit rather than baby, who frankly isn’t going to remember bounce and rhyme.

1Morewineplease Sat 15-Aug-20 00:21:05

Do you remember your toddlerhood? I don’t.
Children only remember the more sensory activities from toddlerhood
They won’t remember making play-doh leaf prints or a walk along a canal.

Sparklfairy Sat 15-Aug-20 00:21:14

I don't have children but I've often wondered this. But when I think about it, you were building a really strong and loving bond with your children that goes beyond individual "memories".

I do think though that if you want to do something big and expensive like Disney world, wait til they're old enough to remember (and film everything) grin

Elmo311 Sat 15-Aug-20 00:21:32

I don't have any memories until about 6 years of age! So weird.

Emeraldshamrock Sat 15-Aug-20 00:23:31

They wouldn't remember but each of those experiences made them who they are today.
The time was worth it.

missdunkindohnut Sat 15-Aug-20 00:23:38

When I try and recall my earliest memories they are usually of the most random, ‘un-special’ things, I always wonder why my brain has saved them over other stuff.

DressingGownofDoom Sat 15-Aug-20 00:23:41


I don't have children but I've often wondered this. But when I think about it, you were building a really strong and loving bond with your children that goes beyond individual "memories".

I do think though that if you want to do something big and expensive like Disney world, wait til they're old enough to remember (and film everything) grin

Yeah they love it at the time! It's nice to be in the moment with your toddler and just having fun together. Even if they don't remember it forever.

happinessischocolate Sat 15-Aug-20 00:24:01

Do you remember every enjoyable thing you've done? Surely it's about having fun and enjoying life regardless of which bits you remember.

Memories of something are often held onto by having photos and frequent reminders of things that happened. My kids are 16 and 18 and remember quite a lot because we've always talked about things we used to do in our old house.

Myothercarisalsoshit Sat 15-Aug-20 00:24:58

My son is 23 and professes not to remember anything about his childhood. None of the holidays, none of the days out, none of the books we read or the songs we sang, none of the family celebrations, christmases, birthdays. Nothing. Nada. He does, however, remember the one time I smacked (well tapped his bottom really) when he was being a doofus and running at me full pelt so I had to catch him when he should have been getting dressed. He was 2 and a half. And he remembers when we went to the paint shop to buy paint and it fell off the pushchair and spilled everywhere. I'm hoping he will grow up at some point.

Wearywithteens Sat 15-Aug-20 00:25:17

That’s why I never understood the competitive ‘mummying’ when they were that age. All the parks, toddler groups, soft play, picnics, farm visits... bored me shitless and lo and behold, it was all pointless anyway. They had as much fun in the garden with a washing up bowl full of soap suds and water!

blacktop Sat 15-Aug-20 00:26:23

I always wonder about 'making memories' when people talk about taking small children to places like Disney etc. There are always lots of posters who say there is no point doing so as the child won't remember it. That doesn't mean they didn't enjoy it at the time. Yes every single thing you did with them was worth it. It's how you help them grow and develop into the people they become.

thistimelastweek Sat 15-Aug-20 00:26:37

Well yes if these were the building blocks of a happy balanced childhood.

OP, how do you remember your own childhood? A series of worthwhile events?

Emeraldshamrock Sat 15-Aug-20 00:27:24

They'd be affected if they were frightened or mis-treated as toddlers, works the same with love they may not remember the moments but the feelings are created.

AugieMarch Sat 15-Aug-20 00:28:46

Aren’t all those toddler activities, park visits and puzzles about fostering their development - fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social skills, language skills etc - rather than making memories per se, as well as being about just letting them have fun at that stage of childhood? Sounds like it was worth it to me if they’re 16 and 18 and sharing those funny sandwich and punching memories!

GrumpyHoonMain Sat 15-Aug-20 00:29:21

Early memories and experiences are meant to be forgotten. When they aren’t it’s usually because of something really bad or powerful that has stuck with them (and potentially ruined their psyches). For example I have early memories of a clock while sleeping in a cot in a house we moved out from before I was 4. I only remember it, I think, because mum had form for leaving me in the cot as a baby so I must have been left there for hours everyday.

My sister, who mum kept beside her almost all the time, has no memories before she was 5. I think that’s how it should be.

goodwinter Sat 15-Aug-20 00:29:33

I barely remember anything from my childhood at all! Even my school years. I don't think that's particularly normal, but neither is remembering toddlerhood imho.

JemimaShore Sat 15-Aug-20 00:31:02

They may not remember it - but what you did was enrich their lives, and their brains, and their life experience, in ways that are incalculable.

I was pretty shocked recently when DD didn't remember a massive family holiday to Turkey - because it was just so fantastic. She had a BALL. But she was only 3.5yrs - but having so much love & fun shapes kid's personalities in a big way.

Be proud - even if they don't remember it, or thank you for it. Parenting is often a pretty thankless task grin

JemimaShore Sat 15-Aug-20 00:37:49

*Just to say - her big brothers do remember that holiday - they - to quote them - just loved the restaurant at the end of the road because it had a Wii console that they were allowed to pay on while we waited for dinner, and they were allowed diet coke grin

Owleyes16 Sat 15-Aug-20 00:39:09

I remember virtually nothing about my entire life except the traumatic things. I don't even remember much from holidays I had 2, 3 years ago. Before that I haven't got a clue. My DP's earliest memory is from when he was a baby, so young that he says he saw it in greyscale supposedly! But it is accurate, his mum was suprised to hear it and confirmed it to be correct.

But memories aren't really that important, it's the development, the love, the neural pathways formed that are important.

itsamadmadworld Sat 15-Aug-20 00:40:48

I know my little one isn't going to remember me blowing up 40 balloons for her first birthday, or riding around in her car thing, but it will be strengthening her brain playing with these things and being taught through this (she has figured out how to change the music in the car and how to control the remote herself and we counted the balloons up to ten). It all helps. Same way they won't remember you holding their hands to strengthen their legs to get them walking yet they can walk now. It is frustrating thinking of how much money has been spent and how much time and effort has gone into those things and it isn't remembered but it is worth it for different reasons.
I remember my mum being beaten up when I was a baby, just the sounds thank god, but that's probably because of how scary it was and how often it happened during my first year (including when I was in her arms 😡). I don't remember the days to the beach with the inflatables or many of the trips to the park, I know they happened but I don't remember and whilst that probably upsets her a little i like to think it shows I had a mainly happy childhood where days like that were so commonplace it didn't need to be stored.

HopelessSemantics Sat 15-Aug-20 00:41:04

I'm not sure it matters that they remember it. The point is to build a strong relationship and take care of their needs in that moment so that they view you as a stable and loving presence.

Deadringer Sat 15-Aug-20 00:43:44

What makes me sad is that now that my dc are grown up, I can barely remember their toddler years. I mean i remember holidays etc, just not a lot of the everyday stuff, it all just flew by.

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