Things inexplicably remembered from childhood

I read this poem in Boys Life back in the 60’s:

The Thunder God went for a ride
Upon his favorite philly.
“I’m Thor!”, he cried.
The horse replied,
“You forgot your thaddle, thilly!”

And for some reason, out of all the things I must of read in that mag, it stuck. No idea why.

I think my earliest memory was about age 3, getting out of my bed (think I still had guardrails, but I could be wrong) and going over to sleep in my parents bed. My dad had a large mole on his back that hung down much like a punching bag and I can remember hitting it with my fingers and marveling at such a thing, while my dad (rest his wonderful soul) never turned around or said anything.

For some reason I remember my parents going out to see the movie MASH. I had to have been extremely young at the time. Maybe it stuck with me because they couldn’t afford to go out much.

These are the two leading candidates for my earliest clear and specific memory:

•My dad is describing something to my mom; we’re in the kitchen where we lived in grad student housing when my dad was a grad student and I was 3. He tells her something was going “drip… drip… drip”. I wasn’t paying much attention before that but when he dramatized the slow dripping (which in retrospect was probably the water heater, which was located in the kitchen), it fascinated me and I interrupted after a moment or two: “Daddy you went drip drip drip”. And he looked back and me and said “I did?” then continued his conversation with my mom, and it irritated me because I wanted him to EXPLAIN the “drip…drip…drip” thing and it annoyed me that he didn’t understand that that’s what I meant. That’s probably why I remembered it, why it stuck in my head.

  • Me, my girlfriend Susan, and my baby sister were playing in the sandbox and my sister peed, then started crying and ran into the house to get changed. Susan and I stared at the wet spot in the sand then mutually decided the proper thing to do was to make mud pies from it, and proceeded to do so. Also 3 years old.

Bookmark poem about bad library behavior:

Silly Willy laughed and giggled
Didn’t read but squirmed and wiggled
Bothered all the ones about him
Then wondered why they left without him

Last time I read it was maybe 30 years ago.

Read it in a book of jokes and riddles called Laughsville, USA decades ago. Stuck with me, too.

It was one of two events when I was 3 or 4 (1952-3)

  1. My family got for the first time a can of aerosal whipped cream. My dad held it over my sister’s dessert but rather than pinting it straight down held the can horizontally. I assume he thought it woudl pour out.

Of course instead it shot straight out and hit me in the face and the wall behind me.

  1. My sister and several cousins were standing on a dock in a lake in Michigan watching a sea plane land and taxi toward the shore. I got bumped off the dock into the water. I recall distincly being under teh water and looking up at the light from the sky.

I resurfaced and one cousin grabbed my hand and started to pull me out. My oldest cousin (10 years older than me) said, “No use take both hands.” He grabbed my other hand and they pulled me out. He then picked me up and ran me back to my parents as I cried.

I think the first one is a bit older. I remember the second one more distinctly. I don’t know if that’s becuase I was older then or becuase it was more traumatic.

At age 5, I had a crush on my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Haig. I recall a very detailed sex dream I had about her. During class she called me up from my seat and demanded that I climb up on her desk. She then pulled down my pants and underpants and pushed me down into a frog-like squat atop her desk, with my bottom facing the class. She then proceeded to draw pictures on my bare bottom with a magic marker while teaching the class. It gave me a very warm feeling. A very warm feeling, indeed.

It was the night after that incident that I had my dream.

…Just kidding :D, that was the dream. Afterward, I kept hoping IRL that Mrs. Haig would call me to the front of the class and reenact what she did in my dream. But, alas, she did not (the little cock-tease). Things got worse in 1st grade; my 1st grade teacher was smokin’ hot.

50 years later, I’m still hoping some woman will draw on my bare bottom in front of a class, even if it’s Betty White, using an exacto-knife (or perhaps, especially if it’s Betty White using an exacto-knife).

When I was in first or second grade, we didn’t have a phone for a while. There was a pay phone in front of a motel about a block away that we’d use when we needed it. One day, I had a friend over and she needed to call her parents to get a ride home, so off to the pay phone we went. When we got there, there was a man talking on it already. After a couple of minutes, he said to whoever was on the other end, “I have to go now. There’s two boys here waiting to use the phone.”

We looked at each other, puzzled. Couldn’t he see that we were clearly girls? He was certainly joking but it went way over our heads back then.

Across from our apartment building was a botanical garden. Between the sidewalk and the greenhouse was a large pond containing large goldfish. Crossing the pond was a stone walkway, leading to the door of the greenhouse. Someone was pushing me in an old brown stroller (there were broken pieces of wicker sticking out), and as we crossed the walkway, I looked to either side, watching the goldfish.

We moved from that apartment building before I was a year old. I’ve since verified the details with both my mother and my aunt. I have no idea how I could remembrer all those details from such an early age.

The interesting thing about so many early memories is that they are so inexplicable: why remember that particular, seemingly trivial, event so clearly, when everything around it has faded from memory?

One of my earliest memories is of watching a particular episode of Doctor Who. I don’t remember much about it, just that the Doctor was a white-haired old man, and that there were little dome-like robots called Chumblies that I was immediately entranced by, in the way small children are.

For decades, I had no idea why I should remember that particular programme, or even how accurate my memory was. It was only a few years ago that I was able to look it up online, and discover that what I was remembering was the first episode of Galaxy 4 – which, it turned out, was broadcast the evening my little brother was born.

I don’t have any other memories of what you would imagine would be – even for a not-quite-three-year-old – a significant event, but at least I know what I was watching on the telly at the time.

When I was quite young, Dad demonstrated his high-tech polygraph machine on me for the first time and it astounded me (and scared me a little).

It consisted of a length of black thread, ~12", threaded onto a sewing needle (dutifully supplied by Mom).

I was told to lay my left hand on the table (parallel to the frontal plane of my body) and suspend the needle and thread with my right thumb and index finger a couple of inches above the fingers of my left hand. Then I was told to try very hard to *not *swing the needle.

Dad explained that after asking me a question, the needle would slowly begin to swing in one direction or the other and that the direction of the swing would determine the correct response to the “yes” / “no” questions asked. If the needle swung along the long axis of my fingers, the answer was “yes”; if it swung perpendicular, the answer was, “no.” I was wary, but game to try this lie detector thing.

It turns out, I should have retained a lawyer first. Incredibly, the “device” was 100% accurate and it was quickly used as a tool against me.

Dad: "Is your name, “Tibby?”; [needle swings “yes”]; “Are you a monkey?”; [needle swings “no”]; "Do you have a dog named, Pookie?" [needle swings “yes”]; “Did you spill a can of paint on the basement floor?” […needle swings…“yes”]; AH HA! Caught you!

I tried this technique on my daughters when they were young. They just poked me with the needle.

I was probably 3 or 4 years old. My dad took me down to a seaplane dock to pick up a guy that was coming in on a flight.

As the float plane coasted up to the dock, the pilot got out and was standing at the front of the pontoon to prevent the plane from hitting the dock too hard. He took a step forward and bent down, just as the propeller was making it’s last turn. It caught him on the back of his head, splitting it open and throwing him into the water.

Needless to say he was dead.

I don’t think it ever had a real negative affect on me, though I’m not really sure. It is still quite vivid in my mind and something I will probably never forget.

Reminds me of another memory. In the second grade a girl beside me was talking and annoyed the teacher to the point where she stormed over to her, pulled her her out of her desk, lifted her skirt and spanked her pantied bottom. Right in front of the whole class.

Now obviously the reason I remember this event isn’t much of a mystery but it sure did leave me with a lingerie fetish!

My earliest memory is of a girl being killed (her throat was cut). It’s always stuck in my head and I can describe it very clearly and accurately. For many years I thought it (the memory) was from some horror movie I watched when I was very young where I was able to remember that memorable scene, but not the rest of the story. Eventually, I discovered it had been a real event.

One day when I was 3, I heard my dad coming home from work, and I stopped what I was doing and ran to meet him (I don’t remember doing this every day, but for some reason, I did this day). I was off-balance, misjudged the archway I was trying to run through, and tried to run through a solid plaster wall with my forehead. In the matter of seconds it took Mom to get to me, so they told me, a lump the size of an egg was already forming, and then came the shades of alarming purple and yellow. Obviously a severe concussion, though I remained conscious (and screaming, of course). I don’t remember what they did to treat me, or whether a doctor was involved, but this I swear - that was 52 years ago, and I still sometimes feel that impact reverberating in my head.

Stupid accidental connection reset doublepost.

My earliest memory was of my grandmother washing my hair. I had just had my 3rd birthday and I was staying with my grandmother while my mother was in the hospital (having a miscarriage as I learned in later years). My grandfather hadn’t yet retired and was gone dring the week, so it was just my grandmother and me. She picked me up and laid me on the kitchen counter, on my back, with my head on the edge of the sink. I remember laughing at such a funny way to wash my hair! I can still feel the enamel-coated lip of the sink on the back of my neck. She wet down my hair with the spray attachment on the sink, washed the hair, and then poured a cup of apple cider vinegar over my hair, briefly spraying it with cold water afterward. Then she lifted me down. I can remember smelling like vinegar for a couple of days afterwards.

I asked my mother later about why the vinegar? She told me that was an old-timey way to add shine to hair.