Ever notice that your kid’s brain has an inordinate amount of space for the truly mundane details of their lives, yet little space for critical information like “Where are your shoes?” (“I don’t remember!”) or “What’s our address?” (“Calgary!”)? My preschooler struggles daily with the things I repeat to him all the time—like to close his water bottle before putting it back in his backpack or to remember to wash his hands after using the bathroom—and yet remembers with crystal clarity these inconsequential (to me) details of his thus-far short life.
Things My Preschooler Can’t Remember and Things I Wish He’d Forget
I wish he’d forget pretty much any promise I make in an attempt to get him to do something. I wish he’d remember basically anything I ask him to do.
I wish he’d forget that YouTube is a Pandora’s box of ridiculous un-boxing videos, bizarre and crudely drawn animated vignettes featuring Elsa and Spider-Man and horrifically irritating songs about “Daddy fingers.” I wish he’d just remember where he put the bloody Apple TV remote!
I wish he’d forget the time he saw a girl at Value Village with a Ninjago book in her hands, and how that girl’s mom bought her the book even though he wanted me to buy it for him. He cries fresh tears over this tragedy at bedtime some nights. I wish he’d remember that by some kind of dumb luck we found another Ninjago book on the shelf that day, and I bought it for him. (But it wasn’t the one he wanted and he hasn’t picked it up since.)
I wish he’d forget the time we were using the self-checkout at the library and he pressed “NO” to whether or not he wanted a receipt ticket when he did, in fact, want a receipt ticket and there was nothing I could do to make a receipt ticket come out so he had to cry all the way home. He reminds me of how I didn’t tell him which button to press and ruined his life every time we go to the library. I wish he would remember that I spent a lot of money on an actual ticket for him to ride on Thomas the Train—something he hasn’t brought up again … ever.
I wish he’d forget how I told him about the time when I was pregnant and pooped my pants in the elevator because I couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time—something I told him in the strictest confidence to make him feel better about having an accident of his own. He remembered the story six months later and turned it into a song which he sang at the top of his lungs while walking on a crowded pathway one weekend. Chorus: “Mommy pooped in her pants!” I wish he’d remember the stories I’ve told him about the consequences of being mean to one’s siblings.
I wish he’d forget the time when one of his buddies pressed the crosswalk button before him and we couldn’t unpress it so it made him really angry. To this day, when we pass that crosswalk he laments this injustice with visible and vocal anguish. I wish he’d remember the names of his buddies at preschool so I know which parents they belong to.
I wish he’d forget the “funny” lyrics that his father taught him to the Ghostbusters song. (“An invisible man, sleeping with your wife. Who you gonna call?”) I wish he’d remember the lyrics to the songs he learns at school so I that I am not admonished for not being able to sing for him.
I wish he’d forget that he wants a “Minecraft umbrella” for Christmas, because I don’t think this is something that actually exists. I wish he could remember where he saw this “Minecraft umbrella,” if it is a real umbrella or a virtual umbrella, or if he just made it up. (It is not, by the way, a regular umbrella with Minecraft designs on it, nor is it a Minecraft pickaxe which could, in profile be mistaken for an umbrella.)
I wish he’d forget whatever piece of interesting scenery I point out while we are driving but that he has the misfortune of missing. I wish he’d remember that no, I cannot just turn the car around on the highway so he can see it.
What things do your children refuse to forget? (Or never remember?)