Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: The other day I asked my five-year-old about the music class I took him to every week for two years -- he had no memory of it all. Then I asked him about the babysitter I fired because I came home one day to find her washing her car out on the street while he stood and watched behind a gate. I was sure he'd be damaged for life by this neglect. He had no idea who I was referring to.
When he was a toddler I expanded my son's palate daily with avocado and kale and hummus and turkey sausage. Now all he'll eat is pizza and macaroni cheese -- and sometimes he'll choke down a fish stick. Why did I work so hard to educate and nurture my baby if two years later he has childhood amnesia?
If they don't remember anything we do for them from zero to three, why make the effort?
When I'm really tired (most days now) I wonder what would have happened if I didn't give my oldest any of the care and attention I do. Then I remember some urban myth about babies who aren't touched being unable to receive love as adults.
But if babies don't go to "Music Together" will they still have music appreciation later in life? And what about my son's other "issues"? Maybe I should use this memory loss to my advantage. When he refuses to eat anything green, now with his usual defense, "But I HAVE tried it Mom and I don't like it!" I can respond with, "No you haven't Gabriel, I've never fed you spinach before, it's only for grown up boys." Then he'll eagerly grab the fork out of my hand and shove it down his gullet like Popeye! In my dreams ...
Maybe I never should have bathed him at all either. Then bathing would be exciting!
"Moooom, please can I take a bath, PLEASE" my son would beg, grease from his unwashed, four-year-old hair dripping down his forehead into his eyes. "All the other kids get to take baths, come on MOM!!"
As much as I'd like to, I don't think I'll try this on my baby. I guess the early years of parenting are like going to college. You pull a lot of all-nighters, you have no idea if it's going to matter in life, and make sure you experiment with as much drugs and alcohol as you can.
I kid, I kid.