The Memory Box bias

One of the unwritten rules to being a parent is the one where you become a vessel for your children’s memories.  As they get older they start retaining some of their own, but they will forget a lot of them, and anything under 5 it’s unlikely to be remembered.

Of course they will always claim they remember, when in actual fact it’s been a “story” in the family and repeated to them so many times they mistake the retelling as their own memory. Inevitable really.

The other thing I do (and I know many parents do) is I keep a memory box for my children.  Every few years I go through it again and whittle it down because with the passing of years and the accumulation of more things, you can be more flippant with what you keep and don’t keep.

Up until now these boxes have been cobbled together from all sorts of delivery boxes and I recently bought two big plastic tubs so I can keep everything together.

So here are the two boxes.  The one on the left is my 7 year old daughters and the one on the right is my 4 year old son.

memory boxes

You will have noticed that one is substantially fuller than the other one, in fact, more full than what befits a 3 year age gap.

I feel so bad.

Daughter’s box is completely full.

So, now I’m going to reel off a few excuses as to why.

Firstly, I think I may have another little box somewhere with the 4 year olds birth cards.  I must. Surely. Secondly, he’s only just started drawing stuff by himself.  The 7 year old was doing that from the age of 2 and was producing at least 10 pieces of artwork a day from the age of 4 until she was 6.

Thirdly, I think I’m a rubbish mum.

I’m sharing this because unfortunately my son is suffering from 2nd child syndrome.  Apart from swimming he has no other clubs or after school activities, he never goes to theatre shows with us, let’s face it, he’s neglected.

I’ll need to make a concerted effort to try and fix this wrong and start adding to the poor boy’s memory box quick smart.  Otherwise there may be no doubt in his eyes when the question gets asked “who’s your favourite, mummy?”


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