Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Lately, I have been thinking about how our childhoods affect the outcome of our lives.  I can happily tell you that this post is not a long philosophical debate on this subject, but rather "a walk down memory lane".

My first memory is of being potty-trained.  When I say this, I don't mean the memory of learning to go to the bathroom when I have the need, but actually learning how to sit on a toilet.  I don't know how far I had progressed in potty training, but I do know that I was at that time "a big girl" enough to finally use an adult toilet for the first time.  I was standing in the only bathroom in my grandmother's old house and both my mother and my grandmother were in the room with me.  I assume that I had told them I needed to use the toilet, and they decided it was time for me to upgrade from the child-sized plastic potty trainer to the adult sized ceramic bowl of the toilet.  I remember climbing on the toilet when they asked me, and the confusion I felt when they started to laugh at me.  My grandma said, "No, that's how boys do it."  Evidently, girls aren't suppose to face the tank when they sit down to pee.

Although some people may not see this as a particularly fond or nice memory to have as my earliest memory, I don't think I would trade it for any other because it is a memory very significant to growing up, and it is a memory filled with the laughter of two of the women I love most. One person to whom I told this story commented that it was rather mean of my mother and grandmother to laugh at me. They wanted to know if this laughter set me back in my potty training. Truthfully, I have to idea whether it did or not, but I don't think it did. I have always responded much better to laughter than to yells. If they had grown angry at my foible, then I could believe that this event was an unhealthy one in my childhood, but the utter lack of hostility persuades me that this memory is one that has influenced my life in a positive manner.

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