I’m a person who has memories from a very young age. It’s kind of surprising from a psychological standpoint because my childhood was pretty traumatic. I remember once being in my mother’s arms and hearing her tell my father that his raised voice ‘made the baby cry.’
When I was a very young child, anything I didn’t like I referred to as “poo poo.” My mom never corrected me likely because she was happy I wasn’t saying crap or shit like she did. I think she thought poo poo was harmless.
Then we got a new babysitter. She was ancient in my eyes. Probably at least 39. She looked old! I mean, when I was 3 my mom was 24. Even at 3 I did not like this woman. Our dog Heidi was allowed under the kitchen table when we ate our meals and the four of us little girls would swing our bare feet over her fur. She loved it. She also loved the crumbs and other goodies that would drop from the table during our meals. This lady hated Heidi and would not let her under the table and if I remember correctly, I think she kicked her once. I was livid, but I was only 3 and the old bitch was 39. What could I do?
One day I called something I hated poo poo. She grabbed me by my wrists and said that if I ever said that again God was going to do something very, very bad to me immediately. (Great caregiving ….eh?) (Yes, “eh,” my grandmother was Canadian.) I did not for a second believe her but I had to prove it to myself. When she let go of my wrists I turned toward my bedroom and walked away. “Yes, have a good cry about it,” she called after me.
Uh, no. That’s not what I did. I went as deeply into a cluttered and disorganized (beyond belief) closet in the pitch black, made myself comfortable on a pile of clothes on the floor and whispered, “poo poo.” And then I waited. Nothing bad happened. I emerged from the closet and I waited all afternoon and nothing bad happened.
I never trusted that woman to begin with but now I knew she was a liar.