Earliest memory

She lay in her cot listening to the sounds drift up from the rooms below
The radio was playing as usual and her Mummy and Daddy sounded busy.

Preparing food, by the clanging and chopping sounds? She listened harder… no sound of her brother. he was probably running an errand.

Outside the big St Bernard puppy, Lassie, yawning and whining noisily as she bumped about in the little yard, she’d grown massive in her dog house/garage.

She looked again at the doll placed in the cot with her. She did not love it at all, it was hard bodied and cold, with black wiry curly hair and black eyelashes that stuck out oddly of the clunky mechanical rolling eyelids.
She’d tried hard to pull those eyelashes out! Tiny toddler fingers pulling them down, desperately trying  to cover those hard glassy eyes. Brown deep-set kaleidoscopic eyes that frightened her.

She lay paralysed in the cot, not wanting the attention of the evil spy dolly or particularly of the grown ups downstairs.
After a while she heard her brother return,
She knew he was back because of the change of tone in her Daddy’s voice from jovial sing-song to harsh barracking.

She hoped he’d be nice to her…

~ My parents ran a catering business from home, for the early part of my childhood. ~

~ My “big” brother would be sent on foot to the warehouse to pick up drums of oil and other bits of catering stuff.~


Silent witness

There seems to be a misunderstanding or perhaps it’s a vain hope, that a small child will bury a painful memory or be “too young to understand” and perhaps that has held some truth for some children.

Personally I never bothered to do that.
My childhood memories were actual experiences, life lessons and as such have always stuck with me.

It seems crazy to think I would have wanted to suppress them anyway, when they are the very things that made me.

I’ve always felt that remembering is what kept me relatively safe, as the years rolled on.

Though my watchfulness and wariness was mistaken for “being quiet” reluctance to speak put down as “being shy” it was simply because I didn’t want to engage, I didn’t want to be noticed.

My parents had always displayed odd and quite nasty behaviour, directed at my older brother whom I of course loved unconditionally.
My Father frightened us, my Mother never put him in his place.

Even if I didn’t understand fully, what had happened to cause the row or why, I didn’t like to see my big brother reduced to tears. Yet If I cried out of fearfulness, they blamed him for that too.

Then off they would go, to wherever it was they went. Leaving us kids alone together for a few hours.

The house would be a tinder pot full of unresolved issues.

My brother had got into the habit of treating me like a safe old reliable dog. He would sit with me, both of us crouched together on the floor, him a picture of abject misery sobbing his heart out, telling me, his tiny silent sister, all his problems and troubles, pouring out his resentment against both parents.

He never expected a reply. I’m pretty sure I never gave one.
Then when he was all cried out it was never mentioned again, ever!