Ev has had wood animal magnets for about a year now that we pull out to keep him busy when he is in the kitchen with one or both of us. Three of those magnets have been missing for almost as long as we’ve had them, but their absence has gone unnoticed by Ev, so why mention it?
During his most recent magnet play, Ev discovered that on the bottom of the container that held the animal magnets there was a picture of each animal included. We proceeded to match each animal on the bottom of the container to each animal hanging on the dishwasher. But there was no tiger, pig or horse. I felt it necessary to come clean and tell him about the missing animals. I told him I believed them to be under the fridge. We talked about how we could get the magnets and after several failed attempts with our fingers, Dad moved the fridge. Lo and behold, under the fridge was the tiger, pig and horse. Ev got his magnets, we talked about what animals they were and added them to the collection on the dishwasher.
A few days later, Ev and I were in the kitchen. The magnets were placed haphazardly on the dishwasher. Ev, seemingly to himself, pointed to the horse and, with excitement, said “horsey.” He then said, “Where’s the pig?” When he found it, he giggled and repeated this process with the tiger. To some this may not seem like a big deal, but I was shocked. I was amazed that Ev remembered which animals had gone missing.
The real shock was that Ev really does remember things. Of course at first thought of all of the things I don’t want him to remember (like my use of inappropriate language), but after my paranoia subsided, I thought about all the really fun and engaging times we have and it gives me comfort to think that Ev might remember them. I like to think that if Ev ever has a sad moment at child care when he is missing home or his parents, that he can remember some happy times. While I have been much more conscientious about the words that come out of my mouth in heated moments, realizing that Ev can remember something as simple as an exchange about his magnets reiterates the thoughts I have had all along: that our time together is special and should be treated as such.