What Is Your Earliest Memory?

rani's picture

I am trying to remember what is the earliest event in my life that I remember. Sure enough, I don't really remember myself being a baby in a diaper. But there are some remnants of memory in my brain that, I'm sure, happened before I was five years old. Some events even happened before I was three year old because I could remember them, even graphically, mainly because of a significant time marker in those events. Those events are as follows:

I remember my maternal grandfather passed away. This happened when I was about 2-3 year old and my sister was just a few months old. This might be the earliest memory that I could remember graphically in my brain. I remember approaching my grandpa's body in the living room of his house and my aunt told me that grandpa was just sleeping and that he was going to some faraway place to be "repaired". From then on, I believed that my grandpa will return to our family after the reparation is complete. A few years later, when I was in kindergarten or primary school, my grandpa's younger brother came to my house for a visit. He really looked like my own grandpa, so I told him, "Hey, you're back! Grandpa has been repaired!". Of course everybody laughed at me, but I swear I was being damn serious about my statement at that time. From then on, my grandpa's brother always addressed himself as the "repaired grandpa".

I remember my old house in Bandung, in Jalan Wastukencana no. 4. Our family moved out of this house when I was about three or four year old, and if I could remember something from my old house, that must be before I was four. I could remember three events there:

  • I remember standing up on family dining table during dinner, and my older brothers and sisters was about to scold me when my dad told them not to, because I didn't understand what I was doing. I also remember trying out chili sauce for the first time in my life and cried because of it.
  • I remember playing with an Ambonese lady, Tante Inne, who rented a room in that old house. I remember watching TVRI with her, and the song Potong Bebek Angsa was playing on TV with static slideshow of ducks illustration. Then my mom popped into the TV room to pick me up for dinner.
  • I remember taking a stroll around the city hall. My old house was just across Bandung city hall. After the stroll, we went to a house of an Indonesian chinese old couple, who happened to sell candy and sweets. The grandfather gave me free candy and I beamed.

I also remember moving out from my old house to a new house in Jalan Riau. I remember playing on the stack of kapuk mattresses that are waiting to be put into the individual room with my sister. We rolled the mattress to make a pipe-like tunnel and ran into it.

Those are the five significant events from before I was four year old, that are still etched into my memory vividly.

What is your earliest memory?


Earliest Memory?

It made work hard try to remember it. First I was less than 2 years when dad took me out to watch tv for the first time in Kalurahan Office. He put me on his shoulder so I can see the screen which about 10m away. I watched it with hundreds other people. Another memory might when I was peeling peanuts and one of them stuck on my nose so mum had to take me to hospital. Another memories had to be confirm first :)


I think my earliest memory is when I started to walk. My proud parents, I guess, wanted to show the whole world that their baby could walk already, so they bought me a pair of plastic shoes that whistle. You know, the ones with whistles inside each soles, so that with every step I make, everyone will give me that strange adoring adult look.

I was too young and untrained to put my own shoes on, so my parents had to do it for me. Then they told me to try walking in them. I can't remember what I felt when they put the new shoes on my feet, but I remember exactly what I felt when I started walking on it: I was confused. I couldn't make sense of the sound I make everytime I step forward. Step: tweet! Step again: another tweet! I think by the third step, I realized I was being toyed around.

Not really. I didn't feel that bad. I just felt that it was ridiculous that whenever I stepped forward my shoe let out a stupid tweet. So I started investigating what was happening, and with my awkward baby movement, I think I lifted up one leg (this might have been another new skill back then) - or perhaps just leaned to one side to reveal the little hole somewhere on my sole. I started to try reaching down to take the whistles out, but before I managed to learn this yet another skill, my parents got the picture. I think one of them, I don't remember which, said to me, ah, you don't like the whistle, don't you? I shook my head. So they kindly took the whistles out.

It's not that I definitely didn't like them. I was just feeling quite strange with the whistles. I think I didn't even know what it should feel like when I dislike something. I think I didn't have any preference, or at least I didn't realize those preferences yet. I think that shoes incident was one of the very first moments (at least in my memory) that my parents actually gave name to a feeling. I learned 'dislike'.

That's my earliest memory - I don't know exactly at what age I started to walk, but it was quite early. I learned from my parents that I talked earlier than I walk - so I might have been saying too many nonsense already before I could even remember anything. Hehe.

I also remember other things from the time when I was under 4 year-old - mostly of learning new things. I used to take an afternoon nap in the living room where my mother was giving piano lessons - I remember having a colourful toy-phone next to me. I also remember moving to a new house and saw primitive people (like the ones illustrated as living in caves in history books) working around it. Also, I remember how I really liked to use the scissors to cut things - I also liked the sound. I would make square holes on my skirt with scissors - once I was standing close to my mother when she was doing the laundry, and she mumbled to herself: I wonder why are there always so many tiny holes on your skirts ... - I told her: I cut them with scissors.


My first memory is of my third birthday party. I was dressed up because we took family pictures that day. That's the earliest thing I can remember.


I remember making poo poo in my pants. Gooey!


the house in front of mine was burned. it was 4 a.m. i can't remember my age. around 3. i still remember most of things at that age. can't really remember which one when, though.

its hard to remember what

its hard to remember what your EARLIEST memory is, especially since so much of your childhood is told to you over and over and over by relatives. that being said, do we remember what we are TOLD or what we EXPERIENCED?

I am the first child so I'm

I am the first child so I'm lucky enough to get more exposure from my grandparents, uncles and aunts.

I still remember when I was still in my aunt's arm, she brought me around the front yard of a decent house that my parents rented during the first few years of their marriage. We watched some neighbours passing by outside the yard's fence until finally my aunt talked to me in Javanese: "ayuk kondur" means "let's go home". I surprised and thought "what home? Isn't this is still part of the home?". Then I found that she meant "let's go inside the house". I am not sure how old I was, but I only got my first sibling when I was 2 an we moved out of that house when I was 4 years old.

Good question

Jeff Gordon expressed a very good thought "do we remember what we are TOLD or what we EXPERIENCED?"
Well, I think that if our memory from the early age is a bit (or a lot :)) different from what our parents/grand parents tell us, this memory has more chances to be real, experienced.
As to me I have quite a lot of early memories. Though I'm not sure which one refers to which period of my life. Probably, will ask my mom... :)

I believe if the memory is vivid and not eventful it's real

I have very vivid memories as a 2 year old, and 2 and a half. I remember getting my diaper changed and playing a game with my mom when she said "legs up!" I put them up, but them giggled and put them down real quick when she went to clean me. I thought I was Jerry Seinfeld. I did this numerous times. I also remember my mom, a nurse, never making a big deal of diaper changing, but one time it was really bad and she sort of laughed / gagged and turned away, and again, I thought this was hilarious and laughed and laughed! I remember waking up in my crib and looking out at the window just staring and staring at the tree tops. I remember asking my mom (without thinking) while my family and I were walking in the mall after church, near the fake tree seating area and the Red Owl, that was shut down a short time later, "mom, caaaarryyy me!" and right as I finished saying it, I said, without hesitation, ooops, I forgot! I know, mom can't carry me because she is pregnant!" I thought my parents would be mad for asking that she carry me, but they thought it was cute that I remembered and checked myself, so my dad then carried me. I am 2 and a half years older than my sister (who was in mom's belly) at the time. There's lots more, but I really think childhood memories can be real and vivid and just the same as memories of an adult. It just depends upon the child, the memories, etc.

My Earliest Memory

I was 3 years and almost 2 months old and I remember an experience while living on Martha's Vineyard in Sept 1944 when the great atlantic hurricane hit the island. I recall going outside the house and seeing boats washed up on the land. I recall a policeman who rode a horse on the island. I recall going to a grocery store and my mother buying oleo and coming home and mixing in an orange powder that colored the oleo yellow. Sometime after the hurricane I remember taking a ship down to NewPort News, Va to live.

I remember these 2 vividly:

#1: being in a playdate with a friend across the street named sophie. I remember watching her getting her diaper changed form the floor. I was 1 1/2

#2: I remember being 2 or so and i was looking at myself in a puddle after a rain, I was wearing pull-ups. My babysitter came outside and said with a scrunched nose: "Atlas go to the bathroom!" I then remember being put back in a diaper and was wearing overalls the rest of the day.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.