Plinky asked me to write about my earliest memory – so I did. I was very small, no more than 14 months old…
Everything is so big! It towers over me and I am having to hold on tight. My fingers are curled through the wire mesh of the old fireguard; it stops me getting hold of those lovely china dogs of my mother’s, the ones that look like they want to play. Looking around I want to climb up on the speckly grey rocking chair and rock really hard so I feel like I am going to fly away and the room jumps and judders around me. It’s funny and makes me laugh. I slide about in the seat and that’s a bit scary but in a nice way.
Today I can’t reach the seat because I’m on my own. The standard lamp is behind it but it’s not switched on. The cream lampshade has a pretty red band and there are tassels hanging down. It would be fun to swish them; they feel soft and silky. I can’t reach them either, even if I could stand on the rocking chair.
There are some toys on the floor. I played with them earlier, so I’m bored with them. Anyway, I can never make the spinning top work. My daddy has to do it, and he makes it go really fast until it whistles at me. It’s great when he does it but he’s not here now. There’s the hammer and shapes to knock into holes. But really, once you’ve done it a few times, it feels a bit boring. Sometimes I like to bang the shapes into their holes but mostly it’s more about the noise.
I’m alone in this big room. I can’t reach anything interesting. I want to walk over to the doorway but when I let go of the fireguard I can’t move my legs properly. I don’t want to crawl. I want to walk!
Then I screw up my face and yell in frustration, and probably a little bit of loneliness, and possibly even a smidgeon of anxiety. Because I am alone in a big room. And my mother rushes in and picks me up, high in the air. I still can’t quite reach the tassels though, but I can see us in the mirror.