I am always getting questions from my kids about what they did as babies and toddlers. Their memory of what they did seems to kick in at around 3 or 4 years old, so for them what happened before is the stuff of legend and hearsay.
With this in mind, when Beans was born I not only kept an up-to-date photo album for her, I did as my mother did for me and purchased a baby book with places to record firsts, store locks of hair, and note details of the first couple of years. But something my mother did for me in addition was to sit down at the typewriter on several occasions and type up notes about some of the things I was doing and saying in my first year or two. Growing up, I relished taking that book off the shelf and looking at the copy of my birth announcement, my hospital anklet, and the onionskin sheets tucked into the pages of the book.
Beans, being the first child, got a small novel written about her (in the neighborhood of 50 pages or so). Peach, as the second, has about 25 pages, Banana about 5, and I haven’t written a word about Bill yet. (But I will.) There is something satisfying about collecting all that information for the kids to read about themselves later, as though when I print them out and tuck them into their baby books, I am finishing a chapter I helped write about their lives. This, plus the fact that no matter what happens to me, they’ll know they were early walkers, late teethers, and as sweet and hilariously funny as can be.