Category Archives: milestones

Drawing a Blank

On an April 9th in the 1980s, I received what I thought was the greatest birthday present ever: a baby sister born the day before my second birthday. Decades later, I still hold the same opinion.

I tend to remember random events and stories and experiences in vivid detail for a very long time. A couple years ago, my mom (ever the scientist) quizzed me to see how far back I could remember. I was able to recall an entire conversation I had with a family friend before I was two. As I rummaged through my memories, looking for milestones, I grew puzzled. “Mom, I don’t remember going to the hospital to see Sara when she was born. I remember Sally* still in her package but I have no memory of going to the hospital and I know I was excited about seeing her.”

A sheepish look crept across Mom’s face, “Oh. Um, there’s a reason for that.”

“What, you didn’t let me go?”

“Well, you had a cold so when Dad went home [from the hospital after Sara was born], I told him to give you 1/2 teaspoon** of Dimetapp. When he brought you to the hospital, you looked worse. You were kind of lethargic and your eyes were a little glazed. I thought you might have meningitis or something and thought to myself, ‘Oh, no, we’re all going to be in the hospital!’ I asked Dad if he gave you the Dimetapp. He said, ‘Yes.’ I asked, ‘How much?’

‘1/2 tablespoon.’**

So you don’t remember because you were overdosed on cold medicine.”

Units matter, people.

*Sally was the doll I received the next day. She is on the far right in the earliest picture of Sara and me.

**Edited because my mom says it was 1/2 teaspoon/tablespoon instead of 2.

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