Friday, December 10, 2010

The Great Escape

Where do all the braincells go when you have a baby... or two... or... more? Are they stored away in some sad little neurological file somewhere? Are they escaping via breastmilk? Did I just get way too boring for them, and they jumped ship?

It is now imperative that I have a system in place for certain things like, say, cooking. For example, I have to set the oven timer, even when using the stove, otherwise I'd destroy every meal that I cook. It took a lot of over-boiled pasta and over-steamed veggies to learn that something had to be done. But, my lack of brain power is not limited to the stove. I quite often place perishables in the cupboards, and put cleaning products in the fridge. One time, I was actually laying in bed about to fall asleep, when I suddenly remembered that I had gone to Trader Joe's earlier in the day, and it was all still in the back of the car... let's just say that a few things had to be thrown out.

It seems that the only things that I don't forget are my children. That's a plus, eh?

One of the most annoying things that challenges what's left of my braincells, is when I drop Ariel off at school, through the valet drop-off. I always get nervous because there are so many steps for my slow, tired brain to remember, and, of course, I don't know how to use all of the features on our semi-new minivan. Did you know that if I unlock my car while driving, it will re-lock itself within a few minutes if I don't open a door? Did you know that if I don't have it in park, the auto-sliding doors won't open? That's a great safety feature, by the way. Fantastic.

Did you know that this is too challenging for me to comprehend on most mornings?

This is how a bad morning with the valet, for me, unfolds: I unlock the doors while waiting in line, so that it's checked off my list. The babies are usually crying because they hate being in their car seats, and Aurora is whining something along the lines of "I want to be a big girl, too." or "I want a lollipop!" So, I pull up to the spot to drop Ariel off, the doors are now locked, and the sliding door won't open. Drat. So, I unlock the doors again, meanwhile, the nice 5th grader, who has the good fortune of getting my car, is trying to open the door which is now unlocked, but still won't open for some mysterious reason only reserved for a special few (namely me). I absolutely cannot figure out why it won't open, I rack my brain, and I start to panic because the cars are waiting behind me to move on, but my kid is still in my car. Crap, crap, crap. I finally grab my poor, confused child from the back of the car and quickly shove her out the front passenger door, "Bye sweetie, have a nice day!" The 5th grader is looking at me like I'm insane, as I pull out and drive away. It's only then that I figure it out. Damn it.

So, now, every day when I drop her off, I have a system. I seriously have to repeat in my head: "Unlock the door, put car in park, push door button. Unlock, park, door. Unlock, park, door."


  1. I can SO relate! It scared me after I had my first child, how absent-minded I'd gotten. I firmly believe child birth kills brain cells; some grad student needs to do a thesis on that topic. The fact that you never forget your children is a redeeming factor. Tragically every parent can't say that!!

    Maybe the law of averages in our life allows only so many brain cells in relation to the undying, unconditional love in our heart. We can't have it all, so while I miss that part of my brain that's been gone for the past 30 years, my kids were worth it. On most days, that is... :)

  2. Gosh Lisa! Sounds a bit tough! I'd give you some advice, or I'd tell you something useful, but I can't relate to situations like this since I'm only 13 XD

    Best wishes anyway :) xx

  3. Considering how hard I found it with just one, I'm in awe of you managing four. I love how vivid your descriptions are though. Very amusing in the telling.

  4. Glad to know I'm not the only one who leaves the groceries in the car. Really enjoy reading your blog. You have a beautiful family. And your sense of humor is going to help a lot! Especially when your kids become teenagers....

  5. the good news is that once they're grown you'll get the cells back. for a little while. just long enough to give you a taste of being of sound mind before they disappear again as you slide down the other side of slope we call life.

    now, didn't that cheer you up?

    (btw, your writing rocks. keep a scribblin')

  6. You're sleep deprived. It wouldn't kill the babies to have a little rice cereal before bed. They're hungry and have to nurse too often. Been there, just sayin'.

  7. Oh how I relate to this. Now I understand why my mom used to say that there were days she was lucky to remember her own name. The good news is that some of the brain cells will, eventually, come back. Or at least that's what I'm told by friends with children that are now in high school.

  8. Lisa you are such a breath of fresh air! IMHO all moms go through this and no one ever thinks to forewarn us . . . perhaps it is a mass conspiracy of women who have "been there/done that" who'd like to see the next generation suffer likewise ;) I'm told some of it comes back eventually, if we last that long LOL!

  9. Oh Lisa - I get frazzled just reading this. Keep it up Wonderwoman!

  10. yep sounds very familiar i actually forgot a pan of water yesterday on the stove totally brunt it. how you manage with four i don't know i have trouble with one and he's 10. i'm lucky to remember my name most days so your my hero for making it through school drop off. oh and remember unlock,park,door

  11. And i thought its bad that today it was a real challenge for me to fill in some official applications. But im relieved i know now it gets worse :D and im "only" 3 years home now...

  12. I carry PostIt notes with my "keywords" on them, hahahaha (I'm so not kidding!)

  13. Lisa, I'm convinced that once we have children, our minds are no longer our own. Neither are our hearts. Part of us will always belong to our children! We are never alone.

    Every moment of every day one part of our brain stays with our childen and refuses to go anywhere else. We realize every single thing we do or don’t do impacts the most important little people in our lives. Those brains cells are no longer available to store information like what's on the stove and what we need from the store. They have more pressing things to keep track of.

    Even though our brain seems to shrink, our heart expands to a size that no longer fits in our chest, which is why our children take a piece of it with them when they enter the world. It’s the only way they can get out! It explains why we feel their pain as if it were our own, why we feel connected, no matter how far away they are. It explains why our love stays with them even when they don’t want it, even when they may feel they don’t deserve it, even when they leave this earth.

  14. I'm working on the grandmother end of this, and believe me, it's worse! First of all, I only have them once or twice a week, so no routine. When I have them (all three, 18 mos to 6), I drive their minivan, so I'm already at a huge clue where the switch is for the defroster, the rear wiper, the CD changer, the heated seat (which always seem to be on, even in July).
    So when all three are lined up in the back seat and they begin demanding things, I panic. It's amazing I get them home in one piece! I did manage to back into my OWN car in THEIR driveway one day... did not instill confidence in my child-care abilities!
    Our mother-minds are so plugged with essential (?) information that some of it has to fall out. Just hope I don't leave one of them in a parking lot some day.

  15. Lisa,

    I only have a three-and-a-half year old daughter. I've done very similar things.

    My aunt tells me it is because you have more important things to remember. I have NEVER forgotten my daughter, if I did, I would worry more.

    You've got to find the humor in each day!