The life of a 40 year old mother, on a journey to find me, live honestly and fly...
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Of misplaced lizards, expensive losses and Dory
Dory: I suffer from short term memory loss. It runs in my family... At least I think it does... Where are they?”
I don't think Dory forgot her family, I think she forgot she was a mother... because only mothers are this forgetful. I know I am. Honestly, I don't know where my brain is these days. It's gone. Officially gone folks. Somewhere with the disposed diapers, the packed away size NB baby clothes, the rocking chair we gave away and my maternity clothes, somewhere is my brain. Cuz it certainly ain't here anymore. I'd look for it, but I've forgotten where to start. I'm lucky I remember my name. Shit I know my kids wish I could at least remember theirs as I'm known to throw out the dogs' names, my siblings' names and probably a sprinkling of old flames' names before I EVER arrive at theirs. Calling them these days usually sounds something akin to:
"Uh...Yuko-no-sash-no-Dane-Ellie-Mike-no-FUCK! What IS your name? Agh!"
Granted, I've never had the BEST memory. My family can attest to this. I often wore a dumbfounded expression (my son wears this now) when my mother would inquire about a field trip notice or homework that she only knew existed because my responsible sister would pull hers from her backpack in pristine condition as though it had been pressed. I would be forced to dive into the abyss of my backpack, removing a crumpled wad from the detritus of my academic efforts and attempt to flatten it again into a paper that could still be written on.
After having children though, I can say that unfortunately, those were my BEST years as far as my memory is concerned. Now I'm shambling around, lucky to be dressed and wearing the correct glasses... only because Elizabeth's don't fit me yet and I'm so out of it, if they did I would never notice they are the opposite correction than the one I require. Add some drool and I'm ready for assisted living.
Now, if it were just the normal day-to-day items, that would suck, but it would be better than my most recent testaments to my increasing motherhood-induced dementia. While I'm known to call my own cell phone in an effort to locate it (only to jump when it vibrates in my pocket... please refrain from sick vibration related jokes here) and walk around swearing about the missing glasses that are already perched on my nose, lately the forgetfulness has been... bigger.
The other day I go walking upstairs to our playroom and as I reach the top of the stairs, the landing to which affords a perfect view of our terrarium, I literally get those pre-fainting, oh-shit prickles as I realized our terrarium is EMPTY. We have two, count 'em two, juvenile Bearded Dragons, and both have flown the coop courtesy of yours truly. FUCK. Juvenile Bearded Dragons are still small. Thus they are FAST, easily camouflaged by our light brown carpet (really, did we have to obtain pets that match our carpeting so perfectly?), and will skitter away rather than accepting a helping hand back to the heat they require to survive.
So I'm looking at this empty cage, trying not to panic because I realize it's 4:00 in the afternoon and that cage has been open since 7:30 am when I fed them last. That's 15.5 hours for them to explore our 2200 sq ft home. Shit. I yell downstairs to Mike that I've "done it again!" when I hear the freakiest scratching noise on top of the cage and realize one of the lizards is bright enough to stay near a heat source. I pop her into the cage and yell "yay! I found one" to which Mike's panicked voice replies from downstairs "ONE!!!! You mean you lost BOTH this time?" (I had recently... uh, misplaced one when we had friends over for the first time. Thank gawd they had good senses of humor and were not squeamish). I look under the couch where I had found him last time and there he is, flattened against the carpet like a hawk is flying overhead. I grab my daughter's sparkly wand (hey, it was right there) and begin to attempt to guide him out from underneath as though he's merely a marble that can be rolled in my direction. But he begins scrambling and popping around like he's a barefoot, double-dutch champ competing on hot pavement and I'm getting PISSED. I finally get him to jump in my direction and grab that little sucker before he can get away.
While it's nice to misplace items that can't actually RUN away, I have to say, misplacing the big ticket items in life is something I can do without. This morning, as Mike and I are at brunch with the kids and wanting electronics to entertain them at the restaurant Mike says, "I would have brought the iPad, but I couldn't find it". Again with the oh-shit, hot prickles as he says, "You carried it out of Red Lobster last night, though, so I figured you know where it is." He sees my face and says, "You DID carry it out of Red Lobster, RIGHT?" Weeeeeeell...
We actually get it back after calling Red Lobster, so I'm feeling better about finding it, but seriously doubting my ability to keep track of anything that isn't already attached to my body or that lacks the vocal chords to say "DON'T FORGET ME!!!" as, unfortunately, my children have ACTUALLY had to do. Yeah, I know. Mother of the year here.
Not only have I recently misplaced a big ticket item, I've also misplaced something just plain BIG. I'm not exactly sure how I've managed this feat, quite frankly. I think it takes Dory-sized memory loss to do this. My most recent? A large, reusable grocery bag, packed to the top with Elizabeth's swimsuit, two towels, 3-in-1 over-sized shampoo bottle, a rash guard and comb. WTF? It's not like when I drop a small key into the abyss I call my purse. THIS IS A FREAKIN' GROCERY BAG FULL OF STUFF. So full, in fact, stuff sticks out of the top. And I lose it. Because I'm an idiot. Because my head is so full of what I have to do and where I have to go next and whatever little strange tidbit of imagination has spilled from my daughter's lips, I can barely remember to clothe myself fully before leaving the house. I left it on a playground we played on after swim class. Just walked away not noticing the rather large, NEON GREEN item sitting there.
It's gotten so bad that Mike has to mark his coffee cups from Starbucks because I've been known to consume his after consuming mine because I forget I've already had one and proceed to reach for whatever is in front of me. My children have found me swearing about the lost pajamas and bemoaning their irresponsibility, only to have to point out sadly that I'm holding those same pajamas. I've left with a grocery list of only 6 items, CROSSED ITEMS OFF AS I SHOPPED, and still forgotten to buy the ketchup listed there. I even tried to turn off my truck IN THE MIDDLE OF DRIVING IT on Friday. Don't ask me why. I don't know what possessed me, halfway down the street leading to my son's school, to reach over and turn the key. Who DOES that?
They say that a bit of coffee daily helps fight dementia and Alzheimer's, so with the amount I drink, I should freakin' be able to get through a day without putting cereal in the fridge, losing a lizard and trying to reheat my coffee in the toaster oven. I shouldn't attempt to put on my son's pants or walk into the laundry room in just my underwear in search of pants and then walk toward the stove to prepare breakfast STILL sans pants. I drink enough coffee to keep the local Starbucks in the black and yet I call my son by the dog's name.
Suddenly my mother makes sense. Her need to call me Gypsy (our dog), her inability to give the right lunch to the right kid, her falling asleep in her dinner, her countless lost cameras on vacation and her sudden rifling through a purse to search for glasses that are sitting on top of her head. She's a mom. Babies in your belly don't just suck your energy, they abscond with your brain cells as well.
Dory sang, "just keep swimming" and I'm thinking now, it wasn't because she was the encouraging sort. I'm thinking she would have just plain forgotten and sunk to the bottom if she didn't.