I’m sure by now most everyone has heard of, witnessed, or been the victim of what moms like to call “Mom Brain.” I don’t know the origin of this term–did moms invent this condition to excuse occasional, or even persistent, absentmindedness? Did husbands of once sharp and together women coin the phrase to explain the temporary tumble in IQ points that followed childbirth? Maybe it’s just a fancy term for being distracted or being so great at multitasking that you start to forget actual words and grammar. Who knows? All I know is it’s a real thing and I’ve got it. So this happened:
I decide to get the car washed and have the mountain of Cheerios vacuumed out my floorboards, so I drive to the car wash on the corner with baby in the back seat. I pull up to the man writing tickets near the entrance and order the deluxe wash. I roll baby’s window down so she can look out and see all the car wash excitement. When he’s done writing the ticket, the car in front of me pulls forward, I assume I am supposed to pull forward and park my car at the front of the line. I pull forward, 100 powerful water jets shoot water and suds into my open windows. A whole team of carwash employees yell at me to reverse! reverse! reverse! I spend the next 20 minutes waiting for my car while hiding behind my baby and hoping her adorableness will prevent anyone from looking at the clown who drove through the car wash with her windows down.
A few nights following the “carwash incident” as it is now known, I was putting Hailey down for bed. Josh usually hangs out in another room and tries to be as quiet as possible while Hailey and I do her bedtime routine because she seems to go down easier with just one parent in the room. So we’re putting her PJs on and talking about her day, and I tell Hailey we’ll be putting our warm jammies on tonight because it’s 62 degrees outside and that’s very chilly. “But you know, when mommy lived in Seattle, 62 degrees was considered quite a nice temperature,” I explain. “That’s what you call ‘relevant.’ So when someone says to you, ‘it’s all relevant,’ that’s what that means.” I can actually hear Josh in the other room straining to be quiet and not disturb bedtime. But he can’t let this one go. “RELATIVE!!” he yells. “The word, my English major wife, is ‘RELATIVE!'”
And my next gaffe: My mom is visiting and Hailey is fussing. My mom asks, “What does she want?” I tell my mom she wants the magazine I’m holding. “What magazine?” she asks. The one in my hand, I explain to her. “Right here!” I shake my hand near her face. I had a necklace in my hand. Necklace, magazine, potato, po-tah-to.
So my question is, how long does Mom Brain last–18 years or so?