Not sure if there is a term yet for foggy mom brain or not so I made one. I know I’ve touched on it before but I have always been skeptical of mothers and their inability to remember ANYTHING. I always felt a bit burned by it—the forgetting of birthdays, plans, etc. But now that my tables are turned the same way, I totally get it. And I totally get how for a mom it’s just easier to let people be pissed about what we forget (and how much we suck) than to apologize over and over again. Because, let’s be honest, it doesn’t get any better by rain-checking. It’s not like we can make new plans with anything other than the intention of following through with them to heal the wound; chances are high that those plans could crash and burn too.
I am not making this shit up. I am not looking for an excuse to end all my friendships. This is really happening to me. In my findings, it’s got a 100% going rate with the other moms I know. And I know this, because despite our crazy schedules, we talk or text when we can! I can’t count how many times I run into someone at the store that I’ve met before but can’t remember his or her name so I just stare at them while I’m deep in thought trying to ransack my brain. It’s no use, though; the connections are lost somewhere among my laundry list of things I’ve got to get done. Once they notice this (if they notice because if they don’t, I’m happy to walk away and sulk about how I can’t remember shit), I approach them (to make this incident as well-intentioned as possible) and basically say, “You look super familiar, how are you?” So many times the response is, “I hear that a lot, can’t say that I know you.” Then I really feel like an idiot.
I should mention, I’m an unrelenting creature of habit. Even though my success rate is low, I still put myself out there. I love catching up with people I haven’t seen in a long time—even when it’s at an awkward time (like buying a bunch of nursing pads at Target). It’s this nagging thing in my head that tells me, “You know them, make up for your angsty teen years and resting bitch face and go be nice!” And you know what, as awkward as these interactions are, I’m glad I have them.
For example, one time, I saw a high school classmate shopping when I was something like 6 months pregnant (and in the awkward growth stage of where people can’t distinguish pregnancy from weight gain very well). So, I always would see the inadvertent glances to my belly and back up again when I’d chat with people. Anyway, I ran into him in the women’s underwear section of Wal-Mart (of all places) and remembered his name right away. I was looking for some tights and he was apparently trying to find some leg hose for his mom. Awkward for us both, probably. But we still chatted; a bit about his return to town, mostly about how ridiculous the selection of panty hose was. He said he was working on opening a skate shop like the one he had in High School. I ended our conversation with the typical “Well, it was good seeing you again!” and walked away spending the rest of my shopping trip wondering why I had just embarrassed the hell out of myself. I ponder, “Do I have to approach everyone assuming that they even want to talk to me?” I’m glad I make a point (most of the time) to approach people I know in public. In this previous instance, he died a few months after this awkward conversation. For those that don’t know me personally or pick-up on the crescendo of this story.. His name was Georgie.
But an area where momnesia is absolutely failing me is when it comes to packing up and leaving places. When we went up to Minnesota for the 4th of July, I’m pretty certain I left a couple shapes from Sylvia’s ball of shape-holes at the cabin. This toy is vintage! It was mine before it was Sylvia’s and I’m kicking my own ass for losing them. I’ve left another shape at a birthday party and I’m certain I’ll never see that one again, either. Worse than losing toys, though, is driving away with things on the roof of the car. The only reason I think I struggle with this now (because I don’t think I have ever done this before) is because I have to take a break from packing up to buckle in a baby and then after that, I feel like I’m good to go. I have driven off with my cell phone on top of the car, my water bottle, the diaper bag, my wallet, and a sippy cup. All separate occasions. Ugh.
I think the worst though still is forgetting how I know people and their names. I have felt crushed before when someone got my name wrong so I know the feeling and I hate that I probably make people feel that way too. I’d be curious to read up on the science behind momnesia. I’d like to know if there are any brain exercises I could do to help with the loss of connectors (errr—synapses?). Or how long I can expect for this to go on for before it gets better? Or maybe just how to cope with feeling like a loser friend?
And of course I choose my daughter’s first birthday (of all days) to blog about momnesia. How very fitting.