Tuesday, 20 March 2012
8. Nappy Brain
Before my life got swept up in a whirlwind of nappies (apologies to Mother Earth but thank goodness for disposables!), strict sleep routines and controlled crying (as per some expert’s advice); and now, school runs and homework, I used to think I was a very ‘together’ person.
Things very seldom ever got lost, names never forgotten, and pin numbers and passwords faithfully safeguarded and never confused. Fast forward 12 years and that ‘super power’, unlike my waistline, has receded!
I try to side-step having too many senile moments by actually keeping a working list in my diary. Things-to-do, errands to run, people to call, the children’s daily after school schedules, bills to pay, meetings, birthdays all go straight into my diary as soon as I am aware of them. More sensitive information like passport numbers, frequent traveler memberships, all sorts of user names and passwords are stored ‘somewhere safe’. Problems do however arise when I forget the location of my ‘fort’ of classified information. But that’s another story!
Moving countries 3 times in the last 11 years has sent my shrinking brain into orbit as I struggle to remember basic information anew. Everyday pertinent information such as our address and postcode to commit to memory. PLUS new telephone numbers: mobile, home, school, Matt’s work AND mobile, the emergency number, etc. Let’s see. 65 for Singapore. I’ll be 22 in 90 years. Flip the 65. And you’ll get my new telephone number! Uncomplicated? Perhaps not. Memorable? For me anyway.
People’s names, however, are becoming increasingly hard for me. Faces? No problems. Their children’s names? I’m pretty good, especially if they are friends with my girls. Lately, however, names escape me within moments, forcing me to adopt the supposedly memory-boosting strategy of asking them to spell out their names. With names like “Alice”, “Maria”, “Amanda”, I would look dopey with my request so I try the “Kylie as in Kylie Minogue?” or “Tia as in Tia Maria?” routine. The exotic ones become a minefield as I struggle to comprehend the first, second AND third time, having to ask the poor owner to repeat their names over and over again. Shaye? Finola? Do I need a hearing aid? Perhaps that’s the problem!
Moving on to another common but more serious trait of nappy brain: temporary amnesia. My top moments:
1. turning the house upside down to look for something, and getting the whole family involved, only to forget what that something was
2. forgetting what I wanted to write/say within moments of coming up with the undoubtedly genius idea
3. taking the time to write down a grocery list… only to leave it at home
4. forgetting the reason why I started telling a story – mid-way!
5. getting the pin numbers on ALL my cards mixed-up!
With Paige (child number 3) nearly turning 9, I can no longer blame sleep deprivation caused by a new-born; nor on any pesky hormones that surge during pregnancy. My research procured an article promising that although my brain shrunk between 3-8% each pregnancy, not only should it have popped back to its original size (a long time ago) but its caliber would become enhanced! All I can say to is: I’m still waiting.
Meanwhile, I shall have to top up my brain food, continue relying on checklists, and keep calm and carry on. Purse? Check. Phone? Check. Keys? Uhm… has anyone seen my keys? Argggggggghhhhhhhhh!