Here's something I learned about myself this Thanksgiving— If you tell me that the pie is on the counter in the pantry and the pie is in fact on the counter in the pantry, I will still not be able to find it. And if I need to pack an overnight bag, you can bet that I will forget at least three items. Not minor items, mind you— I will forget my brush, a pair of underwear, and the breast pump.
I'm told it's called Mommy Brain. And if you must know, I spelled that Mommy Brian before I went back and corrected it.
What is Mommy Brain? After you have a child, your thought process becomes so consumed with the all important task of keeping another human being alive that everything less important gets relegated to the back of your brain.* You know, back there with books you read in elementary school and the date of your parent's wedding anniversary. For example, you will still remember to keep your hair away from an open flame but you won't remember that you moved your engagement ring to a safer hiding spot until you've accused at least five people of stealing it.
There may even be questionable science to back your stupidity up. There is a theory that new mothers have "birth amnesia" which supposedly makes you forget the pain of childbirth so that you do not rule out having another kid. This is a real biological thing. (I would like to tell biology that it should consider wiping out the whole first year of complete and utter exhaustion if it's really concerned with my desire to continue procreating).
Is it possible that the after effects of birth amnesia have contributed to my inability to find the Advil even though it's in the exact same place that it's been for the past four years?
To be fair— my Mommy Brian (crap, I did it again) didn't exactly start at the advent of motherhood. I have had a "locating" problem for quite some time. I am one of those people who will tell you that I can't find my phone while I am on the phone with you. And if you ask me to get your keys out of your purse, even if it's an evening bag approximately the size of a set of keys, it will still take me fifteen minutes to come up with nothing.
My husband Mike, however, is a "locating" master.
We were staying at a friend's house in Rhode Island (the owners of the lovely Duck & Bunny) when something went wrong in "Handymanland" and required some sort of "tool". (For the purposes of this story, let's call the tool a "wahoozit"). My husband and Dan, the man of the house, went to Home Depot to purchase one wahoozit. Dan describes their trip as follows: "We entered Home Depot and I'm about to ask someone where we can find wahoozits and Mike does a two second scan, points to some far off place and says— wahoozits are right there. I follow him a good 300 feet and sure enough— there they are in a bin— wahoozits!" (Not a direct quote).
In all honesty, it is amazing to see Mike's "master locating" skills in action. If we were all given superhero names, Mike would be LOCATOR MAN and his special power would be to find needles in haystacks in under five seconds without even looking. I, on the other hand, would be ORANGE PEELER LADY because you have never met anyone who can peel an orange faster than I can. It is also an amazing skill. But if we were picking superhero teams to fight crime or save the world, I'm guessing I would be picked dead last.
Anyway, due to Mommy Brian (that's my official name for it now) I would have been in that Home Depot for about three hours— half of that time dedicated to remembering the real name of a wahoozit.
And my brush? I didn't pack it because I can't find it but I'm putting off asking my husband because I know it will go something like this:
Me: I can't find my brush.
Him: It's in the bathroom.
Me: I looked in the bathroom.
Him: Did you check the drawer next to the sink?
Him: Are you sure?
Me: Yes. But I'll check again.
(I leave the room, check the drawer, return).
It's not there.
Him: Did you take everything out of the drawer to check?
(Because I did).
Him: Ok. I'll go look.
(I blink my eyes and he is already back, brush in hand).
Me: Where was it?
Him: In the drawer.
Me: Wanna see me peel an orange?
What about you— are you suffering from Mommy Brian? What's the dumbest thing you've done since having a kid? And if you don't like that question or you don't have a kid— what superhero power can you contribute to our crime fighting team?
* Editor's Note: This does not include things like YOUR JOB. Moms can still function perfectly well in the workplace, thank you very much