Tuesday, March 10, 2015

On remembering not to forget...

One of my most popular Facebook posts ever -- it seemed a pity not to share it on the blog as well! I am so grateful to all my Facebook readers for the supportive responses -- they made me feel appreciated, understood and, most importantly, not alone in my motherhood-induced forgetfulness.


I was just trying to dig through some of the messages in the SV Toddler inbox (there are about 12 I haven't read yet, so my apologies if you haven't gotten a response), and I came across three from within the last month where a reader gave me an excellent tip or asked a very useful question, and I replied "Great idea! I'll share that!" or "Great question! I'll pose it to my readers!" And then I hit send and promptly forgot it altogether.

Here's the thing: Motherhood has killed my short-term memory. In the not too distant past, I was an attorney who billed my time by the tenth of an hour. At the end of the week, I could look back and tell you what I was doing in any given 6 minute increment of time -- what brief I was writing, what deposition I was taking, what mind-numbing discovery I was sorting through. I remembered deadlines, I remembered conversations, I (gasp!) even remembered what day of the week it was, most of the time.

Now? Well, now I rarely make it through a cup of coffee without setting it down somewhere (okay, often without ever removing it from the Keurig machine) and forgetting it until it gets cold. Sometimes I'll find it and microwave it, then forget it in the microwave. Not infrequently, Mr. X will get home in the evening and helpfully say, "You know you have a coffee here, right?", referring to the mug that's been sitting on top of the washing machine since 8 a.m.

And the washing machine...the reason I'm awake right now (and trying to sort through those inbox messages) is that I'm running a load of laundry, and if I don't stay within FEET of the washing machine and move the clothes to the dryer immediately after the cycle ends, I will forget about them. I will forget about them until I decide to do another load of laundry and discover the first one, sitting damp in the machine, at which point I'll have to run the cycle again, and the whole thing will start all over.

So while the "old me" was able to recall every moment of my day in painstaking detail, the "new me" has a hard time in the afternoon remembering what, exactly, I did that morning. Trying to chronologize a full week is a disaster, particularly if I miss one of the few standing appointments we do keep (two weeks ago we skipped preschool on Wednesday, for example, so naturally I totally forgot about swim lessons on Thursday, because apparently my touchstone these days is the 2.5 hours we spend at nursery school one day a week). The days of an organized Mama X are long gone.

What I'm getting at -- because I swear, I am getting at something -- is that if I say to you, "Great idea! I'll share that!" or "Good question! I'll pose it to my readers!", I am not just trying to be nice. I really *do* think it was a great idea or question, and at the moment I type the words and hit "send", I genuinely intend to post it on the page -- in much the same way I genuinely intend to drink my coffee or dry my wet clothes. It's just that I forget. Occasionally I'll remember that I've forgotten something, but within moments I even forget that.

So please don't feel offended if your question or idea or event doesn't get posted. Someday, when I've actually had the chance to finish a hot cup of coffee and my clothes are dry and folded neatly (ha!), I will dig through all those messages and find all those great ideas and questions, and I will share them, one after another, on this page. And we'll all be delighted because they will be TOTALLY relevant to us as the parents of college sophomores.

Thanks for your patience with me, and for being a part of SV Toddler. The washing machine just stopped, so now I get to move my clothes to the dryer and finally, mercifully, go to sleep. If I forget to press the "Start" button on the dryer and wind up having to re-wash the whole load in the morning, I'll let you know...provided I don't forget first.

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