Friday, November 10, 2006

Ask Your Father

by Meryl Neiman

It was the night before Halloween. Like a good mother, I scurried around getting my kids' costumes ready to take to school. Only I couldn't find the clown. My daughter had discovered it in my son's costume bag and tried it on a few weeks before. "I look cute," she pronounced. "I'll wear this." Being the savvy woman that I am, I knew enough not to put it back into my son's closet with the other costumes where it might get misplaced. I carefully secured it. Only now I had no idea where!

I have become one of the best educated stupid people I know.

I have no long term memory. Zero. Zilch. For a long time I wondered if my lack of childhood memories indicated some sort of repressed horror. Was I abused as a child? Abducted by aliens?

Now that I have gotten older, my childhood is not the only thing I can't remember. I still haven't found what I did with my daughter's Holloween costume. So I wasn't captured by a Satanic cult -- I'm just dumb.

And when you have kids, one of their prime jobs in life is to probe those missing brain cells. What causes lightning? Are tomatoes fruits or vegetables? Why do we burp?

And my answer is always: ask your father. My husband has an iron clad memory. He remembers everything he learned and he's learned quite a bit. So I refer almost all of my kids' questions to him. I went to college. And law school! But I am the household dunce.

What's the moral of this story? Save your money on college because your child might forget it all anyway.


Joyce said...

Meryl, just use the excuse I use: my brain is full--it can't possibly absorb any more.

Nancy said...

Yeah, my father knew everything, too. Except where we kept the sheets, the milk, the dishwashing soap, the washing machine, directions for turning on the furnace every winter or the air conditioner in the summer, etc. etc. My husband is even more hopeless on the home front. (Where did I go wrong??) My bet is you've got plenty of necessary stuff at the front of your brain, Meryl! There was a subconscious reason that clown costume disappeared.

Rebecca Drake said...

I think it's an availability bias, Meryl.

You are juggling so many things that occasionally you forget something, but you're convinced that you have short term memory loss so notice the moments of forgetfulness that seem to confirm this theory.

Or, I could be wrong and it's early onset amnesia...

CathyMoffat said...

I could always find anything in the house until we adopted Emily. She'd move small objects into the most unlikely spots, so I gave up on finding things and figured the item would turn up later. Of course, a Halloween costume is a little more timely.

I used to say motherhood turned your brain into oatmeal. Now this perimenopausal stuff might be even more brain-fogging. I just appreciate my mind whenever it comes to visit.

Tory said...

Your post was very timely for me, Meryl. I can't seem to get my brain organized this morning. Caffeine isn't helping.

I've always had an iron-clad brain for certain things (e.g. patient histories) and no brain at all for others (e.g. prices and dates.) Today, NONE of it is working.

Gina said...

So we're all mush brains in this group, huh?