Baby Brain

You know how people are always talking about the things they’re going to ask God once they get to heaven?

Well, I’m inclined to think that–once we’re there and behold His glory–we’re not going to care. We humans are so intent on thinking that this earthly world of ours is all there is–that the affairs of it are the only ones that could possibly matter. We’re so NOW that we often can’t imagine caring (or not caring) about anything else.

If it sounds like I’m about to embark on a lengthy philosophical treatise about eternity, nothing could be further from the truth.

I just wanted to establish what I REALLY think about the subject of asking God WHY before I very frivolously claim that, when I get to heaven, I intend to ask God about the phenomenon of “baby brain.”

I’m sure I won’t really.

But here on this earth, I find myself befuddled about–well, a lot of things, including where I put my phone, which was JUST in my hands (oh yeah, it’s in my back pocket ::sheepish chuckle::). But mainly, I’m curious why, after you’ve had a baby, it seems that someone has liquified your brain and siphoned it out of your ear. I mean, I get that the lack of sleep thing is a major contributing factor. That makes sense. But the rest of it? You’ve just been entrusted with a tiny human, whom you must feed, care for, and generally shield from harm, and yet you find your IQ suddenly reduced to that of a slug. Who hasn’t slept in weeks (do slugs sleep? surely). HOW are we supposed to keep a baby alive when we’re constantly walking into rooms with zero inkling of why we’re there, and there’s at least a chance we’ll try to clean our teeth with our hairbrushes if we’re not careful.

baby brain

It’s a good thing you’re cute, you little brain-sucker. Because I used to be marginally intelligent. I think. 

And the talking? It’s hopeless. This one has been the most pronounced for me this time around. As if I didn’t already have enough names to get wrong with regular old kid brain. Now, I’ve added another name, and my gray matter is in an extraordinary state of mush, which means that I stare directly at one of my children (who knows which) and intone: “Ezra! Simon! Evy! Theo! Faith! (a cat)…ugh! N-O-L-A!!!!!”

Every single time.

I called Honor “Theo” 9 times out of 10 for the first week of his life.

The other day, I explained to Simon that he needed to get a towel from the pantry to clean up a spill because I’d already put all of the dirty ones in the dishwasher. And the most astonishing thing about that scenario is that I hadn’t actually done either of those things…just messed up the nouns.

It is a genuine struggle for me to form sentences these days, people. Often to hilarious effect. Except that, usually, I have no idea what I’ve just said. My children sure are enjoying it, though.

It’s just a constant stream of: “You said, ‘dinner.’ Did you mean, ‘lunch?’” And: “You said, ‘Drink your yogurt.’ How am I supposed to do that?”

Funny, kids. Real funny. Your mother is thisclose to the insane asylum, and you’re goading her. That’s dangerous. She is the one who makes the food, after all.

haircuts

Hey look! It’s Who’s-it, What’s-it, That girl, What’s-his-name, and What’s-her-face (plus two more that I really can’t place).

And teaching fitness classes is a total lark. I have to memorize large amounts of choreography that  coordinate exactly with specific beats of specific music. And, when your brain is only functioning at 7%, that is quite a feat. Sometimes, an unmanageable one. I do all right, for the most part. But yesterday, as I was teaching BODYCOMBAT, a song started, and my brain literally stalled. And I just stood there, thinking: I don’t even know which appendage to move first. One of my participants, who practically knows the choreography better than I do, starting moving her legs, so I followed her, even though I was sure she wasn’t quite right. We did half the track before my brain finally remembered what it was supposed to be telling my body to do.

Argh.

I would say it’s embarrassing. But many of my faithfuls have been taking my classes since I was pregnant with Della, so they’re kind of used to the drill. Abbie just had a baby. Abbie will not be firing on all cylinders for a while. ::Shrug::

know I’m not alone–that baby brain is a very real thing (even if our husbands don’t believe it).

But what I want to know is: what is the funniest/worst/baby brainiest moment you’ve had as a mama?

Mine is actually kind of major. And maybe I’ll share it someday. But not right now (I know; so mean). Honor’s hungry, and the rest of the natives are getting restless.

Whatever their names are…

P.S. If you find an unusually large number of typos in this post, well, I would expect no less.

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16 thoughts on “Baby Brain

  1. My worst moment so far was when I was four months pregnant with my first. I had a dermatologist appointment and my hubby came along. We walked up to the receptionist and she asked for my name. Total blank. I had no idea what my name was. Not my first, last, maiden name, nothing. She asked again. I think she and hubby both thought I hadn’t heard her the first time, but I had. I looked blankly at her again and then I turned to hubby and said, “I have no idea.” When he told her what it was, my brain went, “Oh, yeah! Kimberly! That’s it! That’s me!” I should have known it wouldn’t get any better and it hasn’t through all seven pregnancies. But I will never forget the sheer panic of having no idea who I was.

  2. When baby number 8 was about 4 weeks old, I woke up to feed him. I changed his diaper, made his bottle, went back to his bassinet to get him and he was missing. I stood staring at it the bassinet for about 30 seconds before it sank in that he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. I panicked. I searched the house, checked windows and doors to make sure they were locked. I even checked to make sure he hadn’t magically crawled into the crib with little girl. I was about to have a break down. About then, I noticed that my arm was starting to hurt from holding the baby in the same position for so long. I switched him to the other arm and prepared to have a giant meltdown…then my brain caught up. I can laugh about it it now.

  3. At one point I had a patient who had 10 children. I asked her if she had trouble with the names. “Oh, yeah, I start at the top and when I get to the right one he/she responds.” And she had young adult kids. You are not alone.

  4. My baby brain moment happened yesterday. I had ordered some Dreft online to start getting things ready for our baby on the way…and then got all confused and thought it hadn’t come in the order it was due in, so I started a refund process with the retailer…then I found it in a closet. Apparently, I didn’t remember unpacking the box it was actually supposed to arrive in…and then had to explain all that to the retailer and get it all straightened out (they were super nice about the whole mix up!).

  5. YES YES YES!!! To everything!
    #1. Where do we get the idea that we’ll go to heaven and ask God all these questions? I hope by then we are seeing a bigger picture and it DOESN’T MATTER. Plus, if we have all the answers, doesn’t that kinda put us on a level with God? He’s still going to be the only one with all the answers.
    #2. Boo to baby brain! I think it gets worse with each kid. I also swear I can see the parts of my brain that I seem to have lost permanently, in the kid that I had when it got lost. For example, my phenomenal memory for names and faces… now belongs to child number 3, during whose pregnancy I lost it. Sigh. I have an older-mom-of-7 friend who explains that it’s hormonal (and lasts a year+ after birth), and insists that it’s God’s plan, cuz if we were running on all cylinders and remembered things like we “should”, we’d never be silly enough to have a second child. Maybe? : ) I’d tell you my funniest story, but I can’t remember it. Anyway, I’ve got to go, what’s-his-name – you know, the little one? – needs his nap now.

  6. Can I still claim baby brain when my toddler is 18 months? Because I totally had a bad case this morning. I lost my keys, searched my purse twice, no luck. I’d already locked us out of the house and buckled the boys in the car. I had to find the hide-a-key and get in. STILL couldn’t find my keys, so I got the spare car key and barely got the boys to school on time. When I got to work and reached in for my work keys, well there were MY keys the first thing my fingers touched. How could I have not seen them the other times I had searched through everything.

    My purse is not even big, so there is not much room to hide!

    Side note: I went to Body Pump at my gym yesterday at lunch, and the instructor resembled you. Similar build, dark curly hair. And she had her 10 year old son with her in class, which made me wonder if she home-schooled. I so wanted to go up to her after class and say “Hey, have you heard of M is for Mama?”

  7. Oh, Abbie, loved this post! My funniest sleep deprived moment was after the birth of number 2 (We now have 5). It was the middle of the night, and I nursed him and changed his diaper (basically in the dark, in my bed, because I had that kind of mom super power. ;) . I continued nursing him throughout the night a few more times. Well, when the light of day came, and believe me, it always came far too early, I noticed my baby was missing a leg! It was sticking out of his diaper but simply vanished at the knee! I started to panic. Suddenly, my eyes and my brain started waking up, and saw that I had somehow managed to tuck his foot up into the diaper when I changed him in the night, and so his leg was just underneath, tucked up into his diaper! But it completely looked like he just had no leg beneath his knee! Phew! I was relieved, but bowled over with laughter that I had believed, VERY FIRMLY BELIEVED, he had somehow lost his leg in the middle of the night!

  8. A couple months after I had my 5th child, I took all the kids to the library. When we were getting our jackets on to leave, I realized I had forgot the baby (in the car seat) in the library. I searched all over for her and couldn’t find her. When I went back to the other kids in the entrance, there she was! Turns out, I had taken her in there without remembering…

  9. This is one of my favorite posts ever! You’re so funny, and this is definitely relatable. I think one baby brain moment I repeated over and over was making coffee…without coffee. Just brewing hot water. My husband eventually learned to wait until he got to the office to fill his mug.

  10. Oh, Abbie, this is such a cute post! My fourth just turned four months old, and I can totally relate. I also mourn the loss of my previously intelligent self. My husband and I are constantly calling the boys the wrong names, and I think the silliest thing I did was throw a pack of gum in the dryer. (By some miracle, it didn’t turn out disastrously!) One day in the future (with sharper minds, I hope), we’ll look back on these things and laugh!

  11. The only time I lock my keys in my car is the last semester of pregnancy. Every. Time. And I’m 11 weeks post partum and right there with ya- I know what I said in my brain but I have no idea what came out of my mouth. I’d like to give you specific examples but I can’t think- sorry!

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