I’VE been sitting at the table trying to write this post for the past 30 minutes, only I kept forgetting what it was I wanted to write about.
Then I remembered.
Baby brain. I wanted to write about baby brain and ask if it can still be a thing four and a half years after having a baby? I know science says it doesn’t exist, but I beg to differ.
I’m destroyed with it lads, destroyed. I can barely remember my own name some days and what KILLS me is that I actually used to have a brilliant memory.
In a former life I was a journalist for a local paper and part of my job was to attend meetings and write them up for the paper afterwards. I always took decent notes but I also had an almost photographic memory for quotes, remembering even the intonation in someone’s voice when they said a certain word or sentence. I was a ten in the aul memory department.
Then I got pregnant and it was all downhill from there.
People would add me on Facebook claiming to have worked with me years ago and I wouldn’t have a breeze. I was added to a school reunion group and honestly, I’ve never laid eyes on these people in my life, but they seem to know me.
I went to my friend’s house for dinner about 18 months ago and she invited another friend of hers who, it turns out, went to school with me. As soon as this new friend came into the kitchen she knew me. She knew what year I left school, who my friends were, the works. I didn’t know her from Adam.
Thankfully she forgave me and is still my friend and I remember her name now (hi Anne!) but I have zero recollection of her at school.
I rang the credit card company in an absolute fouler after there was an item on the bill that I didn’t recognise. I’d never even BEEN in that shop, I ranted, I’d never even been on that street, there is no way I spent money there, this is ridiculous, oh hang on wait. I remembered. Actually I had been in that shop and I had spent the money. I faked my own death on the line and hung up.
It happened again this morning.
I was on my way home after the preschool drop off when another parent greeted me and started walking down the road with me.
‘I know you!’ she exclaimed, delighted with yourself, ‘you used to go to the play centre about six or seven years ago. You used to have a little girl with you that you were minding, I think she was your niece.’
‘Oh yeah!’ sez I grinning wildly ‘of course, how are you?’
Reader, I was lying.
I hadn’t a clue. Not one. She was right, I DID used to go to the play centre and I did bring my niece who I was minding and it was six or seven years ago but I had never seen this woman in my life before this moment. Never.
Only it appears we were Playzone BFFs.
I was crucified with mortification. Crucified. She asked after my niece, calling up little details of the art class and dance class we used to do up there.
I couldn’t remember if she had a boy or a girl. Or what her name was. Or what my name was. Or what planet this is.
I faked it, but I’m sure she knew. Or if she didn’t she’ll find out tomorrow when she talks to me again and I can’t remember her name. Which she told me today, and spelled for me. And I’ve already forgotten. *bites fist in mortified agony*
There’s just so much to remember when you’re a parent (and Jesus, I’ve only the one child!) that it pushes everything else out. Your day is so focused on your child that it doesn’t leave room for much else, you really have to try to carve out some time for yourself. And it’s not always an easy thing to do, no matter how vital.
Well that’s my theory anyway.
I’m starting to have a newfound respect for Mammy Dunne, particularly when she calls me all my siblings’ names before she gets to mine, we wrecked her so we did! The poor divil.
Anyway, I’m assuming it gets better as they get older and are more able to look after themselves, right? Lie to me in the comments, PLEASE!
I’m so chuffed to announce that Beating Myself Into a Dress has been shortlisted in this year’s V by Very Blog Awards Ireland in the Parenting Category. It’s a great list of fabulous blogs and I’m so honoured to be included. Thankfully there’s no public vote this year so I won’t be hounding you for votes, but thank you to all you readers who encourage me to keep rambling here, even if it’s not as regularly as it should be. Cheers!
YOU know your four-year-old isn’t a baby any more when he turns to you and his grandparents in the middle of dinner and says: ‘Hey, what are you losers talking about?’
I could have died. In fact, I did. This post is being written from *Derek Acorah voice* beyond the grave. I was so mortified that I just upped and died from morto at the dinner table.
Well, I didn’t die, so much as laugh. Because I am a terrible parent and I don’t know what any of you are doing here looking for advice from me because I am the last person who should be giving it.
I’m blaming the PJ Masks. And myself of course, because when isn’t challenging behaviour the mother’s fault?
But mainly, yeah, the PJ Masks. They’re just such smart, smug little fuckers. Solving crime – IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT when children are supposed to be IN BED – and being all sarky and smug with the Night Ninja and the Ninjalinos. It’s all losers and ha! and whatever you’re having yourself.
It’s not the only time Cat Boy et al have got him into trouble either. There was the ‘bozo’ incident in school a couple of months back as well.
It was another child’s birthday and The Beast had been invited to his party that weekend. Upon leaving school on the Friday he turned to the Birthday Boy and said ‘See you Sunday, you big birthday bozo!’.
Big birthday bozo.
Big. Birthday. Bozo.
In full view of the other parents too. All of whom looked like they were halfway between bursting out laughing and marching him up to the local juvenile detention centre themselves.
I spent a good lot of that weekend whispering ‘big birthday bozo’ to myself and biting my fist in agony.
So we’ve had a lot of Very Serious Conversations about appropriate language outside the home and while it’s ok to mess here and call me a Pooh Pooh Head for example, it wouldn’t go down so well in the playground. I’m hoping it sticks for later years when he’s bellowing ‘fuck you fuck face’ at his friends out in the street. I’m hoping by cracking down on bozos and losers at this age, that he’ll think twice before swearing like a sailor on the street when he’s 12.
I’m hoping. (Though, judging by my own language, I’m not very hopeFUL.)
It’s all a sign that he’s growing up and while sometimes my arms ache for the tiny soft helpless baby that he once was, it’s also a positive sign. Well as positive as calling his grandparents losers can be. (Sorry again lads. And sorry for laughing!)
In the same vein we were on holidays recently and noticed that for the first year he was really able to participate in the holiday and ‘get’ that we were on holidays.
He was so much more independent, more able to use the equipment in the playground for example, clambering over the rocks on the beach without help; entertaining himself with stickers while we finished dinner. It was blissful. Ok, it was still a holiday with a kid, so more a work trip than a relaxing retreat, but it really felt like a break this time.
Next month now he’ll go back to preschool for his final year before Big School. We’re not ready for Big School yet, either of us. Much as I’m enjoying his new-found independence, I’m not ready to let him go just yet. I’m happy to keep him where he is for the time being and I’ll deal with uniforms and school bags and classrooms in September 2018.
Which is ages away, right losers?
THE thing about having a birthday party for your child at home is that you have to actually clean that home before you can let anybody into it.
Well, anybody not wearing a Hazmat suit anyway.
I don’t know what I was thinking. It started a couple of weeks ago when we went out to visit Mammy Dunne and in a fit of inspiration invited her to stay the night of Seán’s birthday.
His birthday is Easter Saturday, you see, and we were planning to have Mammy Dunne and the inlaws for their dinner on Easter Sunday anyway so it made sense for her to stay, rather than going home and having to come back out to us a few hours later.
“That’s a great idea now, if you don’t mind. I will stay, I’ll pack an overnight bag and all so I will,” she sez delighted with herself.
All was going swimmingly until we were driving home and I noticed Yer Man shooting me terrified, alarmed looks out of the corner of his eye.
“WHAT?” I eventually yelled when I could stand it no longer.
“Nothing, nothing,” he babbled “it’s just you asked your Mam to stay …”
“YES?” I roared “and what’s wrong with that? Not good enough for you is she? Don’t want her staying? You thundering bastard, I have to say, I’d never treat YOUR mother like…”
“KAREN!” he cut me off, mid-rant “it’s not that. It’s just – where is she going to stay?”
“In the bloody spare room, you big thick, where do you …”
I trailed off, remembering. The spare room. Or The Room of Death as it’s more commonly known around these parts.
The room where we open the door ONLY to chuck in more rubbish, closing it quickly lest our eyes be offended by the filth within.
The room that hasn’t been hoovered since 2010. The room where odd socks go to die.
I looked at Yer Man, horrified.
“We’ll have to clean it,” I managed, gasping for breath.
“I know,” he murmured comfortingly, patting my hand “I know.”
We drove the rest of the way home in silence. Thinking about the beast lurking within our home.
Today is D-day. It’s time to slay the beast.