We’ve all done some pretty stupid things. I will shamelessly tell you, the dumbest thing I did pre-baby, but I won’t tell you the dumbest post-baby thing because I probably can’t even remember. That’s the crap thing about Baby Brain, you can’t even remember what it is you forgot.
Pre-baby, when I was 18, I arrived at my boyfriend’s house after a long, gruelling evening
at the Jewlery store, preceded by a tough day at school. (I wish sarcasm had its own font, but I trust you, my readers, to pick up on what I’m laying down.) It was winter in Colorado and anyone with a brain knows its cold! Especially at night. So here I am, yakking away on my cell phone, in my car. The flip kind of cell phone mind you, this was pre-BlackBerry days, post-Nokia brick days for you kiddies. I have gathered my purse, my coat, and car keys but I tell my friend on the phone, “Ahg! I can’t find my phone anywhere!” To which she responds, “Where did you have it last?”
Wow. We were a couple of geniuses. I blame being 110 percent self-involved on that one.
Ok, I do remember my golden moment as a mother thus far. It was a warm Spring day and I was taking Charlie to the paediatrician (Aussie spelling) for a check up. I had her buckled into the car when I remembered I needed her Blue Book. The Blue Book is all her medical records from birth FYI. So, I run back into the house to retrieve this. But, before I leave my precious child in the driveway, I think to myself, “Hmmm, better lock the car so no crazies steal her while I’m in the house for 15 seconds.” Beep. Done. I race inside, grab the book and race back outside. Just as I pull the front door shut and hear the lock click, I realize, “Holy mother, I left the car and house keys on the table.” Now my baby is locked in the car, and I am locked out of both car and house. This is the moment when you envision the authorities ripping your child away from you, telling you you’re unfit. Or if you are like me, you say screw the authorities, I’ll smash a brick through a window before that happens! Luckily, I have my cell phone in my pocket and I dial Lucas 42 times before he FINALLY picks up and I can breathlessly tell him to, “Please come home I’m locked out and I’m the worst mother in the world!” The next seven minutes were the most paced, anxiety filled minutes my driveway has ever seen. Charlie, slept the entire time.
I remember these little gems of moments in my life every time I do something incredibly mindless or witness one of my friends fall into this misfortune. This past Saturday, I’m waiting at Zumba for my lovely friend Beck who I met at Mother’s Group and I adore to the end of the earth. She comes in and uses what is normally my line, “Oh my gosh,you aren’t going to believe what I did!” She goes on to tell me that she accidentally followed the car in front of her into the car park without getting her own ticket. Wait, wait, wait. What the heck is a car park? Ah yes my American friends, here is where I can show off my awesome Australian to American translation skills. A car park is a parking lot, or a parking garage, or a parking space. Pretty much anywhere that is legal for you to shimmy your SUV into. In this instance, Beck was referring to the parking garage near the gym we go to and you can park free for the first two hours. Now, having Baby Brain starts when you’re pregnant and it never goes away. Ever. Baby Brain is at times a debilitating condition, especially when you have five free, peaceful minutes and you can’t remember why the hell you’re in the kitchen. Or, you’re so zoned out you sneak into the car park like my friend Beck, the hardened criminal who dragged me down to the ranks of Canberra outlaw with her.
Prior to the Zumba class starting we were devising ways to get her car out without getting caught by the authorities and not having the giant yellow arm come smashing down on her upon exit. Suffering from my own Baby Brain, it took me until half way through the class to get my lightbulb moment. By this time in the class, I’m looking more like a drunken woman in yoga pants who thinks her moves are the best this world has ever seen. Being distracted by my ever-so-clever idea is not helping my coordination.
When class ends I inform Beck that we CAN get her car out and I am 99 percent positive it will work. She will follow me out, I will zoom as soon as the arm lifts and she can just zip out behind me. As we near the exit, my pulse attempts to quicken but it’s still elevated since my out of shape derrière just finished a semi-difficult workout. I think to myself, “It’ll be fine, and if its not, well, I just won’t think about that.” We get to the exit and I hesitate, not knowing which one to take, there are two lanes, I decide on the one that has more room for two cars to line up so we can maximise our acceleration. I push in my ticket, don’t take time to read out loud the, “Have a lovely day!” message that I usually mock, and hammer the accelerator. My father would be so proud. I even put the Touareg in “sport” mode to prepare for such a drag race moment. I check the curb with my left rear tire, don’t tell Lucas, and Beck squeaks out behind me. We did it! I’m sure the cars at the stoplight think we’ve lost our marbles when we both do a happy dance, but I don’t know them so who cares?! Lesson learned, sometimes you’re so preoccupied and/or brain dead from motherhood you have to resort to criminal activity. I don’t recommend it, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!
p.s. Feel free to share your “Baby Brain” moments, it’s good to know we’re not alone!