Friday, May 14, 2010

That fickle thing called Memory

I forgot my children had dentist appointments last Monday. Four of them. In a row. Technically I didn't forget as much as I thought it was next Monday.

My husband says he remembers telling me when he got the reminder post cards, when he got the reminder phone call, and when he went to the dentist last Thursday and was told they had appointments. I, of course, have no memory of any of these conversations and he was out of town the day of the appointments. I can't really blame him (although I would really like to) because I did have it written on my calendar and do remember, when coordinating piano lesson times last week, mentioning there were dentist appointments set for that Monday.

(Please, please do NOT tell my husband as I am still willing to fight the "well you should have let the answering machine pick up when you saw it was the dentist calling, then I could have heard the reminder call" fight.

Husband, who gets an email of this blog: I am making up the piano thing to make you look less guilty.

Every one else: *wink* *wink*)

So anyway, I am positively, absolutely, 50% sure I had a memory before I had kids. I always say each pregnancy and infant related sleep loss kills about 20% of brain cells. After five kids I was at full brain deadness. The 6th put me in a memory debt so deep Dave Ramsey couldn't dig me out.

I once knew, and could use, a multitude of physics formulas. I struggle now to remember words with multiple syllables. Case in point? The other day I googled "crazy person suit with long sleeves" to help me remember the term "strait jacket." Not only do I love the example because it doesn't actually fit the case I was pointing, but because of the irony of what I was looking up.

You want to know the hardest things for me to remember? My kids names. Or at least the correct name of the child I'm calling. "Elise, Ryan, Joseph, Matthew, um, whichever one of you is 9 years old, come here right now!" If I ever blank on your name, just be glad I remember I still know you at all. Seriously, I blanked my own husband's name the other day. ("You now, the guy I've been married to for 14 years, the name is on the tip of my tongue." - This does not make a good impression on people for some reason.)

So. Was I talking about something?  I kind of remember.  Something about appointments?  Oh yes, I was writing about how my husband can't seem to remember to tell me the dentist called to remind us of appointments.  I swear, What's-His-Name's memory is so bad.




(If only I could remember where I hid some chocolate.)

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  1. You love conversations? Me too! Anyway, I'm having the worst time remembering nouns. I'll be trying to think of something so simple "that flat thing where you put your food. Oh, a plate!" and it just doesn't come to me. It's really freaking me out. I used to have the most amazing memory. Now? It's solid gone.

  2. The other day I had to turn in a kindergarten registration packet that took me an hour to fill out. I felt so accomplished, remembered the doctor's exam form and immunization form. And forgot her birth certificate. Yeah.

    I read in The Female Brain (If I remember correctly ;p) that you don't lose actual brain cells, but the cells do shrink during pregnancy. One of the main points of the book was that our brains change a lot with each hormonal shift and each life stage. It made me really look forward to menopause, bec. the hormones then help you make that switch to Red Hat Society doing-whatever-you-want-ness. (I may be simplifying a bit there.)

  3. LOVE this!

    What a way to start my Friday morning - laughing and smiling all the way. With you, of course. :)

    And this? " I always say each pregnancy and infant related sleep loss kills about 20% of brain cells. After five kids I was at full brain deadness. The 6th put me in a memory debt so deep Dave Ramsey couldn't dig me out."


    So glad to be here via Momalom.

  4. Found you via MMB.

    Thanks for making me laugh this morning.

    Love your blog!

  5. You can't remember their names, but at least you remember their ages! That's an accomplishment if you ask me. And if it makes you feel better, I think you've inherited your name-forgetting from your mom, so it's not ALL your (kids) fault! :-)

  6. I'm with you. My memory stinks. George Foreman may have had it right by naming all his kids after himself. Less to forget.

  7. I know I heard Paul Harvey say one time that women do lose memory cells when they give birth..and more are lost when giving birth to girls. I use that as my excuse. It works!

  8. Amen! This is why I have the doctor/dentist/school reminders come to my own cell phone and not the hone phone. That way I get the message.

    It took a while to learn this, but it's learned now.

    Also, if I don't write it down in my planner, it doesn't really matter if I get a reminder call. I'll still forget.

    That little notebook is my new brain.

  9. My mom used to always get my name mixed up with my brother. I find myself doing the same thing. What's worse, I forget which birthday is which. All of these dates and names, it's confusing and a lot to remember.

  10. i tend to forget a lot, too. i use to resent my MIL cause she would forget im the same way...its karma i guess.

    i hate it when i forget what i was saying right in the middle of a GOOD story or when i am trying to make a good point. ugh.

  11. I am new to your BLOG. I love this. I so relate. I can'te remember anything.

    I am constantly sure early onset of Alzheimer's is to blame.

    I love the fact that you looked up crazy person in long suit...something I would do!!!!!!! I will be visiting you often.

  12. I had six kids and my memory is perfect. I remember every little thing. I never walk into a room and try to remember why I was there. Never open the fridge and forget what I was getting. I also never forget how to lie about memory loss either.

  13. I used to have a perfect memory and not very many friends. Then as life became full my memory waned.

    I forget dental appointments, meetings and deadlines. Now I have a lot more friends.

    If you ask me, it's a good trade.

  14. I remember my mother laughing herself to tears and telling me I had finally become a REAL PARENT: We were at a church event, and Ethan (youngest at the time) did something ... I have no recollection of what. I looked him straight in the face and said "Jory No Adam No Julian No Ethan ... Yeah, Ethan ... that was wrong and you need to come here and sit on timeout!"

    Now, with 9 ... well, let's not discuss that.

    I'm pretty good at ages, but if you want me to remember birthdays, I have to start at the top. This means that the easiest way to get a list of all the birthdays is to ask me Kaleigh's ... I'll run through all 9 to get to her, because I can't remember them any other way.

    Pretty sad, huh? Especially since I don't have the hormone excuse ... sometimes it sucks to be a DAD ;-P

  15. Over from Momalom.

    This gave me a chuckle. A hearty one.


  16. When in doubt, I just call my kids "you there". I'm always messing up their names. My excuse for lost memory is that my head is full of breastmilk. But no one buys it.

  17. hahaha, i'm just as bad, and that's after only ONE child. I'm in big trouble if we have any more. I'll have to write everything down on my arms and legs to remember it all.

  18. What's-his-name's memory, huh? LOL

    I did the exact same thing with the dentist in April. I always feel like a complete loser when I have to call and make a new appt.

  19. This must happen to dentists a lot. I called to schedule six of us to go at the same time. They would only set the appointment after I paid the $300 for our cleanings over the phone. They didn't want to be stuck with three hours of downtime if we "missed the appointment for some reason". (That was nice of the receptionist to not come right out and say a mom of five would be likely to forget, though I wouldn't have faulted her if she had.) The $300 stayed on my mind all month and we were right on time for our appointment!

    I'm more the type to "forget" to clean or make meals, especially when I can't bring myself in from the lovely sunshine outside. ;o)

  20. *Chortle, snort, hee hee*

    I only have two and am already in the trenches. Good grief.

  21. Charlotte, what a great angle on the memory topic for Momalom! You are so funny! Really, just be happy you haven't left one somewhere, right?

    (And, by the way, about your comment on my brain tumor post, I'm not a "fat head" I'm a "titanium mesh and surgical screw-head!")

  22. @Jennie- Yes, I love conversations a little too much. I also forget basic nouns a lot, too. The other day it was those cutting things with holes in them for your fingers ... yeah, scissors. It will drive me crazy when my brain lets me remember I used to know a word, a word that is the perfect fit for what I want to say, but can't quite come up with it anymore.

  23. @Jane- Aw man, I was just kidding about the whole lose brain cells part. My cells probably looked like grapes and are now barely even raisins!! That being said, I have meant to pick up that book. I will try very hard to remember to add it to goodreads (although remember is the key word). I think my brain may be hitting the menopause stage early because I am having a heavy does of the do-whatever-I-want-ness now. (PS- I had to google "loose vs lose" because I couldn't remember the right one. Again.)

  24. @Justine- Thanks for stopping by. Glad I got your laughter rolling this morning!

    @Kim- I think we're related somehow. Maybe by marriage (you better hope it isn't by blood!) Did you see Andrea's comment? You are doomed by our genetics already bwah-hah-hah!

    @Lesa- Thanks for stopping by!

    @Andrea- I know I inherited it from her (Poor Kim is already doomed by our genetics. Did you see her comment? LOL). I will answer to all my siblings names. I can remember their ages (if I take a deep breath and think before I start).

  25. @Lisa- George Foreman was onto a great idea! Maybe I should legally change all their names. I'm sure my boys would be absolutely thrilled ;o)

    It would definitely save my limited brain cells (and my voice when calling the kids).

    @Chocolate on my Cranium- And now I know the rest of the story. I'll share that with my friend with 4 girls and thank my lucky stars I only have 2.

  26. @Lara- Yeah, usually writing it in the calendar is good. Unless I somehow think I'm living in the wrong week.

    I almost called the dentist and asked them to make a note that if my husband picks up the call, to please call again. My limited brain function didn't think about the cell phone option, I'll change the number they use when I call to make new appointments on Monday.

  27. @C (Kid things)- I almost forgot my anniversary this year. There are just too many dates crowded into my brain. I know it is only a matter of time before I actually forget someone's birthday. Maybe I should buy all the presents early so I can cover.

    @Girl in a Gorilla Suit- I lose my train of thought ALL the time. I'll often stop midsentence with a total mind blank. Karma can really bite, huh.

  28. @Terry- Well thanks! You're too sweet. My Mother-in-law always calls it "Sometimers", I didn't realize how quickly I would be able to relate to her joke.

    @TuckerMom- Sure you do. (Did you see Kim and Andreas comments?)

    @rebecca- You're right. And that is a definite benefit!

  29. @goofdad- That is 50% more names than I have to remember. I feel for you! I use the hormone excuse for as much as possible. It does come in handy! I think my husband has to run through birthdays from the top, too!

    @Rudi- thanks for stopping by! Glad you got a laugh.

  30. @Mommy J- Yes, I'm often stuck relying on "you there", too. I buy the breastmilk excuse, it makes perfect sense to me. After all, it seems to get everywhere else.

    @Allison- The first drop of brain function is the hardest. There isn't enough skin for me to make enough notes. I would be a solid black ink tattoo!

    @Kazzy- I dread calling and confessing so much I haven't called to reschedule yet. I'll have to do it on Monday (which will be the day I thought the appointments were).

  31. @Mary- I'm sure my dentist will be tempted to do the same. He is on the board of the hospital, which makes him Peter's boss (kind of) which makes it worse! I forget to clean and make meals as often as possible!

    @Amber- Yes, by two it was pretty bad already. It does get slightly better when you get full nights of sleep every night, though. Not full restoration, but better.

    @Linda- I'm sure it is only a matter of time before someone is forgotten somewhere. Actually my husband forgot to pick our son up after an activity last week, so I guess that "matter of time" has already arrived!

    I'm glad you didn't have an obvious form of teasing with your brain tumor (I'm sure your kids wouldn't have been as we were if you had!)

  32. Too cute and funny! I love it. Thanks for the chuckle. Found you through MMB.

  33. I CAN'T even imagine, I have the same (almost typed sane, Freudian slip?) problem with two. I'm all for blaming the husband. And life's so much easier when you just call everybody "hey you."

    PS How did I miss that you are participating in Five for Ten?! So much to read...I'll be back to catch up :-)

  34. Haha, memory debt... so awesome.

    Oh dear, when I have six kids can I come cry on your shoulder? That is, if we remember each other at that point.

  35. lol. Love it.
    My memory has been replaced by the scheduler on my phone. Now I don't have to remember anything important. I just have to remember to put the important things in my phone...

  36. @Jia- Thanks!

    @Christine- Um, this is my first post. I am a little behind...

    @Serene- You can cry on my shoulder all you want. If you don't remember me, just pick a random stranger. I'm sure they won't mind.

    @Anne- Thanks for stopping by. Apparently I have to remember to write it down AND check what I have written. *sigh*

  37. Kim and I were just talking about this the other day. I think I lose more memory per kid then you though because mine was gone by the beginning of this pregnancy.

  38. Oh my memory is MIA too. I have to write on sticky notes, day planners, whiteboards...even on my hand! No kidding!
    I've been taking some herbal supplements that actually help, so maybe you could check those out at your local healthfood or vitamin store?
    As for remembering the kids' names--haha--I can't blame that on my poor memory--just my insanity. Hey, there's 7 of 'em!

  39. A few weeks ago I went to school with little ones in tow, snatched my daughter right before lunch, drove through a snow storm, unload little ones (one who fell asleep) and marched everyone into the dentit's office only to have them inform me that the appt. was tomorrow. As in I have to do all this all over again. Ugh. And I'm glad to hear you have to google words to. When I'm writing my blog, I will ask my husband weird ?s like what's the word for when you stuck in the middle of the desert with no way out? Oh, yeah, stranded. Thanks.