Have you got baby brain?
Before the dawn of time women everywhere knew that in order to receive the gift of a child they must sacrifice their brain or part there of. Modern man labelled this phenomenon baby brain and I for one have revelled in it. Lose your keys? Baby brain. Call a colleague the wrong name? Baby brain. Thing is I’m not sure it will ever go away. Worse still, I know that it won’t because I’ve always had it.
You’re not likely to find me in the mastermind chair any time soon but I do get the odd one right on University Challenge. I don’t consider myself thick. There are just specific grey areas in my knowledge alongside a unique interpretation of the world that land me in the dunce hat every now and again.
‘Franks ‘n’ Artra, my favourite duo’
It started early. I remember being baffled at how people could continually refer to swing duo Franks n Artra as ‘he’. They could both sing exactly the same. Needless to say finding out Frank Sinatra was one man doing all the singing was like having a light switched on. Names have always been a troubling one come to think of it. There was Ann Bacall at Tesco, forever on shift. She never stopped and they needed her at that checkout in extreme queue busting times. It wasn’t until I heard a ‘red call’ to the checkout that the supermarket’s traffic light system clicked. Poor Ann was no longer employee of the year.
There was the whole confusion over the Marx brothers- Groucho and Karl, I’m still not convinced I know who they are but I know for sure that Karl’s a whole other kettle of fish. And the Jayne Eyre-Jane Austin who’s who debacle, I think that’s fairly self explanatory. The time I got the date wrong for watching Henning Wehn, a day late rather than early, who checks tickets when you’ve got such an incredible memory?
I even introduced myself to someone using the wrong name during an Open Uni lecture, I could hear the words coming out but it didn’t stop ‘Hi I’m Michelle, actually sorry, I’m not Michelle, I’m Helen, I don’t know why I said that’. I sat on my own for that one. Well you would, wouldn’t you? You’d give anyone who gave you the wrong name (and admitted it, to this day I’ve no idea why I didn’t just go along with being Michelle) a wide berth at the least.
Being pregnant finally gave me an excuse for day to day discrepancies in my head like turning up for my hair appointment on the wrong day or accidentally knocking things over with my bump (more recently my hands, bum, elbows). I put keys in the fridge. Frequently I forget to boil the kettle before making tea. The other day I forgot my date of birth, I referred to my son as she and I gave my dad’s post code for an online delivery. I continue to forget things. Ironically, I’m struggling to remember half of my ‘baby brained’ antics. Often I have entire conversations with myself planning and executing ideas without so much as a word from other people. Thing is, I promptly forget they happened.
Since having a baby unfortunately my spacial awareness has also decreased (there was only a little there to start with). I drop things, often 3 or 4 times in a row. Often I’ll walk into the same things. It’s easy to trip over things. I stub my toes and I bump my head a worrying amount. Somehow, I manage do the thing where your clothes get caught on the door handle but you don’t realise and it shuts on you before it stops you dead in your tracks. Tell me I’m not the only one. Most recently I took my little splasher to his swimming lesson. Having put my costume on before getting to the baths, I neglected to realise I’d left my top on in the pool until 5 minutes before the end. Again with the wide berth weirdo alert.
‘if it’s a thing, I’m in’
My point is that while some mothers get frustrated with their ‘baby brain’, I’m loving the shield it gives me for the things that I’ve always done. I got told last week that I had ‘mummy brain’ by a lovely receptionist. She was looking for a prescription that I’d already collected. If it’s a thing, I’m in.