Hello? Is it Keys You're Looking For?

I suffer from short term memory loss. It runs in my family; at least I think it does. Where are they? - Dory, Finding Nemo

Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food. - Austin O'Malley

A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness. - Elbert Hubbard


Has anyone seen my keys? – Every Mother since the dawn of the automotive industry

I used to have brains. Big brains. Off to see the Wizard to discover you already had brains, brains. Ideas that didn't involve car seat buckling strategies. Ideas about life. Theories. I had things to say. Now, I just forget what I was going to say. What was I going to say? Oh yes, the square root of 144 is…HEY, did I ever switch that load over to the dryer?

With each pregnancy and subsequent birth of my four children, 2 zillionths, actual measurement, of my brain matter has been lost. Most days, I can not spell words I've known my whole life. Octopus. One S or two? Sobriety. Y or IE. I call all of my children by the wrong names. Every day. I compensate for the guilt by concluding that it only endears me to them as you always most want to please the person who easily forgets you.

I have a key hook that may as well be a magic portal to Narnia. Keys go there, but they never ARE there. Sometimes, I will find my key ring (AHA! BRAINS!) only to find that the car key isn't on it, but, 3 sets of house keys are. This is your brain on kids.

My husband has come home to find I've left both sliding van doors open; in the rain. On more than one of these occasions, he has found our keys hanging stationary and forgotten, in the doorknob. The only thing missing from this grand display of Momentia? The sign that says: "FREE van and family!"


I often find myself in the shower, head against wall, deep in non-thought until reality strikes, "Where am I in this process? How did I get in here? When did I get in here? What's that sound? Where are the children? Where's what'shername? Did I wash my face? SHIT, It's what'shisname's snack day! Did I put conditioner on top of my shampoo? Why am I wearing underwear?"

I have a calendar full of reminders I’m destined to forget; written with hope, in my handwriting, apparently with a pen I wielded. Each date an ocean of obligation. I walk past these pages of commitments at least 100 times a day, but, like ACME ink, it’s invisible to my brain. Then, there is the flip side - I look at the calendar with no knowledge of writing items down. I look at the calendar. I look at my hands. I look to the heavens. Divine calendar writing? I check to make sure ink isn't pouring from my wrists a la stigmata. How in the? Who in the? Brains.

With baby # 3, I devised a clever system of placing a rubber band on the wrist of the side I last nursed on. BOOOOYAH! BRAINS! After much self congratulatory back patting over my classic, yet simple innovation, I would wake to feed her and wonder if I ever remembered to switch the rubber band to the alternate side. Sleep deprived and caffeine starved, I'd stare at my wrist as if under the influence. Stare. Stares. Staring. *Shrugs* What's the matter, grey matter?

At each pediatrician appointment, I take notice that my children’s head circumference is growing. Growing with knowledge. Growing into new hat sizes. Growing with my stolen brain. As they covertly and adorably activate the brain sucking transfer sequence, I marvel at how willing I was to let my brain go. To let go once and then again and then again and then again; to happily, if not unknowingly, become more Forrest Gump with each passing child. I may not know where my keys are, but, I know what love IS. In the swirl of my daily march toward world domination level forgetfulness and disorder, the love is somehow burned into the footprint of my being. My brain making room for this all consuming love by selling any remembrance of snack days, key rings and personal cleanliness down the river.


It’s time to load up, kids! The doctor says you are healthy and smarter than your mom. Everyone in? Everyone buckled? Let’s go home. Where are the keys? *Sees lovely, kind and sympathetic receptionist running out to our van holding my key ring* Sigh. Brains.

This post originally appeared on Bad Parenting Moments.

About Bethany: Bethany Thies is a writer and the proud mother to four, young Vikings. She is the author of the parenting blog, Bad Parenting Moments and the chronically unread poetry blog, Room for Cream. She can often be found searching for socks, keys, discount non-perishables and a bathroom lock her children can not pick. Bethany's work has been published on several parenting sites and, when they'll have her, in old fashioned black and white in her local, independent newspaper. Her children are unimpressed.

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