Sunday, 19 February 2012

Baby Brain

Photo: vichie81
Baby brain.  It's one of those funny phenomena that is always up for discussion.

 Pregnant women go on and on about the strange things they do - a colleague of mine brought her home phone to work in her handbag instead of her mobile. I've lost the sugar for a morning, because I'd put it in the fridge with the milk instead of the cupboard where it belongs.

Perky magazines trying to convince their pregnant readership that pregnancy is a superior state (an effort I'm grateful for) constantly quote any new research that proves the hormones zipping around during pregnancy are magical things.  I've read that they make pregnancy the perfect time to  use the imagination, try new things, become a miracle multi-tasker and that actually pregnant brains function better than pre-pregnant brains.

And I have a lot to say to that. Like gah, surrenbet, and flumduh?  If baby brain is a myth, I must have premature senile dementia. If I weren't pregnant, I'd be seriously worried.  Words - the simplest of nouns, mostly  - are deserting me by the bookful. I can laugh about it, knowing they'll come back again to roost, one day.

But it's disconcerting at best when your small child looks at you quizzically and says, 'Did you mean teeth, Mummy?' and you realise groggily that you've told her to brush her hands.  Sometimes I can get around it (with some frustration) by describing things.  Steve wanted his hospital wristband tonight, from when he was newborn. (It's a long story).  I could see it in an instant. I knew exactly where it was.
'It's in the bookshelf, with the other....things. It's a purple - a purple striped book thing. Look in the bookcase, second along, third shelf up with the other... oh, for goodness' sake.' I took a deep breath, then shouted triumphantly, 'Photo albums! It's in a purple stripy photo album.'

I wasn't quite sure how to take it when he suggested my next story should draw on my experience, and involve the frustrations of Alzheimer's, apart from to feel thankful that I haven't got to face something so crippling in reality. Then, two minutes later, he called up, 'Where did you say this album is?'

'Never mind. I'll come and get it.' I heaved my considerable bulk off the sofa (having baby bump as well as baby brain) and found it, exactly where I'd said: second bookcase along, third shelf up.

So while I wait for my language skills to return, I get the last laugh. At least I don't suffer from Man-Blindness (the inability to spot the obvious, right in front of your nose). 

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