I can’t decide if my lack of blogging right now is a positive indication of blissful busy-ness, or a negative reflection of how much time I’ve wasted playing Candy Crush Saga.
At any rate, there is such a thing as downtime in my day. It comes in five to fifteen minute bursts. Understandably, Candy Crush is the preferable option for turning off my brain.
This does not mean my life is boring. It simply means I currently lack the mental fortitude to recreate daily stories in writing.
Bear with me for a moment, while I muse on some scientific studies for which I have no reference points and can only call to mind via hearsay and vague memory. I’ve read (somewhere) that hormones and memory are directly linked. I’m sure the details were part of a conversation about women who lose their minds after becoming mothers.
Then, recently on NPR, I caught a snippet of an interview which was discussing the ever common phenomena of walking into a different room and completely forgetting what you came for. Guilty? Well you and I may not be completely crazy. According to a theory, the brain actually files thoughts in a system essentially comparable to rooms in a house or drawers of a filing cabinet. It was suggested that when we physically walk through a doorway, we subconsciously tell our brains to “close” the last thought and get ready for a new one. This is why we so often forget our exact purpose for going to another room.
I didn’t listen long enough to hear the advice that may or may not have been given at the end for how to combat this problem, but I like to imagine it included moving to a one room house the minute you have children. (Or maybe live in a shoe.) NPR is very practical in that way.
All of this is simply to say that between my hormones and all the different rooms in my house, it seems that if I don’t write “eat, sleep, and breath” on my things to do list, I might actually forget to do one or another in a given day.
You can see why “laundry, vacuum, and groceries,” are an even greater crap shoot.
Carter’s 4th birthday was Sunday. And here’s thing with summer birthdays (I would know). They are either the very best or the very worst. There is no in between. Unlike her sister, whose February birthday has been celebrated–at least three out of six times–on the actual day, with both sets of grandparents and other extended family members, and also at school, Carter’s middle of summer birthday tends to get spread a little thin. Eliott argues that it isn’t fair that Carter gets to have three birthdays in one year, and I can see where this seems true.
Meanwhile, Carter is mostly unaware that she has finally turned four.
This year, for example, we celebrated once in Michigan and then again in Tennessee. Complete with cake, presents, and varied versions of “Happy Birthday To You,” there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Carter’s birthday had been celebrated. However, the festivities took place, both times, before her actual birthday. This is important to note. Cake, presents, and singing alone, do not a birthday make.
Not ironically, we all woke up Sunday morning (the last day of two entire weeks of traveling), and a full two hours went by before someone remembered to wish Carter a (real) Happy Birthday.
Also, Mom of the year here didn’t get her a single present.
Not even one.
Had I been on my A-game, I might have wrapped and packed a few things to take with us for either or both of these extended family destination birthday parties, but alas. We barely made it to the airport with enough clean underwear.
And so, this year I have declared July 12th to be Carter’s birthday. We will at last accomplish all the things on her list of “Things to Do When I’m Four,” including: go to Chuck E. Cheese; get ears pierced; learn to ride a two-wheeler.
Tomorrow is going to be a very big day indeed.
And I finally bought her some presents.
The beauty of a mid-summer birthday is that Mom is just as ready for some change in activity as the kids are, so as a matter of practicality, I bought every present in double. Eliott will not be left out. And though new play-doh, paint sets, gigantic floor puzzles, and bandaids with characters on them are all things that I might have provided mid-summer anyway, somehow it makes it that much more fun when it comes wrapped in pink princess paper and is accompanied by leftover birthday cake.