Sunday, December 12, 2010

Losing my marbles...and my keys

I have always had a remarkable memory. Really. I could memorize whole plays in a single day. I once memorized two Shakespeare plays in one and a half hours (the length of my high school chemistry class). My memory is so good I actually put it down as a "special skill" on my acting resume.

Then I had a kid and everything that didn't have to do with her flew out of my ears. I forget if I have brushed my teeth. I can't remember if I drank that glass of water or left it upstairs. I ask my husband how his day was at least three times before I realize I've asked him. Worst of all - I lose my keys.

Oh I try to put them in the same place each time. When I get home they live in the same pocket of the diaper bag. When I got for a trip I always put them in my pants pocket when I lock up. And yet they are never there when it's time to open the door or start the car. They're in the bathroom. Or sitting on the stove. They hide under the baby blanket. Or they move into my shoe.

The other day I opened the car door with my keys. I buckled my girl into her carseat and then answered a quick phone call from my husband while I held my keys in my hand. I hung up, sat in the drivers seat and there were no keys. In the space of possibly two minutes my keys had disappeared. I got out of my car and looked in the back seat, in the carseat, in my purse, on top of the car, in the trunk. I even checked the ignition. No keys. I had them. I had to have. I opened the car with them.

Fifteen minutes of searching produced no results. I was simply too tired to keep searching and my brain was too full for me to even imagine where I put those keys. I could not get my mind to organize enough to do this simple task. I rested my head in my daughters lap and shrugged. We simply weren't going to be able to go anywhere. She shrugged too and grabbed my nose.

We stayed that way for twenty minutes. No useful memory flooded back. I couldn't retrace my steps. All I could think about was how soft my daughters hands were. As she grabbed my hair and bopped my face I could remember the day she first started using her hands, but I could not remember where I put my keys. I could remember three months ago when I brought her home in car for the first time. But not where I left my keys today. I could remember to the minute when she had last ate. But I didn't know where my keys, which had been in my hand less than an hour ago, were. I was losing my mind. And my keys. And now I was stuck in my car in the parking lot of a mall. I would have called my husband for help but I realized then that I didn't remember where I put my phone.

I used to have a really, really good memory.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Emily is a great name but for some reason she's collected a few new names along the way:

Emi-lily (My favorite)
Green Bean
Potato (Are you seeing the food trend?)
Bunny rabbit
Baby bird

My nickname, Katydid, eventually changed my name for life. My Dad still calls me Scooter. I wonder which one will stick to my little baby bird.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Do I know you?

I decided before I ever got pregnant that I did not want to know the gender before birth. So we spent nine long months waiting to find out if we had a daughter or a son. We also spent nine long months fending off questions about what we thought we were having and what other people thought we were having.

Then of course there was that foggy, hazy moment when I heard a voice say "A girl" and felt a soft, small cheek pressed against mine. Finally, we knew.

But the interesting thing is after three months I feel like I've both known my daughter my whole life and have absolutely no idea who she is. We waited nine months to know the gender. Now we wait to know what color eyes she will have. What color hair. Curly or straight. Where on earth did that red color come from? We wait to find out if she'll be loud or quiet. Will she be happy or serious or determined. Will she be the kind of person that accepts the world or insists things bend to her?

Is she going to like the color pink as much as I do?

And of course there are the unhappy wonderings of whether she has inherited my demons or will she create her own? What will she struggle with? What will be easy for her? What questions will she ask that I won't be able to answer? And will she forgive me for not knowing? For making my own mistakes as a mother?

The other day a friend looked at her and asked who she looked like. I couldn't say. Sometimes she's the spitting image of her Dad. Sometimes it's like I'm looking in the mirror. But often it's like looking at someone who is terribly familiar - but who I've never seen before.