Sunday, September 14, 2014

Momnesia ~ the barest bones of a memory

It happened again. It's not the first time & I'm sure it won't be the last time either.

I forgot my PIN number, right in the middle of paying for my items. As hard as I tried, I just could not remember those important four digits I've used several times every day for the last seven odd years.

After the EFTPOS machine beeped & informed that there was an incorrect PIN entered, for the second time, I admitted memory defeat. The last thing I needed was to lock myself out of my bankcard at the first of many shops I needed to visit that day. As quietly as possible I muttered to the shop assistant that I had forgotten my PIN & would need to call my husband for him to remind me of those four essential digits that had escaped me. Imaginably, after this confession, she was thinking 'who on earth forgets their PIN number' or, 'it's probably a stolen card', while smiling politely at me as I bumbled my bankcard back into my purse & tried to make a hasty exit - as hasty as one can while supporting a baby in a sling who is squirming around trying to grab anything in reach, including other customers. As I temporarily walked away from the counter maybe she wasn't thinking of anything but her next break time & it is my own embarrassment filling the void of her unheard speculations. Either way I was blushing & flustered.

Sudden thoughts of early onset amnesia plagued me as I walked back to the car for my phone. (Funny how my thinker couldn't recall a simple code, but could easily recall many instances over the last few years where my memory just packed up & left. Ironic.)  Wondering when is baby brain more than a superficial forgetfulness & the beginnings of something more serious. My thought processes can be a tad dramatic sometimes, running away with a worst case scenario before I've even had a chance to think rationally. It's quite common for several possibilities, where there is a tragic end, to flash before my eyes at the beginning of any health related incident. Blake has bruises all over his legs, my mind jumps ten steps ahead & is suddenly convinced he has leukemia. Will develops a persistent & constant cough, this means he must have whopping cough & is going to infect Clay who is not yet fully immunised. Jack screams as though he's dying after falling off his bike, immediately my mind relays all the horrible bone breaking, skin shredded injuries he'll have. I like to think I'm not the only one who does this, that it is a parenthood induced condition. Hands up who else has a mind that fills with numerous potential nightmares when it comes to something horrible happening to your children...Or when they just fall off their bike. I love these little minions something fierce & would do anything to protect them, so if that means my brain is always preparing for the worst possible scenario, then bring on the gray hairs.

I digress, back to the shop assistant. She thoughtfully put my bag of unpaid goods aside & patiently served the next person while I made a hasty walk back to the car, fruitlessly unable to remember those damn four numbers. It seems under pressure I can remember all my past PIN numbers, Doug's PIN numbers, phone numbers from childhood friends twenty years ago & the due dates of our minions (which none of them arrived on, so are essentially useless numbers, only holding a sentimental value.) But I could not recall four numbers I use every day. Even cell memory was no help, my fingers couldn't do the walking (or the recalling) this time.

Getting Doug on the phone, I awkwardly ask him what my PIN number is. He says "Oh what, ****, that one?"
Even as he says the numbers out loud & I repeat them back to him there is no strike of familiarity. No flash of recognition. Clearly there is little hope for me. My memory, or lack there of, is on it's final legs, or on it's final cells. I blame the kids. They are all reasonably smart which they obviously, & figuratively, sucked my brain dry got from me. From Doug they got his sense of humour, which he still has in abundance. Unfair. You need your wits about you in this house & I'm at a clear disadvantage.

The precarious & inconsistent working state of my memory has long been a source of humour (or exasperation) between us, especially since Blake's pregnancy & has only spiralled downward with each positive pregnancy test there after. One of Doug's excuses reasons against having a seventh child is because he fears for the thin strands of cognizance remaining. Apparently the hiatus my memory took during our last pregnancy was at best amusing & at worse perturbing. Sadly I have no argument, even I was aware of just how ditzy & off with the fairies I was. Heck my forgetful state during Clay's pregnancy even exasperated me, at least on the rare occasions where I remembered what it was like not to feel the fuzzy & cotton wool filled haze of pregnancy brain. 

With Clay now six months old, I think this is as good as it's going to get any time soon. Especially with remembering everything going on with the minions. If it doesn't get written on the calendar, who has what excursion, on what day; who needs to be where at what time; doctor appointments for whom & when; what bills are due when, then there is every chance I will forget. Even written down isn't a fail-safe guarantee. Geez they're lucky I can remember their birth dates & most of the time, their names.

Maybe it's time I tattoo my PIN on my palm. It may not be subtle, but my memory needs all the help it can get these days. Plus I'm not sure I could handle admitting I've forgotten my PIN again to Doug & get away without a teasing.


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