I used to think of myself as clumsy and disorganized, but I have since decided that I simply lack an enzyme or something required for proper remembering. I think it’s genetic. And I’m pretty sure I’ve passed this along to my children. Poor things.
Some of their antics I just can’t understand, no matter how hard they try to convince me that they “just forgot” to put this or that away. I mean, Chickadee’s Tae Kwon Do bag holds all of her sparring gear as well as her uniforms and perhaps a small farm animal or two (based on both the smell and the size of it); my point is, it is a VERY LARGE BAG, and yet, she can “forget” to put it away even if it’s in the middle of a room, blocking pretty much everything.
Come to think of it, that may be blindness rather than forgetting; but that’s genetic, too.
I forget where silly little things are all the time. I’m not talking about misplacing items (although I do that as well), but things more like where the walls are. I mean, there can’t possibly be another explanation more embarrassing than that for why I am constantly walking into them, can there? I run into the corner of Otto’s desk at least once a day. It’s not particularly inconveniently or protuberantly (totally a word) located, I just manage to clip it with my hip while I’m walking by because, I don’t know, why would I remember where an 8-foot-long piece of furniture is located and alter my course accordingly?
I have at least three glasses of water scattered throughout the house at all times, and when I’m really in a fog, all three of them end up on my desk, together. Then I have to try to remember which one is the one I was using most recently, and which one is most likely to contain bug parts amidst the dregs.
I regularly cannot find the handset to the phone in the living room because earlier I took it into the office, and then when I find it in the office it’s usually right next to the phone on Otto’s desk (which I—of course—forgot was there).
Let’s not even get into the fact that I currently have five different sticks of antiperspirant going in my bathroom. Fresh pits are IMPORTANT. If I couldn’t figure out where I’d last left the current stick I’d just assume I’d used it up and open another one, okay? Shut up.
The point is, I am no stranger to forgetting. One might say that on Planet Oblivious I might be hailed as royalty. Oh, I’m not quite queen material, of course, but I’m pretty sure I’d at least make Duchess. I’m just sayin’.
HOWEVER, despite my own experiences in forgetfulness, my children continue to confuse and vex me. It’s not just the enormous duffle bag that gets dropped anywhere. It’s other things, too.
We are a family of readers, which obviously makes me very happy, but what I’ve done with deodorant the kids are doing with books. Can’t find the book you were reading? No problem! Start a new one! And be sure to leave it somewhere, too, so that you can do it all over again tomorrow! Dude, I once tried to read two books simultaneously and my brain sprung a leak. I don’t know how they process ANYTHING when they read stuff this way, but they are not to be deterred from their “method.”
And then there is the matter of lunch bags. Before school started I did my maternal duty by taking the children to Target and allowing them to select new lunch bags for the year. The trip was excruciating as Target carries 523 different lunch sacks for back to school and it requires some serious debate to choose between the pink monkeys and the purple flowers or to determine WHICH COLOR SOCCER BALL, because it’s TOO HARD. In the end we had our lunch bags and we took them home and wrote their names on them and I told the kids to take extra-good care of them, please, because I like to hear myself talk.
On any given day, I consider myself lucky if ONE lunch bag makes it home. Now, in Monkey’s classroom, the teacher has a designated area for lunch bags (I’m not sure why; maybe to keep the kids from pawing through their backpacks at lunch time?), and I suspect he manages to put his bag BACK there by mistake. But in Chickadee’s class, she has to take her bag FROM her pack, and then walk RIGHT PAST her pack again when they return. Why doesn’t the bag make it into the backpack? The world may never know.
My succession of evil threats is doing nothing to bolster their retaining power. First I used the spare (not nearly as cool) insulated lunch bags when the proper ones didn’t come home. Now we’ve moved on to grocery sacks. I’m tempted to suggest that in the future I will be wrapping all bag-less lunches in outgrown character underwear, but deep down, I know this is a genetic defect and I really cannot punish them for something they can’t help.
Chickadee’s memory regarding food is superb, but Monkey hasn’t been so lucky. I find myself at the dinner table explaining to him that no, really, he LIKES that food, I promise. Everyone else will chime in, growing louder over Monkey’s protestations, until he finally gives in and tastes whatever the offending food is that’s on his plate. “You’re right!” he’ll declare with glee, “I really DO like chicken!” Now, we only eat chicken about three or four nights a week, so it’s understandable that he can’t remember, I guess.
On the other hand, send either child upstairs to take a shower and you’re likely to find them wandering around naked. “What are you doing? Why aren’t you in the shower?”
“Ummmm… I don’t know.” They’re embarrassed to admit it, but I know the truth: They forgot.
The children have assignment books from school, which so far have only been left behind once apiece. These books contain their homework assignments (duh) as well as their schedules and any important communication. Every day when they get home, we have a snack and look over their books, and then they do their homework and put it in the handy pouch for that purpose inside their assignment books.
Yesterday Chickadee still had a bit of homework to finish after dinner, and it was becoming a nag-fest to get her to finish up, and she FINALLY completed it and stuck it into her folder and put the assignment book back into her back. At that point, for some reason—I don’t know why I did it, maybe mother’s intuition?—I stuck my hand into Monkey’s backpack and found a worksheet that had NOT been in his assignment book.
“Monkey, what is this?” I asked.
“Oh!” he said, completely unperturbed, “that’s more homework. I should do that.”
It was, by this time, five minutes until bedtime. I’m pretty sure I felt a blood vessel in my eye rupture.
I think there should be further medical research to help people like me and my family. In fact, I may just have to get things rolling myself. Maybe start an organization, or something. I’m going to get right on that. As soon as I find my antiperspirant.