My son just walloped me at Memory again, and this time I was really trying.

Of course, the first game I helped the little fellar out by regularly interjecting, "Um, no, I don't think so...wait! now just turned it over!" I may have even given up a couple matches that I actually remembered correctly. He beat me 10-7. Before the second game, however, I clearly stated, "Daniel, I'm not playing around this time. Mama's really going to try to win. I'm going to play hard and try to beat you."

I was defeated, and the score was identical: 10-7.

Gosh, I don't know how that happened, and maybe that's the problem. Perhaps the day will come when I lose at Memory, not because I have fewer matches, but because I can't quite recall what the game is about. I have chronic Mommy brain. At least, I think that's what is. It's better than another diagnosis.

Do you have Mommy's brain, too? Here are possible symptoms:

Taking your husband sippy cups of milk when the toddler asks for something to drink
Trying to hand your kids steaming cups of coffee on Sunday mornings
Standing in any room of your house, but most often the kitchen, and asking yourself repeatedly, "Now, why am I in here? What was I doing?"
Tapping your head like Winnie the Pooh and repeating, "Think, think, think."
Asking desperately every school morning, "Has anyone seen my purse?!
Forgetting to pick up your kids on a half day
Gray hair

Here are the causes, as far as I can tell:

Wildly fluctuating hormones due to multiple pregnancies
Toddlers knocking your head about too many times after sneaking into your bed at night for years
The inability to concentrate, truly concentrate, on just one of your children, because The Others insist on interrupting
Indulging in too many unfinished chocolate cupcakes from kids' birthday parties
Not enough adult interaction
No good sleep

At present there is no known cure. Perhaps one day they'll discover it in some miracle plant in the Amazon. For now, I'm afraid, the only proper precautions to take against it growing steadily worse are to play endless games of Memory with your preschooler before his nap to keep your brain sharpish, and then, after you lose again, to promptly zonk out with him in order to forget the humiliation as you rock him to sleep.

Just don't forget to pick up your older kids from school.


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