Yoda, Pregnancy Brain and Dinosaur Dung

This morning, after my 4-year-old son and I dropped my 13-year-old stepson off at school, my son said, “Mama, I’m getting kind of sad.”

“Why?”

“Because he’s not with us anymore.”

Looking in the rearview mirror, I noticed his eyes starting to tear, but, as I considered whether to discuss his feelings or change the subject, he stated, “Ma, Yoda has a green lightsaber, and, when he ‘shings’ his lightsaber up, he can jump around.”

He paused, then said, “When he doesn’t have his lightsaber up, he has a cane, and he walks very slowly.” 

He continued, “His cane is a stick.” 

After another pause, he said, “That’s it.”

“Oh,” I said, surprised by the abrupt change in topic. 

Seeing an opening to divert his attention further from his brother, I asked, “What do you think I should write my blog about today?  I’m thinking ‘pregnancy brain.’”  Last night, in bed, we had laughed hysterically about my forgetfulness, and I wanted him to giggle again.

But, he said, “No, I want you to write about Yoda.  Please write about Yoda.” 

And, I wanted him to be happy in that moment, so I promised him I would.

So, here goes:  My son, 4 years and 8 months old, thinks it is important that everyone knows the following, which he recited to me, so I would be accurate:  In the Lego Star Wars video game, “Yoda can jump around when he ‘shings’ his green lightsaber up.  And, when he has his lightsaber down, he can only walk very slowly.”

Now that I’ve shared this critical information, I’ll move on to my “pregnancy brain” topic. 

In short, I have no short-term memory.

If I ask my son if he wants milk, ice water or a juice box with his lunch, and he says a juice box, I will walk to the kitchen, pour him some milk, and deliver it to him. 

Rolling his eyes, he’ll ask, “Ma, did you forget that I said juice box?”

And, I’ll admit I did.

If I run upstairs to grab him some socks before we leave the house, I’ll become distracted by something else—like going to the bathroom for the millionth time that day—then have no idea why I came upstairs in the first place.  Only after seeing him on the bottom step of the stairs, waiting to put his shoes on, will I remember, “Oh, I forgot to get his socks.”

And, so on. 

And, so on. 

I normally have a phenomenal memory—shocking to many in its detail—but this pregnancy has pickled my brain to the point where I now have to write down everything important.

The night before our trip to Disney World, as my son and I were talking before his bedtime, he told me all about the new PBS Kids television program Dinosaur Train.  I’ve watched it with him, of course, and it’s a sweet, educational show about a Pteranodon couple, watching over their three eggs, who find an abandoned egg that they adopt as their own.  Not knowing what species their adoptive (T-Rex) son is, they go on family adventures to learn about different dinosaurs as they try to identify his species.

My son impressed me by telling me all about the Dinosaur Train family. 

“There’s the mommy and the daddy and Shiny and Tiny and Don.  They’re the Pteranodons,” he said. 

“And Buddy is the T-Rex.

“They went on a train and found a new feces of dinosaur.”

I wasn’t sure I’d heard correctly, but he repeated himself, referring to the new feces of dinosaur they discovered on their travels.

Now, I think it is hysterical that my son thinks “species” is pronounced “feces,” so I wrote it down, so I would remember his exact wording for the next day’s blog post.  But, at Disney World, I was too busy and tired to write, and I simply forget the story—a story that is a classic.

But, when I was organizing the papers on my desk this weekend, I found my scribbles on a loose piece of paper, my reminder to myself of “a new feces of dinosaur.”  So, I’m coping with my “pregnancy brain” my having a notebook with me at all times, but it’s disconcerting nonetheless because I’m losing credibility with my son.

A few nights ago, he announced, “You don’t remember much because your brain is pretty small.”

I laughed, and he asked, “Isn’t your brain pretty small?”

“No, my brain isn’t small.  The pregnancy is just affecting it.”

“Well, your brain is smaller than mine, because I remember everything I know.”

And, I don’t anymore.  So, he decided that because dinosaurs have different-sized brains, people probably do too.  And, his mother’s is obviously miniscule…

Last night, he picked a series of five books about animals as his bedtime stories.  We’ve read these so many times that I decided to mix it up a little, saying the opposite of what is on each page, to see if he’d catch on and correct me.

On the first page of What Do Penguins Do? (ticktock Entertainment, 2006), instead of “Penguins live in very cold places,” I said “hot places.”  He didn’t notice, instead pointing out the metallic-silver snowflakes and the penguins’ metallic-gold beaks and feet. 

I repeated, “Penguins live in very hot places,” until he giggled, saying, dramatically, “No, they don’t. “

“Well, where do they live?”

“In cold places.”

I turned to the next page, featuring a crowd of penguins, and rather than, “Penguins live with lots of other penguins,” I said, “Penguins live alone.”

He laughed, then said, “No, they don’t.”

Giggling even more, he announced, “It’s because you have ‘the pregnancy brain.’”

“No, I’m just teasing you!”

“No, it’s because you have ‘the pregnancy brain.’”

So, there you go.  Any mistake I make, unplanned or intentional, is now “the pregnancy brain.”

And, I just returned from my dentist appointment, and I have soft, spongy, bleeding “pregnancy gums.”

Wait until I tell my son…

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