Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Year of Forgetting Things

I used to remember stuff.  In the good 'ol days I got by without a day planner, a Google calendar or email reminders.  I dashed between meetings while putting the finishing touches on projects and answered phone calls and instant messages at the same time without - get this - forgetting a single task!  I think back to the days when I used to juggle what I thought was an excessive amount of to-dos and got everything done in a timely manner.  Who was that girl?

That girl was obviously not a mom.  She had the advantage of pre-baby brain cells that were still multiplying.  No one tells you that after you have kids your brain cells diminish at a rate far faster than they used to increase.  In other words, you start forgetting things.

I remember being pregnant and forgetting things.  I blamed my forgetfulness on my hormones because everything was out of whack.  Then I remember taking care of babies and toddlers and forgetting things.  I blamed my forgetfulness on lack of sleep.  Now that my kids are both in school I am forgetting far more things than I actually remember.  What gives?

I write things down on the calendar and still forget.  Christopher had a soccer game that started at 10:00 am.  Both of my calendars and the official schedule hung on the refrigerator listed the game as 10:00 am but for some reason my brain was convinced the game was at 12:00.  Needless to say, Christopher's team was minus a player that day.

I received numerous emails from the media specialist at Nicholas's school reminding us about the Scholastic Book Fair.  I was told many times that Nicholas's class was shopping on Tuesday.  I remember reading all of the emails and thinking, Tuesday-book fair-got it.  Wouldn't you know that Tuesday came and went with nary a thought from me about the book fair?  I need more help remembering.  From now on, it's up to Nicholas to remind me when he's scheduled to shop at his book fair.  It obviously doesn't matter how many email reminders I get.

I have to continually apologize to Christopher's Kindergarten teacher because he doesn't bring in his library book or turn in his homework on the right day.  I chalked my forgetfulness up to getting used to our new school schedule, but it's well into December and I'm still forgetting.

I was especially upset at my forgetfulness when Nicholas auditioned for his school talent show.  I volunteered to help at the auditions so I signed Nichols up for a slot 1/2 hour after he got out of school thinking he could just walk down the hall to my volunteer table, change into a more presentable outfit and maybe have a few minutes for a quick practice.  I told Nicholas repeatedly not to get on the bus because I would just meet him at the school. Mark would pick Christopher up from his school and meet us for Nicholas's audition.  We all knew where we were supposed to be.  Everyone knew the plan. Or so I thought.

The one person I forgot to tell all this to was Nicholas's teacher.  Because she didn't have a note from me letting her know that it was OK for Nicholas to stay after school, she directed him to the bus - which was the right thing to do (I almost stopped at Nicholas's classroom before the bell but figured he knew what to do so why check in on him?) When he didn't meet me at my volunteer table, I assumed he got on the bus but it didn't dawn on me why until I saw her in the hallway and immediately thought - crap, I forgot to tell his teacher!  I called my neighbor to meet Nicholas at the bus stop, called Mark and rerouted him to pick up Nicholas after he picked up Christopher and head back to the school.  Nicholas's audition was at 4:30 and they managed to walk in the door at 4:25.  Whew

Nicholas didn't get to change his clothes or practice before his audition and was flustered from all of the miscommunication, but he handled himself with much grace under much pressure.  He rocked his audition and did it with a smile on his face.  I, on the other hand, was cursing myself for forgetting the most important detail of the day (I will never forget to tell his teacher about his after school plans again) and trying really hard not to cry.  Will this forgetfulness fog ever lift?

I could blame my absentmindedness on lack of Vitamin D or lack of sleep or some other malady.  But, the truth is, we all make mistakes.  I've made more mistakes in this Year of Forgetting Things than I care to admit, but I'm learning that I can't do it all.  I can’t volunteer or take the lead on every project or be in two places at once.  I have to learn to say no more often.

I've also decided that next year will be The Year My Kids Became More Responsible. In order for me to forget less I will hold them accountable more. I will let you know how all that goes, if I can remember.

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