Saturday, 12 April 2008


When I came across the article on the Daily Telegraph website, about 'mumnesia', I was reminded of a few events, which took place in my own life, when I was a younger mother.

The first incident that came to mind took place when I was 8 months pregnant, with my second son. I went into a busy craft shop, with my mother, and we looked through several packets of wool, in a bargain basket. We left the shop without buying anything, but we walked past another 4 shops in the same road, before I realised that I had left the shop with a whole packet of wool tucked under my arm! Panic-stricken, I ran back into the shop and thrust the wool back into the basket. I ran out again, as fast as I possibly could, in my condition, before anyone could make sense of what I had done and give chase!

Only a few days later, I handed over some things I wanted to buy, at the till, in the local newsagent. 'And what about the magazine?' asked the shop assistant.

'What magazine?' I asked, rather bewildered by her question.

'The magazine under your arm!' she replied, somewhat sharply.

One Saturday afternoon, when my middle son was just a couple of weeks old, my husband and I decided that we needed to go into town to do some shopping. I was last out of the house. I slammed the front door behind me and joined my husband in the car. He started the engine, but as he drove onto the road, I realised that we had forgotten something. 'We've forgotten the baby!' I exclaimed. We had left him, in his pram, sleeping in the cool sitting room, at the front of the house, because it was a really hot day. When we pulled up, back on the drive again, we realised that neither of us had brought a front door key and it took my husband 40 minutes to break in, by forcing open the patio doors, at the rear of the house. Fortunately, middle son slept through all of the activity.

After the birth of my third son, I went through a phase of confusing days, dates and times for quite a while, as I remember.

My youngest son was a few months old when a friend rang to ask me, politely, why I wasn't at her house, for a cup of tea and a chat, as we had arranged. I told her that I wasn't supposed to be there until the following day, but, when I checked the calendar, I was stunned to see that she was right!

One Saturday afternoon, not long after that, I asked my husband to take my eldest son to another child's birthday party, but they very quickly returned, my husband somewhat crossly explaining that they'd arrived a week too early! I was so relieved that I hadn't taken eldest son to the party myself!

On another occasion, the whole family was due to go to the dentist and my husband had taken the day off work, especially. We were running a little late and burst into the reception area, at the surgery, in the same way that we tended to enter any room in those days, with the 3 little gremlins who bore an uncanny resemblance to our 3 young sons. The grim reaper manning the reception desk checked the appointment book and, then, to my dismay, began going back through the pages. 'You should have been here yesterday!' she said disapprovingly, glaring over the top of her spectacles.

Another afternoon, I turned up at my local salon (Ooh! Sounds a bit posh! ) to have my legs waxed and was told that I should have been there in the morning. I was positive that the salon had made the mistake, until I arrived home and checked the calendar. I had been so certain that I had the correct appointment time fixed firmly in my mind, that I hadn't even bothered to check the calendar on that particular day.

I think the most embarrassing mistake I ever made, however, was when a going away party had been organised for a family living in our road, because they were emigrating to America. It was a whole family affair, so we all set off down the road, on the appointed evening, dressed in our party clothes. A fair amount of organisation had been necessary in preparing for the event, as I had cooked some food, and the boys were still quite young, so a fair amount of effort had to go into dressing them up, in appropriate party clothes, and keeping them clean and out of mischief etc.

My husband and I each carried a plate of food, whilst the boys chattered excitedly, as we reached the house. We rang the doorbell and waited. My neighbour opened the door and was quite suddenly overwhelmed with laughter, as soon as she caught sight of us. Eventually, she was able to gasp 'The party was last night! We all wondered where you were, but were too polite to come over and ask. We assumed that something must have cropped up to stop you coming along.'

It was months before I could greet my neighbours, without them laughing helplessly at the thought of me turning up for the party 24 hours too late. I don't think I ever lived it down, but at least most of them have moved away, now!

It is fair to say that I still forget things sometimes and I may very occasionally confuse times and dates, but not as consistently as when my sons were young, I don't think. Nowadays, I have 'blonde moments', even though I am not a natural blonde, and, in a few years time, no doubt, I will qualify for 'senior moments'.

How about you? Have you/do you suffer from mumnesia? Do you suffer from it, even though you are not a mum? What sort of 'moments' do you have?


Jules said...

Oh, yeah. We have those moments. Forgotten babies, and appointments and items..... uh....... now where was I?..... Oh yes! And these lost brain cells don't ever seem to find their way home!
In fact, I think it's spreadng. Is Dadnesia a word?

Mean Mom said...

jules - I keep telling myself that if I could just get more sleep, I would be okay, again, but sadly, I don't think I will ever regain the brain cells I have lost. Yes, I know what you mean re dadnesia. I sometimes think that husband is even worse than me!

Maggie May said...

I have recently had some similar episodes & put it down to "senior moments" but you have given me fresh hope, being so much younger.
My worst gaffe was when I was in my forties & a bachelor neighbour put a note through our letter box to say he was having a wine & cheese party at 11 o'clock on a Saturday. I thought it was a bit late to be having a party! We went armed with a bottle of wine & the door bell was ringing & ringing & eventually he came down in his pyjamas & was astounded to see us there. Yes........ it had taken place at 11 AM!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Oh, um, sorry Mean Mom, what was the question? Actually, since the brain tumour, I think it's better rather than worse - they must have cut out some old, dead twiggy growth! M :)

Mean Mom said...

maggie may - Brilliant! I love that one! Now, I don't feel as bad!

a mother's place - That's good. Those doctors must have got it right then! It would be nice if we could have a little trim and tidy up of the old brain cells, occasionally. Just to smarten us up a bit!

Working mum said...

Thank you so much. I thought I was just approaching premature senility! Shame I haven't forgotten the birth though (hence only one child).

My best one was going to dinner at friends and after the main course we all just sat there until I suddenly remembered I had agreed to bring dessert! Hostess hadn't known how to ask me where it was; she had to quickly produce something from freezer.

I have another problem though, I lost my spacial awareness after giving birth. Apparently this can happen, and takes a few years to return. I knock things over, walk into things, etc. However, I do now have an excuse for not being able to park the car! Every cloud ....

Mean Mom said...

working mum - It is fair to say that every birth is different for every mum. I have had 3 children, as you know, and each birth was a totally different experience. The first was the worst. The labour for the first was bearable, until the last 3 or 4 pains or so. I had to have an episiotomy and the subsequent stitching experience was 100 times as bad as the birth.

I accidentally had my third son in the hall at home. I had a few irregular niggling pains the evening before. Had NO PAIN during the night - best night's sleep for months. 2 earth shattering pains the next day, waters broke, and baby almost ended up in the toilet. Might blog about that one day!

Mean Mom said...

working mum - Sorry, got carried away there. I love the dessert story!

Spacial awareness. Oh no. I didn't pass my driving test until I was aged 40. I amazed my driving instructor by driving his car through the weeniest of spaces. I so enjoyed proving him wrong! He was the one who had no spacial awareness, not me!!!

softinthehead said...

I just thought it was just me! Trouble is what do I blame it on now - senior moments!! Eek. The most frustrating thing is I have to make a list to lead my life - the times I log on to do something important, quickly check blogs etc. get side-tracked....log off and then*t I see my list! You should see the list preparing for this trip - luckily I think I have checked almost everything off now - let me just check......

Mean Mom said...

softinthehead - I am not ever so organised, normally, but I do make a list, or 2 or 3 or 4, for holidays and at Christmas.

It's easy to get distracted on your blog, isn't it? I sat down for 10 minutes last night, and I think I finally got into bed at 2am!

aims said...

I laughed at having to break back into the house. Oh my!

I have to say - I think you have a really bad case of mumnesia...but is it suppose to go on then for the rest of your adult life?

Mean Mom said...

aims - I suspect that it isn't supposed to go on forever, but I have probably been the exception to the rule!!

Sweet Irene said...

I have a terrible time remembering if I know someone or not and greet total strangers as if I've known them for years and ignore people I really do know and then I don't remember any body's name.

I know the name of my street, but I have a hard time remembering the names of the streets surrounding ours and have a heck of a time giving people directions.

I forget things that have happened and deny them having happened at all.

I really never used drugs when I was younger, I really didn't!

Mean Mom said...

sweet irene - Good to see you blog hopping again. Yes, I've always had a bit of a problem with faces. Some people can look remarkably similar, which has caused a few problems in the past. I can also find my way around, but not give directions. I annoy my husband by not remembering places we have been together!

Mignon said...

MM, That was a really funny post. I can't think of anything off the top of my head. But not to long ago I was at theatre rehearsals and an actress husband walks in. He is a bit short for a man. his hair was neatly parted on the side and had a really short mustache. It was Hitler, I swear. And I laughed and said "OMG You look like Hitler" (OK, we are in theatre) And he just turned and walked out. And my daughter looked at me and gasped "MOM! what the hell? I can't believe you said that." And I thought, what ?" And now I feel bad. But come on, how could his wife let him walk around looking like that. He could have been shot. So in reality I might have saved his life.

Working mum said...

Thank you for your kind comments and wisdom on births. I don't think I'm going to change my mind though. Might blog about it one day when it's not still so raw and painful.

Mean Mom said...

mignon - LOL plus tears in my eyes. Was he amazingly old with an accent? Some people don't believe he was found dead, you know!!!

working mum - I know! Let's make it a 'tag'!?!?! Oh dear. Was that remark in bad taste? Nothing new, there, then.

Seriously, now, I did consider blogging about the birth of my youngest, which was quite funny - after the event, that is. I can't decide, to be honest. Would it be interesting? Would it make people groan? Too much information? Would it have people reaching for a bucket? The jury's out.

It's also a story which could make me 'identifiable', if anyone I know came across it.

Mo Ma said...

Mean mom (oh you're not really mean, you're just a big nice softie :P ), I routinely forget stuff everywhere. I'll forget an umbrella the FIRST place I sit at as soon as I leave the house, I'll forget my house keys the first place I sit at when I leave the house (i prefer holding them in my hands to putting them in my pocket), I have dropped my phone at every possible place and it's a surprise its not lost (dropped it in a toilet and luckily my classmate found it, dropped it in a parking lot and the person that found it was nice enough to let me know, under a cinema seat and found by a stroke of luck, forget it on restaurant tables all the time), lost my wallet several times and I'm all of twenty-two years and no, I look perfectly sane on the outside.

What do they call it in my case? :P

Mean Mom said...

mo ma - Are you really only 22, or are you winding me up? 22..... Hmmm! I think I remember it, just about.

I've probably been a bit absent- minded througout the whole of my life, to be honest. I have lost countless umbrellas, and keep my keys in my pocket, now, always. I don't lose my 'phone, because I keep it in the cupboard at home! You've been fairly lucky, so far, by the sound of it. You've lost your wallet? Oooh, scary!

I don't know what we could call it, in your case. I'll have to have a think! Thanks for calling by!