Remember that fuzz your brain gets into when you first have a baby? You were once a rational, intelligent woman, able to make decisions and hold down a responsible job. Now all of a sudden you are a woman reduced to tears because you can’t remember which breast you fed off last time or you have no clean tracksuit bottoms to wear.
Sadly, although it improves, it never really goes away. Having your head filled with children and their needs leaves very little space for Remembering Stuff and Thinking Stuff.
I remember as a kid we would always have the same type of, say, Club biscuit or shampoo. Then one day my mum would bring home the red one instead of the blue one. How could she be so stupid? Doesn’t she realise we always have the blue one? No, she didn’t. And she didn’t even realise she’d bought the red one anyway. Fast forward 30 years and I know EXACTLY where she was coming from.
My poor frazzled brain has been sent into a fuzz twice this week. Over swimming and Cubs. Things we do every week.
The whole Tuesday swimming lesson thing has got me a bit stressed and confused, but I thought I had it sussed. It’s just a swimming lesson, for goodness sake! I’m not going to let a swimming lesson defeat me. I am an intelligent woman!
I have no time to get the swimming stuff ready on a Tuesday, therefore I will just get it ready on a Monday. Simple! I have lots of time on a Monday, I have very little time on a Tuesday. It makes perfect sense. So by 5pm on Monday, the swimming bag was sat fully packed in the hall ready for the swimming lesson 24 hours later. Or so I thought.
We get to the swimming pool on time. So far, so good. The boys go into the cubicle to get changed. They are down to their pants when they shout me.’We haven’t got our trunks.’ What are they talking about? I packed the bag yesterday.
But clearly between packing the towels and packing the trunks I got distracted, probably by something really important like getting a cup of milk or an apple, and the trunks never made it into the bag. But it sat there, looking all smug and packed and ready to go. How was I to know there were no trunks there?
It wasn’t the end of the world. The swimming pool sells trunks. They’re not going to go to waste, the boys will always need trunks. So my daughter and I go to buy trunks. Problem – they have toddler sizes, they have age 8 and they have adult sizes. No age 10s or 12s (I’m not fussy, my son can manage either).
So I phone my mum to pick up the trunks from home. Surely my son would only be five minutes late for his lesson? My mum brings me back down to earth. It’s going to be 6.45 – for a half hour lesson starting at 6.30. No point.
So I bought the age 8s for my younger son. My eldest would just have to miss out. Then we dropped them off in the changing room and my 10 year old squeezed himself into them and my 8 year old missed out. I still have no idea why.
Then there’s the whole Beavers/ Cubs/ Scouts thing. My poor brain can’t cope with the fact that my boys have moved up. Beavers is no longer part of our lives. My son is a Cub now. I think I could just about cope with my eldest becoming a Scout if it wasn’t for the fact that the boys moved up simultaneously. One week my eldest was at Cubs, the next week my youngest was there.
I can’t remember what time they have to go, I can’t say the right words when I ask them if they had a good time. I ask after my son’s friends at Beavers, forgetting that they are still at Beavers and he isn’t. And of course they’re still wearing their old uniforms to confuse me that little bit more.
And I’m not the only one. At Cubs the leaders are looking at my younger son and doing a double take. He looks like his brother. They look at him and see my eldest, then they look again and realise he is someone different. When it’s time to go home, they see me and look around for my eldest. But he isn’t there. There is a slightly smaller version of him there. You can see the cogs whirring in their brains as they realise my eldest is no longer there, this is his little brother and his mum is there to pick HIM up. Not his big brother. Who is now at Scouts.
On the way home, I admit to my son that I am confused. ‘Everyone is!’ he says enthusiastically. No less than three leaders had called him his brother’s name and looked at him in a confused way. He doesn’t mind. He loves his brother, he loves looking like him, so he is perfectly happy that everyone is confused by them. Good job, really.