It hit me yesterday when Cancan said “leaves” (eves! eves!) and “monkey” (unkey unkey unkey, mama!) for the first time: my spongey little being is utterly brilliant, while my brain is rapidly losing its ability to function normally on an hourly basis.
Where’d I put my phone? Searching the house, I peer underneath the usual toddler-induced hiding spots: beneath the couch and the table and the ottoman, in the toy box, tucked inside Tupperware containers in the Tupperware drawer. I cross my fingers, hope to die that the phone hasn’t been relegated to the toilet, as per Little Man’s current obsession with flushing the toilet (and the towel and the toilet paper and his toy truck…) thirty-nine times a day now.
For the love of California’s current water drought. Never mind our own water bill.
Four hours later the phone is found vibrating inside my bathrobe pocket – the robe, of which, might I add, I wore for an hour earlier that morning with every intention of actually showering. But like the “mom uniform” spandex-clad clothes I tend to wear with every intention of getting my sweat on, showering and working out don’t always come to fruition as I wish they would (or should, or could).
I answer a text, congratulating myself meanwhile on being so on top of the calendar, well over a whole month in advance …only to realize that I’ve mixed up my Tuesdays for Wednesdays and Wednesdays for Thursdays. For the third time this week.
I find myself deep in conversation with a dear friend, exchanged dialogue vibrant and alive and witty all at the same time – until Tired washes over me and I struggle to find the words for the, the, the “…you know, that place some people go to on Sunday mornings?”
“Um, church?” she says gently. Yes, church. Church.
And so the 35-year-old “AMA” pregnant mama sits atop the playground teeter-totter, opposite her almost-two year old son. Back and forth we go, teetering and tottering, his little legs bounding upward as mine pull back, repeat, again; and as gravity pulls me to the ground, he springs upward, his mind expanding and morphing and leaping while mine seems to continually descend downward.
While I laugh about it, mostly, I also curse the Great Pregnancy Instigator, hurling curses of lamentation along the lines of woe-is-me. Woe is me who struggles with pregnancy insomnia, when I should be hibernating in preparation for the new babe. Woe is me who can’t seem to piece together a coherent sentence when using words are, like, my livelihood. Woe is me who can’t remember where she put her phone, again, who seems to apologize for “Pregnancy Brain” more often than not, who wonders where the Smarty Self of Yesteryear went.
And woe is me who fills her days with complaining.
Who forgets to receive the Bounty of Plentiful Grace shoveled over her mind, her heart, her body on an hourly basis.
Who neglects to just let herself be, who forgets to be be present and laugh at the days to come.
Because, really, I’m my own worst critic. I’m the one who’s hardest on myself. I’m the one who’s forgotten to open my eyes and see the Delight of Whimsy in the everyday.
So, if you see me, or another pregnant mama – or a sleep-deprived parent of young children, or just any ol’ human being who looks a little disheveled – do us all a favor and respond like Jack the Cabbie:
Say “No worries.” Congratulate us, IN ALL CAPS, I MIGHT ADD, on our own self-claimed pregnancy brain, since this is actually the first time you’re learning about it. Use a copious amount of exclamation marks, and go above and beyond, and use a little smiley face at the end of it all.
Because that might just be exactly what we need to hear.
What about you? How’s your pregnancy/insomnic/young parent/disheveled human brain? And more importantly, how has someone else shown you grace?