Thursday, June 10, 2010

Special Needs Mom Brain

Mom Brain is an unquestionable fact of life. The concept is grounded in science, because it follows one of the most basic laws of physics: For every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction. So by adding a precious, sweet, squalling creature to your home, and thus becoming a mom, something must necessarily be subtracted. In my case, and in the case of most every mom I know, the thing that is subtracted is a chunk of brain. The big chunk that is in charge of remembering stuff.

Adding another precious, sweet, squalling creature to your home necessitates subtraction of another chunk of your brain. This time it varies for everyone. For me it was the little teeny chunk that controls the impulse to eat chocolate and dink around on Facebook all day.

Adding more kids subtracts more chunks of brain. This is why moms like me who only have 2 kids are so much smarter than moms like Amanda who have more.

There are other factors that determine how much of your brain you have left, however. Certain kids bring more than just their precious, sweet, squalling selves. Lots more. So, you guessed it, lots more brain must be subtracted. This is what I like to call 'Special Needs Mom Brain.'

With these moms it's impossible to tell exactly what portions of brain are gone, because it seems to change from day to day. This is both good and bad. Bad because when you don't know what's missing you don't know what situations to avoid, but good because sometimes you can fix yesterday's mistakes, as on occasion the chunk that was missing one day will come back the next.

Today I'm going to give a list of this week's 'Special Needs Mom Brain' moments.

1. I completely forgot to send Ashton to school this week. Instead of a traditional school year where you go to school from September to June, his school has "tracks." Your kid can either be on A, B, C, or D track, and each track goes to school at different times. Usually the system is that the kid is "on track" for 6 weeks, then off for 3, then on for 6, then off for 3, etc. This system is especially helpful for Ashton, who has autism and really hates change. So just as he is getting adjusted to being in school, he goes off track. Just as he is getting adjusted to being off track, he goes back on. We get to experience first-week-of-school anxiety like 8 times a year! It's fantastic. Anyway, Ashton's school is on the track system. Kaitlyn (who attends the School for the Deaf) and Mike's (my husband, who is a school teacher) schools are both traditional. Kaitlyn and Mike's last day of school was last Friday. Ashton still has school until July 2nd. But instead of sending Ashton to school when I was supposed to, I kept him home doing summer stuff with Kaitlyn and Mike. No problem on his part. A little bit more problematic for me. Especially when I had to call the teacher to tell her that I "forgot" to send him to school. Awesome.

2. I took the car to get the oil changed. If you've read any of my previous posts, you know this is a treat for me. This time I took it to Jiffy Lube instead of Walmart because they had a dancing guy out front with a sign saying, "Open bay! Get your oil changed for only $25.99!" The dancing guy was cute so I pulled in. He then proceeded to ask questions about the car. Really tough stuff, like:

What year is it?
Is it 6 cylinder?
Does it have 4-wheel drive?

After I answered:

2010 (at first I thought it was a test to see if I was awake, but when I realized he wanted to know what year the car was manufactured, I had to look it up. For future reference it was 2006)
How do I tell if it's 6 cylinder? and
Umm... it has 4 wheels and they all turn, so yes?

he stopped asking me questions and just looked up the answers in the manual. Cute dancing guy or not, I don't think I'll be going back there any time soon.

3. I accidentally posted something really vulgar to Facebook. I'm not going to repeat it here, but suffice it to say that if anyone who didn't know me read the post, they now have a very interesting opinion of me. That could be sort of fun, come to think of it. The best part was that it was up for an entire 24 hours before I realized the unintended double meaning, so there was plenty of time for all of my Facebook friends to see it: My mom, my dad, my mother in law, my nieces and nephews, the local leaders of my church, my perverted friends... There are now 293 people I will never be able to look in the face again.

I have a huge list of other things I did this week, but this is getting ridiculously long. I'm going to stop for now but will probably post more another time, because this stuff is just too embarassing to keep to myself.


  1. You forgot about pregnant mom brain. And nursing mom brain. And since I'm currently in both those states, there's really no hope for me. I figure I have approximately 2 healthy brain cells left.

  2. I didn't know you're pregnant! Congratulations!

    And yes, it's pretty hopeless for you.

  3. Yup. I'm due in December. It was a very, very big surprise. In fact, we found out two days before Max's second huge surgery. Nothing like a touch of the dramatics at our house. I'm 14 weeks, and still trying to adjust to the idea. (4?!? Really!? Who thought that was a good idea?)