When I turned 40, something really strange happened. I began to lose my mind faster than ever before.
It wasn’t just the normal stuff that I’ve been struggling with since having children, like not remembering a school mufti day or forgetting to pay for a school trip by a certain time. I suddenly started to forget really basic stuff, like which word I wanted to use next in a sentence, or how much something cost by the time I’ve picked it off the shelf and walked to the checkout with it. It was scary, but when I talked to my friends who were a bit older than me, they all reassured me it was pretty normal.
It will settle down again they assured me, and it pretty much has.
Oh I’m never going to have the brain of a 30 year old again, 4 kids have put paid to that, but I can usually manage to remember who has what, on which days and I usually get the right kids, to the right places at the right time. Mostly. And call me unambitious, but these days that all I really hope for.
But since DS started school, I fear I’m on the downward slope again and it’s all because of his book bag. I keep losing it.
The first time wasn’t really my fault. DS picked it up out of the wagon himself and in a fit of efficiency decided to hang it on a peg, the way he does at school. The trouble was, the peg he chose at home was behind the coats and it took us almost a week to discover where he’d put it.
The second time may, or may not have been my fault. Last week he brought his bag inside the house, put it in the hallway and from there it completely disappeared. We looked everywhere for it; in desperation I even opened the cupboard under the stairs. Two days later we found it, on top of the piano. We’ve had some unexplained incidences of shoes going missing , only to be found on top of the piano, but this was nothing to do with this. I do remember tidying up the girls’ music bags and could have picked up DS’s book bag by mistake at the same time. The cleaner may also have go over enthusiastic and not realised it was a school bag.
But yesterday’s incident pretty much convinced me that I am, finally, genuinely losing my mind. I drive up to the school on Thursdays at the moment, as DS has speech therapy straight after school. DD3 is in an after school club so I just need to pick up DS , then the two older girls and we sprint for the car and drive quickly down to where speech therapy is being held. The girls sit outside the room and do homework, then we drive back up to the school, hopefully in time to pick DD3 up. It’s all a bit fraught.
So yesterday, I can remember holding DS’s bookbag and lunchbox for him; it usually goes in the wagon, but I don’t have that if I bring the car. I carried it around to the Junior School exit, sat down at some tables for a bit, then got up and moved closer to the exit in anticipation of DDs 1 and 2 coming out at any moment. When they did finally emerge we were running late and had to hurry to the car so we’d get to DS’s appointment on time.
Once the appointment was over, we were a bit late picking DD3 up so when we finally got home I was a bit flustered.
‘Get all your bags, lunchboxes and coats’, I told the kids as they piled out of the car.
‘I can’t find mine’, cried DS.
At first I was cross; I would have bet money on this being a case of Not Looking Properly. But then I went to have a look too, sure enough neither that damned book bag or his lunchbox was anywhere to be seen. The girls thought that I had been carrying ‘something’ when I met them after school, but neither remembered what. What on earth had I done with that bookbag?
I’m feeling a bit sunshine-deprived at the moment anyhow, so I spent a lot of last night tossing and turning, trying to force my brain to remember what I had done with DS’s school stuff. This morning I sent both DD1 and DH out to the car to check for me. The fact that neither could find anything didn’t help me feel any better.
When we did the school run this morning, I checked to see if there was any sign of the missing items on the path or walls on our way in, then sent DD1 to go and check the lost property boxes. We had no luck so finally I asked her to go into the Junior School playground and check I hadn’t put the book bag and lunchbox down on the tables, and just left them.
She came back triumphantly clutching the no longer lost items, so that must have been exactly what I did.
Now, if anyone can tell me where I left my mind, I’ll be very grateful.