As far as I can tell, I’ve coined a new term. “Momory.” It’s like “baby brain,” when you are pregnant and forget everything from where you put your shoes to the last time you had chocolate. What they don’t tell you is that even when your babies aren’t babies anymore, the forgetfulness never goes away. So I coined the term, momory, as a play on the word “memory.” If you have heard this term before, mind your manners and let me parade myself as an inventor.
Back when I swelled up with my first pregnancy, my husband and I did what everyone else we knew had done, made a Baby Registry.
Blinded by the fluorescent lights of Babies R Us, deafened by the supersonic store announcements coupled with screaming children and the inane ringing of plastic toy musicals, I sank to the dusty floor in submission.
Willing the nausea to let me off the boat I turned my rosy face up to my husband. He clutched a paper the Registry Consultant handed us as she sped through the procedural joy of registering with her store. The paper listed items by category, categories that matched giant purple and white signs at the end of each aisle: Feeding, Safety, Strollers. My husband wiped the sweat from his brow, squinted at the tiny font on the paper and asked one of the most brilliant questions of our marriage:
“Are we registering? Or taking a store inventory.”
And it hit me. The absurdity. Did we need bottles and bumpers and boinging bears? Did I need, at that moment, to know what nursing pads were? Only a few months pregnant, I could barely wrap my hormone-addled brain around the fact a human being now lived in my belly, let alone decipher the warning labels on diaper bags.
Really? Warning labels for a bag?
From the floor, I burst out laughing. Then straight into tears, as that’s what pregnant women do. My husband caught the gist of my emotional display and grinned. Balled the paper up and dragged me to the high-chair aisle.
“I saw something you’ll love,” he said.
“Does it make noise?”
I never knew high-chairs came equipped with batteries and sound. Like you need to entertain an infant during one of the best bonding times of the day.
He showed me a plain, wooden high chair. It glowed like the Holy Grail.
“Turn it over,” I said. “Is there a plug?”
My husband grabbed my hand.
“No plug. Let’s get it.”
I think of that day often. All the things I should have been focusing on lost in a haze of consumerism. We drove out of the lot as if we were escaping an erupting volcano, heady with the taste of freedom, proud of our “retro” high chair and its simple, wooden construction.
“Baby brain” exists because even without the delicious draw of diapering choices, moms-to-be have a lot to keep in their minds. And once you cross that threshold into parenthood, the list only expands. It’s no wonder a few things fall out. Hence, the “momory.”
We moms try hard. We keep a lot floating up there in the gushy space our brain used to occupy. At the drop of a hat, we can rattle off our children’s ages, their favorite colors, the last time they pooped, what their friend said to them three months ago that made them cry, the first time they laughed, the first time we watched their backs as they walked away from our arms and into school — it’s powerful. It’s our job. It just happens. Those things stick.
For the rest, blame it on momory. (And be sure to credit yours truly. Though, in a week, I’ll forget I coined the term anyway.)