In a recent Hello magazine interview TV mathematician Carol Vorderman noted that after having children her ability to solve Countdown puzzles went down by 4%, never to return. As I absent-mindedly poured boiling water from the kettle on to my cereal this morning I had the chilling thought - what if this is the new me? What if baby brain is here to stay?
You would think that a great deal of my scattyness is due to sleep deprivation, but I'm not losing that much sleep this time round. When I had Anna I was constantly running on empty. With Lucy we took some valuable lessons learned first time around and developed a much better system. I go to bed with Anna at about 9pm (I have no life!!) and then LK stays up to give Lucy her next feed at about midnight or 1am. That way I get to sleep for a blissful 7 hours straight until she next needs feeding at 4 or 5am. This leaves me tired but functional (and writing bizarre emails to people at 4:45am).
Now, 7 hours sounds like an adequate amount of sleep, but I'm used to a healthy 9 hours + a night. It's what I basically blame for my underachieving life. If I could manage on less sleep a night just imagine what I could accomplish! Even more crazy emailing and blogging. Maybe I'd even write more than one paragraph a year of my novel.
The good news is there's no waking up at 3am unable to get back to sleep. There's no thinking, crikey I didn't get any exercise today, I'll never sleep tonight. I could sleep balanced on a washing line right now. I could even have a snooze on a plane. So, yes, perhaps I am a bit knackered.
What I'm noticing most is how absent-minded I am. When we went back to the UK a few years ago my brother made me watch a show called Green Wing (?) where one of the harried employees has such trouble getting organized that she turns up to work without a skirt on. That's exactly how I feel. I need a sign on the front door so that when I leave the house I have a checklist of - are both flaps of your nursing bra fastened? do you have both children? are you wearing clothes? Sadly I need to remind myself of all those things and more these days. I am so hyper-aware of my forgetful state that LK loves to wind me up. He will creep up behind me and say in a really worried voice 'where's Lucy?' and I'll freeze in panic. Even if I'm currently holding her.
How am I going to cope at work? I go back in less than a month (thanks America!) and I'm literally having trouble finishing sentences. A couple of days ago I actually had to do some work-related stuff, someone calling to 'pick my brains'. Dear God. She would fire questions at me and it was all I could do to just repeat the last words she'd said.
Her: So do you find that helps with your cost ratios?
Me: Cost ratios!
Her: What's your opinion regarding server-based or web-based systems?
It's my word-recall that's the worse. Not exactly helpful when trying to be impressively professional on the phone. Then there's my 'surefire' way of remembering a forgotten name/word, which is to go down the alphabet until I hit a letter that triggers my memory. Except that leaves me on the phone, talking about practice management software whilst reciting my ABCs.
It's going to be fun.