Joanne Palmer: Losing my mind
A few months ago, the World’s Greatest Boyfriend (W.G.B.) and I were invited to join a potluck group. I love potluck groups. I couldn’t wait to get out of my house, try new food and socialize. The theme: appetizers. An all apps party. No desserts, no main course, just plenty of finger food.
The hostess had thought of everything. She had luminaries twinkling along the sidewalk, appetizers placed strategically around the room to encourage mingling and background music to create a festive atmosphere.
The W.G.B. immediately bonded with some of his fellow countrymen – Minnesotans. His body language indicated an instant replay of the Vikings last dismal performance on the football field.
I pursued a more intellectual exchange about the break up of Britney Spears and K-Fed while discreetly keeping an eye on the rapidly disappearing artichoke dip. Just as I was about to make a break for the dip, I experienced the unmistakable symptom of my disease. Since a week had passed without a symptom, I’d half-heartedly hoped for a mini-remission. But after wondering why my pants felt so odd I finally looked down:
I had my pants on backwards.
“Moms-heimers!” I muttered under my breath.
At that moment, the W.G.B. appeared next to me.
“Whose-heimers?” he tried helpfully. “A beer?”
I slunk off to the bathroom.
The onset of this disease arrived exactly nine years, 10 months and three days ago in the form of a nine-pound baby boy. As soon as I held Peter in my arms, memory cells started to explode, like tiny fireworks.
Pop! There goes the day of the week.
Pow! Grocery lists.
Zurrrr-zing! Phone numbers.
Poof! People’s names.
I chalked up a misplaced diaper bag or forgotten appointments to sleep deprivation. But once my son slept through the night, things didn’t improve. My dog’s mournful face reminded me I hadn’t fed or walked him. My gas tank always seemed to be on empty and oil changes were a thing of the past. Undeveloped film of promised baby pictures piled up until a grandparent threatened bodily harm.
Some things were decidedly not my fault. Am I to blame that Tupperware can’t invent a universal lid? Is there a law that states Christmas must be celebrated in December? And birthdays on the actual date of the birth?
Once Peter started school, my already overloaded brain had to cope with the addition of parent-teacher conferences, fundraisers, picture day, school days off, homework and field trips. The collision of his schedule, school calendar, and my work life was a disaster.
“Look! A chance to have the playground all to yourself,” I tried merrily when we arrived at school on Columbus Day.
“You woke me up for this?” he whined from the back seat.
Friends suggested a supplement whose name my brain quickly transformed into Rocky Balboa. Try finding that at the health food store! I resorted to Post-It notes on my refrigerator door.
Since the potluck party, I’ve come to a few realizations. First, when it’s my turn to host it, I’ll do a pajama party and I won’t have to worry about my attire. Second, since it will be nine more years before Peter leaves the house, I better get use to Moms-heimers. Last but not least, as long as I don’t forget to feed him, pick him up and love him, I think we’ll be OK.
Now, where are those car keys?
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Work to form a new strategic plan for the Steamboat Springs School District will start next week with the first sessions of a listening tour aimed at getting broad community feedback.