As soon as those alien words spilled out, my nine-year-old son’s big brown eyes turned from beseeching to questioning. He had been nominated by his school to attend a month-long Science and Math Academy this summer. I’m sure he wondered why his mom, who used to be a teacher, would say something so derogatory about such a nice honor that had been bestowed upon him. I guess the freak show ain’t over, Ma.
I call it “mommy-itis,” this over-the-top behavior that began with the hormonal tsunami created by childbirth: jumbled words, misplaced items, loss of memory. In fact, I think I might have a brain tumor (I’m a little hypochondriac-like that way). I was writing a novel when all of the sudden an idea sparked from ghost lightning: one of my characters would have a brain tumor and that would describe his unusual behavior.
The more I thought of it, the more I wondered if I were the sick one. Perhaps, God was trying to tell me something. I read the symptoms over cold coffee one night. As it grew later, I began to feel like a spectator at Wimbledon. The words became fuzzy tennis balls, and my concentration volleyed back and forth like a tight match. Everything I read came back to one thing; I had a brain tumor. All the signs were blaring. Here are the clinchers I used to diagnose myself:
1. Jumbled speech- Flabbergasting flubs such as furn tirst for turn first, and merging mania like eedle for eye and needle were happening more and more often.
2. Confusion- Sometimes I forgot which child I needed to pick up where and when. Oh, and which child was mine? No biggie.
3. Headaches- Irksome and annoying, especially when hubby approached me panting like a puppy dog with a wet tongue.
4. Memory loss- After long hot showers, I sometimes forgot if I used soap or shampooed my hair. Then I would forget if and when I took a shower. (Falling asleep in the shower is a story for another time).
5. Personality changes- Once upon a time I was reckless and carefree. Then I got married and wanted to have a family. I was supposed to be a responsible grown-up, but I didn’t feel like one. Where was my mommy?
6. Lethargy- I became the dolls my daughter played with. Need I say more?
I thought “mommy-itis” would go away as the kids aged, but it hasn’t. Mothers everywhere know what I mean. Hairbrushes in the refrigerator are minor mishaps when bombarded with multi-tasking to the nth degree. At least my kids are used to it.
Oh, and after I got a little sleep I realized I probably didn't have a brain tumor after all.