She says, he says: Delayed mommy brain or melting brain

Burt's Eye View

The summer heat is melting my brain.

“Have you noticed that I’ve been doing weird things lately?” I asked Terry the other day in the car.

“No more (something, something) than usual,” my softspoken wife said.

I twisted the volume knob.

“Why did you (something, something) do that?” she whispered.

I cranked the button another turn. “Because I can’t hear you.”

“Wrong knob,” Terry said. “That’s the car stereo.”

I’d done it again.

“See what I mean? It’s been an odd summer,” I said. “It’s so hot that those little gray cells are jumping in tiny cerebral kayaks and paddling down my rivers of sweat. I think I just wiped all of what was left of my 10th grade geometry on my shirt sleeve. Now I know why athletes wear sweatbands — to keep their brains from washing out.”

“You’re claiming that your brain is actually fried?”

“Yes. Remember the other day when I left you at the door of the church? I told you I’d be right back, and two minutes later, I forgot. I sat in the car wondering what was taking you so long. My brain’s roasted. What other explanation can there be?”

She had another explanation. Several of them. I had trouble following her heat wave.

“So what it boils down to,” Terry said, “is that you have a condition commonly known as mommy brain.”

“But my baby girl is in her 30s. Also, I’m not a mommy.”

“Like everything else, it takes longer for dads to catch up,” Terry said. “Dads contract delayed onset mommy brain.”

We pulled into the driveway. I pointed the key fob at the back door and pressed. Nothing happened.

“That’s still the car key,” Terry said. She rattled her ring of keys and unlocked the door. “Definitely a delayed case of mommy brain.”

I followed her inside. “What’s mommy brain?”

“Scientifically speaking, when you have kids, you lose your mind,” she said. “Rational thought leaves the building.”

“Sounds familiar.” I rubbed my chin. “What kinds of symptoms do you experience?”

“As I recall,” Terry said, “you quit talking in mid-sentence because you have no idea what you were going to say. You’re not used to getting that far into a conversation without an interruption.

“The day after a shopping trip, you find the library book in the refrigerator, the milk in the bathroom and the toilet paper on the bookshelf,” she said.

“After spending 20 minutes trying to find your reading glasses, you scratch an itch and realize you’re wearing two pairs on the top of your head.

“Anytime someone says something nice, including your spouse, next-door neighbor or boss, you clap your hands and shout, ‘Yay. You’re such a sweetie.’

“On your way out the door, you notice you’re still wearing your bedroom slippers. You keep them on and go to the business meeting anyway,” she said.

The ringing of the telephone interrupted Terry. I snatched it up, poked a button and said, “Hello?”

The phone kept ringing and now I heard a ball game, too.

“You just answered the remote control,” Terry said. “Worse case of delayed mommy brain I’ve ever seen.”

I still think it’s the heat.

— Cool Cole’s brain at burt seyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or at Burton WCole on Twitter.


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