Abby Normal

I entirely buy into the premise of Placenta Brain – that affliction that strikes pregnant and postpartum women alike (let’s say postpartum up to about 7 years). It’s an ailment that enables you to excuse behavior like forgetting to pay bills, watching ANTM reruns when Lost is on, and struggling with the mental retrieval of such challenging words as bike and your own name.

I didn’t realize however that it totally killed my mental parenting scrapbook too.

I’ve always prided myself on my ability to remember insane details. It’s a running joke in my family that I’ll say to my dad, Hey I ran into Steve last week – remember Steve? Oh you know…you met him after that dance in 7th grade when I was wearing the purple satin knickers. He was in an orange velour shirt, and he was there with that girl Katie, the one who got braces in 5th grade and had that dog I hated…

I am not exaggerating. Ask my dad. These very words have come out of my mouth.

But now I find myself unable to remember any information that might benefit me as I prepare for welcoming another ankle-biter into the Mom-101 household.

Did Thalia even exist before today? You wouldn’t think so from my parental exchanges of recent days.

This week a friend stopped by with her ten month-old and I asked in all seriousness, “do you want a blanket or something on the floor for her to crawl around?” This is a kid who’s on the verge of walking. And talking. And like an idiot that’s never had a kid of her own, I’m thinking she might like to lie on a blanket and drool, maybe bat her hands at a nice black and white mobile dangling above her head.

“Yeah, I don’t think she’ll stay on the blanket,” my friend answered, way too kindly.

The day before, I was in the local toy shop and a woman asked me to suggest a good toy for her 11 month-old on the plane.

“A Magnadoodle,” I said confidently. “Oh wait…is he picking up crayons yet?”

“Um, not really,” she answered, as she walked away freaking about her son’s delayed crayon-holding skills instead of realizing that I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

I even had a mom next to me in the diner ask at what age it was okay to feed her baby yogurt. My answer:

“How old is your son?”

“6 months.”

” Yeah, that sounds about right.”


If I can’t remember what Thalia was doing five or ten months ago, for God’s sake how am I supposed to remember what to do with a newborn? Am I going to forget to support her head? Put her on her stomach sleep? Am I going to try and feed her Cheerios before she has teeth? Oh wait, you can do that right? They gum them? Ugh, I don’t even know. I’m just not that mom who can recall when Thalia went from crawling to cruising, or when to start using soap in the bath or diaper wipes instead of those cloth thingies with water.


I want to be the cool BTDT mom. The one who’s like eh, this baby stuff is old hat.

But instead I feel doomed to repeat Mom-101 all over again, only with saggier boobs.


I am not entirely comfortable with asking for votes in the Bloggers Choice Awards, but I do feel very comfortable giving a huge shout-out to Ian for nominating me for Best Parenting Blog and Hottest Mommyblogger which…well that made me laugh so hard I almost peed. Which is not saying a lot these days, come to think of it.

Yes, hot. Very hot.

I’m actually hoping to win 137th Best Parenting Blog. So if you see that category, that’s where I’d like you to vote for me. I’ve heard I’m well on track.

While you’re there voting for Mir however, I will be shameless about asking for you to vote for Cool Mom Picks for Best Shopping Blog and Best Blog about Stuff (thanks, Crank Mama!) because, well…it’s great. And I can only say that because there are so many other people that have helped make it great. Kristen and I just take the credit.


30 thoughts on “Abby Normal”

  1. Aah, well done on your nomination, Liz. It’s richly deserved. One day I did a headcount of babies on the carpet. Only one twin! My God, where’s Jane? Where is she? I went off to hunt for my mislaid child in some panic.It wasn’t til I was going past the hall-mirror that I found her. She was fast asleep on my shoulder.I’d grown so used to carrying her around – she was premature and really light – and doing things with one hand, she was just like a handbag. I was accessorizing with my child. If she’d been an umbrella I’d have lost her. This was not the only time I lost Jane beside my head. I lost Kate that way too once, but mostly it was Jane. I hope she will never learn this.Off to vote for you, m’darling.

  2. I don’t remember much in detail from Q’s infancy – too sleep deprived. Besides, I only want to remember the good stuff.Thank God SwingDaddy took notes.

  3. You deserve heaps and heaps of awards.And, I had no idea what to do with my 2nd. By, the third, I still couldn’t remember anything but I was too frazzled to care—he had to learn to adapt at an early age. It’s getting close! I’m so excited for all these new babies to be born and none of them will have to pass out of my poor worn out body.

  4. no worries.i don’t remember any of it.those early years are like a dream-state.and even if you don’t quite remember the facts of parenting an infant, you’ll be oh so mellow with your second. and that’ll make all the difference.

  5. You’re too kind to me, that’s for sure. I’m glad that you can’t remember anything either. Not because I don’t want you to remember but because I’m glad it’s not just me.All right. I’m off to huff some vicks and eat some ice cream.In that order.

  6. Pregnancy makes you stupid(er). That’s the exact reason why I started my blog! I have NO CLUE when any of my boyz accomplished any of the momentous “firsts” in their lives. Whoops. Mommyhood will do that to you.

  7. The whole second, third, fourth and now looking at fifth newborn thing really is akin to riding a bike. You will look at it skeptical that you even managed to do it in the first place, but as you go, you realize, “Yeah.. NOW I remember!!” And every newborn is so different anyway, some things are good to forget, that way you aren’t to stuck on what worked for Thalia to think outside of the box to get this one to stop puking/screaming/etc. It’ll come to you. No worries.

  8. Oh yes, it’s a documented phenomenon. Documented by my husband and about 4 gazillion other husbands around the world. Don’t worry, it’ll come back to you. There’s a lot of stuff I forgot until I was doing it. Congrats on your award! Very well deserved.

  9. I can’t remember any of the milestones specifically. I know my son was walking by 1, as I have distinct memories of him racing around quaint cobblestone squares in Europe on vacation that spring just after his birthday. When he started? Nope. First word? Umm no clue. Not when, not what. And what made it even more embarassing was when I had to fill out a developmental questionnaire for 1st grade assessments, and I had to admit it. The line in the report is pretty hilarious: “His developmental milestones appear to have been reached within normal limits, according to the best of mom’s memory.”The good news is I don’t think whether you remember stuff has anything to do with parenting skills. We figure that out as we go along, no matter how many kids we have or how good our parenting memories.

  10. I can’t think of a clever comment; those girls sucked out my brain yesterday.But I can always cheer for Cool Mom Picks! (and vote too, mustn’t forget the voting part…)

  11. Congrats on the nominations! And thanks for the Marty Feldman photo … Young Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorties!

  12. I’ve got your back about the hottest mommy blog, darling. Anything to make sure my dimpled white ass doesn’t get plastered all over the net. And I’ll vote for you in the other categories as well, because I have a crush on you.(Makes you shiver just a bit, doesn’t it?)As for the preggo brain and not remembering anything, well, I can’t help you. It’s been almost a decade since I had little duffers myself and time has erased all of my infant rearing knowledge. I’m as screwed as you are when I bring home a new kid.I’ll be looking TO YOU for advice.(Talk about pressure, eh?)

  13. Don’t worry, it works like this.New baby pops out, brain restored to former glory, with one tiny glitch, new baby is jolly small, this means that when you next see Thalia she will morph in your vision, to the size of a giant. Fortunately, you have two eyes,[you do I hope – did I miss something] and they will learn to re-align themselves.Don’t know about the voting thingummy do dah, but I’ll check it out.Chers

  14. Aha, that’s why I forgot to watch the Sopranos the other night when I wasn’t even in my bed sleeping yet like I usually am by 9.

  15. Ah, yes. I can’t remember ANYTHING. I have no idea what I should do with this baby that’s about to be born. I should have taken the new parents class this go round.

  16. I didn’t know there was a name for that memory/mind loss thing. When we were in the hospital following delivery of child #2 we acted like we had never held an infant. Child #1 was only 2! I asked the nurse what I should do because she was crying! Ye gads! They gave us a video to watch. It was actually quite helpful. Your post was very funny!

  17. I wore my underwear inside-out yesterday. How’s that.(And thanks for reminding me why we crossed the name Abigail off our list. That’s one of my all-time favorite movies…)

  18. Luckily every child develops on their own schedule so really we don’t need to follow all the supposed rules that were applied tediously the first time around. At least that’s what I tell myself as I wing it. The second child always boasts that they had it much easier.

  19. Geez, and here *I* was hoping to be 137th. I guess I’ll have to settle for 138th.I can’t remember a damn thing either. I’m so glad I jotted down milestones on my calendar or they’d be lost forever. I suppose I can just make up when they walked, talked, etc…

  20. Congrats on your nomination! All right!I have placenta brain or wahtever. (See, I can’t even spell.) I once forgot my child’s name.

  21. I suspect it is something to do with the survival of the species.Much like labour and the cuteness of babies and toddlers, memories of the early days are dulled so that we’ll be suckers and do it again!Alley

  22. You wear purple satin knickers? How cool is that! And i’m a copywriter too. So I’m not surprised I love your blog!

  23. Some of it comes back. And you can always go to the library and check out a book, if you don’t have one already. That’s what I did. Re-read everything. And then re-read it again, because it wouldn’t stick. Sigh.

  24. My kids are 14 months apart and my husband would tell everyone, it’s great because we remember everything from the first. WTF, I certainly didn’t and we had a toddler to deal with as well. I remember a nurse saying something like – “as we explained at your pre-natal visit” about my panicked 1 month rash call. But of course this was #2, no need for a pediatric prenatal visit 🙂 My brain has still not returned after 5 years.

Comments are closed.