Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mornings & Pigs' Ears

In the midst of getting the kids to school on time and thinking about my endless list of stuff to do, I tend to talk myself into my day while driving the kids to their points of destination in the morning. Our daily driving route puts us from El Dorado Hills to Placerville every day of the week. My three have gotten so used to it, they just assume that Tammy number 2 is figuring it all out and they hardly respond to my morning utterances anymore. We are not exactly morning people. I think all of us were born under the sign that blinks “Open all night”, because we all tend to solve the world’s problems after 5 PM. The first thing on my mind in the morning is where I can plug myself into IV drip of caffeine. I know every café from Town Centre El Dorado Hills to Main Street Placerville. I know all the Goth kids at Habit, hang out at ‘It’s a Grind’ in Cameron Park, and have ran into a few Tibetans at Cozmic Café. But mostly, I know where good coffee reigns supreme and where free internet access can be found. I’m that old lady in the corner with the pink laptop who can easily do 5 shots of espresso, but am desperately trying to cut back.

One particular diatribe with my interior self found me on South Shingle Road, picking up lunches for Conor and Birdy and passing by Lee’s Feed. “Remind me to pick up some pig’s ears for Conor!” Huh? That engendered a few giggles. “Ugh, I mean for Skipper.” Skipper is our dog. But I’m sure you can deduce that without me. Brain death approaching, I catch myself. Why can’t I get these kids’ names straight? Thinking about Conor chewing on pig ears really lit up the day. I’ve caught that contagion of my parents’ own brain damage. I remember the litany of names called out by Bob and Sally when they were thinking about something else, but wanted our attention; Deep in a place obviously somewhere else but trying to be present, it’d go a little something like this: “Tammy, Terry, Tricia, Teddy Bear? Whatsurname?” Drat. We’d give my mom the same blank stare. “Ugh, that’s the dog, mom, I’m the oldest…Tammy…remember?” “I know that!” she’d reply in exasperation. “I just get so mixed up sometimes!” It’s not exasperation. I know for a fact that until the caffeine is pulsing through my arterial system, I’m just not gonna make any sense in the AM and the kids’ names are gonna be fair game before 5 PM because in the real world of middle age, the brain synapses are just beginning to fire around dinner time. I honestly think the profitability of the entire nation would go through the roof, if our day started around noon.

Last weekend, I was inducted into the honor society at Folsom Lake College and the president of the college called us “the brightest of the bright”, my kids were choking back the loud chortles, while my husband held back tears. I could just hear him thinking out loud “so that’s why the housework is a little behind, and I cook more than she does now.” Honestly, it was embarrassing. I wanted to congratulate the other 4 people standing with me (who were all under the age of 21) except there was two other people around my age and I wanted to ask them, “Do you forget your kids’ names ever?” I just stood there, thinking I hadn’t yet had my morning coffee and I was starting to fade. It’s tough. Maintaining a high grade point average doesn’t always mean perfection in the day to day. I’m always a work in progress.

I’m convinced that the answer to this early dementia is to play more cards on line. It is an idea that I got from my Life Span class, learning about the Mankato nuns and the brain studies they’ve done on them. Apparently, they’ve avoided dementia and Alzheimer’s by playing cards, doing puzzles and crosswords. I really like spades. I also will indulge in a little Sudoku now and again. Today, while on Yahoo games, my card partner hurled some insult at me and I laughed. “Yeah, go eat some pig ears…I haven’t had my coffee yet.” That shut her up.

1 comment:

tom mcgowan said...

Don't forget to chomp on some turkey neck now and again!

Congrats on the Honor Society! Great job ah.... Teresa...Tiffany...I mean Tammy!! Way to go.

Growing uo I got the samething. It was, "Margaret, Elizabeth, Eddie, Patrick, .... THOMAS!"

Also give Spider Solitare a try.