People kept using the term “baby brain” around me.
“Did you get the baby brain yet?”
“You know, that baby brain doesn’t go away when the baby is born.”
What the heck is baby brain? Is this just an excuse mothers use when they forget things?
During my 11th week, I started feeling pretty happy about food again. I was making late night snacks and eating almost all day long. It wasn’t because I was starving or anything. I was just excited to be hungry for food. So one evening I decided to make some popcorn. We make the stove-top kind. Buy the kernels, put oil in the pan, and shake it all together over heat until it pops. Much healthier than microwave popcorn (and much better tasting, if you ask me). My mom always used to make it that way and when David and I moved in together, he started making it that way, too. It’s a special little thing we do.
While packing for a trip we were taking down to see my family that same evening, I walked out into the living room from the bedroom to a scene out of Backdraft. I shouted an expletive and David, startled, shouted, “WHAT?!”
“I DON’T KNOW!” I replied.
The entire living room was filled with dark brown smoke. I saw both the dogs so I immediately knew not the panic, we were all okay. The house was just burning down. I started hunting for the culprit and after a few seconds I made my way into the kitchen. “Erin, what happened?! What’s going on?” The smoke detectors started screaming at the top of their lungs. “Erin?” The dogs began barking. “Erin, oh geez!” David opened up every window and door in the house.
That’s right. I mindlessly put 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of corn kernels on the stove to make popcorn and then simply walked away to pack for a trip. Somewhere in my brain, I just sort of assumed the automated kitchen feature I asked for when buying a house had been installed between dinner and late night snack.
“I’m sorry!” I repeated over and over again. Of course, David wasn’t angry, but he wasn’t altogether thrilled. It took about an hour and a half for the smoke to drain out of the main rooms, and another week before the house no longer smelled like burnt popcorn. (And if you’ve never smelled a house that smells like burnt popcorn, you’re really missing out on a special treat.) And, to boot, I ruined a perfectly good pot. It was the oatmeal pot. Now what would we make oatmeal in??
I went to bed that night in my smoke-filled sheets with an empty tummy and hurumphy husband. As I drifted off the sleepland, it suddenly occurred to me...
Oooooh. That’s baby brain.