Whether it is caused by the fact that I have six kids, have a daily amount of stress and chaos, am on artificial thyroid hormone after losing my thyroid to cancer, or am a natural blonde, I have a serious problem remembering things. Important things, like my kids’ names, my married name and anything I use on a daily basis can slip through my mind like water ……………
I read on an Internet forward that this disease, common primarily to women, has been duly dubbed the Noun Deficiency Disease.
One morning I was trying to tell my husband he needed to use a salve on a sore spot. Not recalling the name, I simply described it as “the stuff like Vaseline, but with medicine.”
With instant recognition, his eyes lit up. “Oh, do you mean Neosporin?” he laughed, waving his hands above his head like an excited game show winner. The game works with another adult. With children it is another matter.
While trying to find a missing item, I might not be able to remember the name of it, and what ensues is a combination of 20 Questions and Charades with my children.
“Has anybody seen that long, skinny yellow thing of mine? It was right there on there on the counter.”
If I don’t get any response, I add more detail.
“You know, it is poky on one end to write and squishy on the other end to erase.”
Even though it never seems to help, I repeat things with more animation, velocity and volume hoping to improve my chances of assistance. Ya’ know, same song, second verse, a little bit louder, a little bit worse?
“I know you have all seen it, it was right there. That yellow long yellow thing, who touched it?”
After the next 16 questions, interspersed with wild pointing and apt descriptions, someone will finally come up with the name of it. They offer the name in a voice tinged with pride and disdain, surprised that this woman, who ages daily before their very eyes, cannot remember the name of something as simple as a pencil. But, even though they know the NAME, nobody can ever remember which one of them touched it and where it might be.
However, despite the fact that they are all secretly convinced that they are far superior to their mother, they are the ones who absolutely cannot function in life unless the proper name is given to the item. I, at least, can function with a definition. No matter their supposed IQ level, they simply cannot grasp the concept of finding “my cutty things, you know those things for cutting fabric’ or “that plastic box we keep in the garage that keeps warm things warm and cold things cold” without having the absolute word given in Webster’s dictionary, even though I supplied a generous definition.
What further complicates matters is the fact that the contestants refuse to play the game just because they aren’t called by the correct name. If they were supposed to be called by a certain name, it would have been tatooed on their foreheads at birth. I figure if they are anywhere near me, they are obligated to be contestants in this Proper Noun Restoration Project. They have the audacity to be offended just because I try out three or four names, including those of their siblings, my siblings and past pets, until I hit on the right one.
I know that I could ask for my “thing that I ride with two wheels, and a seat, and you pedal it” and they all would be stumped. Only the 6 year old, if she is listening, might be able to shout out, “I know – it’s a bike!”
Then, and only then, can the next phase of the game show begin. The first phase is only to remember the name for Mom. The winners are then unwillingly shuffled into the next phases of discovering the actual intent of the charades in the first place….
” Who Touched It?” ….then,
“WHERE IS IT NOW?”
My PENCIL! Where is my PENCIL?!?!?!?!?