Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

A Random Mind-Burp of Madness


I was walking my girls to school yesterday, and had the following dialogue:

Me to Daisy, “Just let go my hand for one second, I want to put the tissues in my pocket.”

Daisy: “I’d love a biscuit, Mummy.”

Me: “Whut? I don’t have any biscuits. I was just putting the tissues away.”

Daisy: “No, Mummy, you said you had biscuits.”

Me: “No, I didn’t.”

Daisy: “You said ‘If anyone’s hungry, I’ve got biscuits.'”

Me: “Lily? Did I say I had biscuits?”

Lily: “Yes, you said you had biscuits.”

Me: “I don’t remember saying anything about biscuits. I only remember talking about tissues. Are you sure I said biscuits?”

Lily: “Yes Mummy! You did!”

Me: “My God. Are you sure you two aren’t teasing me?”

Daisy: “I promise, Mummy, we’re not teasing you. You said you had biscuits.”

How’s that for scary? I thought I was talking about tissues, and I was apparently talking about biscuits. Or, I talked about tissues, THEN talked about biscuits and immediately forgot that I had. Or, my children heard me talk about tissues, but preferred to imagine that I was talking about biscuits. That would be the version I prefer, but since there are two of them and their brains are younger than mine, I am having to accept that their version (I WAS talking about biscuits) may actually be the real one.

I am going mad. And my madness is presenting itself as an extreme form of over-zealous parenting. My subconscious is burping up random parenting notes. I wonder if it will remain confined to children or if the next time I do an interview I’ll have to remember not to ask the interviewee if he’s done a wee. Or not to remind a friend to put her homework away. Or to avoid kindly offering the guy at the petrol station some lovely slices of cut-up apple.

Biscuit, anyone?

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

9 thoughts on “A Random Mind-Burp of Madness

  1. Be reassured, it happens to me all the time. The scariest version is when I tell my wife: ‘I have just had a faboulous idea’, and when I describe the idea, she says: ‘you already told me twice’. How could I possibly have forgotten such a brilliant idea ?

    So now, I begin to doubt everything I believe I said or did. Once, when she had finally convinced me that I had really dumped an important official paper, I found the paper under a pile of books. So I even have to doubt my doubts, because I am unreliable at being unreliable.

  2. I think they wanted biscuits! My students used to do this to me all the time. They had marked the answer in a test as A, and I said: “The correct answer is B,” then I would repeat what I’d said, and they would say: “But teacher, you said the answer was A.” I said: “No, I said B,” and we would go back and forth like this. They were 100% convinced I had said A and I was 100% convinced I had said B. Eventually I did start to wonder if I was going insane! Another idea I came up with was that the students wanted the answer to be A so much they thought they had heard A when I had said B. I will never know. My solution to this was to write down everthing important I said on the board… but it would be hard to do this when walking down the street!

    Once, when I was 15, my friend and I were walking along and I suddenly blurted out: “Anderson Shelter!” About five minutes later I asked her: “Did I just say Anderson Shelter?” and she said: “Yes”. Bizarre! Why would anyone blurt out “Anderson Shelter”?!

  3. I had a similar situation this month. I have to do monthly goals reports at work (bla), and I went through e-mails and found a few projects that I had NO RECALL of doing. Scary.

  4. Don’t feel bad. I guess no one ever told you that part about how each baby eats a little piece of your brain (good thing you don’t live in the days in which women typically had 5-10 kids). Apparently, they need it more than you do, but by the time they move out of the house, your missing pieces will have grown back, so you’ll have a few good years before Alzheimer’s sets in :-)!

    Now what on earth my (childless) excuse is, I haven’t a clue!

  5. Maternal tourette’s is quite possible (small children pickle the brain), but this is quite clearly a brilliantly inspired conspiracy for the acquisition of biscuits. Better watch out or they will coordinate sufficiently to drive off in the car…

  6. One day I asked my husband a question. He looked at me and said, with a certain asperity, “You just asked me that, and I said ‘yes’.” I truly had NO recollection of having asked the question the first time or of having received the answer. The workings of the human brain and short term memory are still a big mystery, and no wonder.

    By the way, you should find a good place to hide the car keys now. . .before it is too late.

  7. Just in case it was a well-coordinated trick, I am hiding the car keys, my cell phone and my credit card against future damages. If it is not, well I mourn the passing of my short-term memory and know that I am in very good company.

  8. Indeed you are (in good company, I mean). Just the other day I referred to our refrigerator as our garage. (Put the milk in the garage, please.) This occurs with some regularity and worries me a little. It’s as though the lexicon in my head has been scrambled and I’ve assigned new definitions to all sorts of things. I just wish I knew when the scrambling happened, and how. Maybe I could shake my head the other direction and get things to right themselves again.

  9. Oh, yes the wrong word coming out. That has been happening to me too. I think it has something to do with having too many things to do and not enough time to do it.

    Charlotte, if you hide your car keys better make sure you have a note somewhere telling you where they are!

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