Thursday, 19 July 2007

Decaying faculties

Even though I still feel twenty five, there are horribly cliched signs that I really am an 'older woman'. Slowly but surely, insidiously and sneakily, I'm deteriorating. There are the usual markers of decrepitude of course: wrinkles - including some bizarre trench-like ones on my chest (how? why? whose are they?); the increasing need to hold books further and further away before the letters come into focus (but I don't need glasses yet - I really don't); random aches, pains and stiffness, including difficulty getting up after sitting down for too long; and an inability to do things like cartwheels or headstands without doing my back in/straining some body part.

However, the one sign of age I never bargained for quite so early on, was increasing idiocy. I've always been bit of a daydreamer - which sounds more romantic than it actually is (once I jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed for no apparent reason other than my mind was somewhere else). But my mind has always been pretty sharp and I've always fancied that I had a pretty good memory - capable of remembering events, names, phrases from way back, able to pick up a tune, grasp a complicated plot, do a difficult crossword.

For a while now, I've noticed a few minor cracks in my mental faculties. I do the usual things - calling my child by my sister's /husband's/random relative's name etc and referring to common household objects as thingummyjigs/whatsits. That's standard. But lately these slip-ups have become a little more alarming. A few weeks ago I completely forgot to attend a school play even though I had actually written it down (bad mummy - bad,bad mummy) and just yesterday I was sure that the lyrics to a song I had been singing in choir only a week ago with my daughter were 'Pick me up Buttercup' - so sure that to prove my point to her, I looked it up on the internet. There it was in plain print: 'Build me up...' Of course, she was right.

I remember being exasperated and baffled by the inadequacy of adults in this respect. My friend's mum drove us mad by repeatedly singing 'Shaking all over' wrong; wasn't she listening to the same song as us?? And my mum used to irritate me too by getting phrases wrong - we thought deliberately (the most recent wrong-phrase she used was 'eye-cake' instead of 'eye candy'). I would correct her with the utmost scorn, but now I'm having it thrown right back by my own children.

Maybe this is what it is to be truly middle-aged: you're still young enough to remember what it was like to be a child, but old enough to finally see what it was like to be your mother. Now...what was it that I was just about to do?

8 comments:

debio said...

I understand that a mother's brain cells die in vast-er numbers after giving birth.

This could be an old wives' tale as I can't remember where I picked up this piece of trivia!

mutterings and meanderings said...

My speciality is thinking I've asked someone to do something and wondering why they haven't ... because I've only thought I've asked them rather than said it out loud. Oops...

Around My Kitchen Table said...

You wait, you young whippernsnapper you, you've got it all to come. The day I realised I was getting old when I looked in the mirror and wondered why my mother was staring back at me. I recently wrote a post about getting older here if you're interested.

Loz said...

There is a radio show here in Oz by a group of blokes called the Coodabeen Champions and they have a section called "Mountain Tops" which is all about misinterpreted lyrics - One of them thought the lyrics of the song were -
"What we need is a great big mountain top
Big enough to hold the world and all it's got..."
I'll let you guess the real lyric.

My point is that what you are going through is normal, just kids sometimes like to see their parents look a little fragile and will focus on mistakes when they get the opportunity.

By the way I always thought the song was saying "Don't go Jason Waterfall" and wondered who the hell he was. ;)

Mid-lifer said...

debio - I think it's true - motherhood has a lot to answer for doesn't it?

MAM - or maybe you only muttered it lol

kitchen table - if only I did look like my mum, she looks great, will have a look at your post in a mo

Loz - I used to think the song that goes - 'All we need is a great big melting pot' - was saying 'All we need is a great bi American Box!'

Mid-lifer said...

Oh - just read my last comment - make that 'great biG American box'!

Omega Mum said...

I think a great bi American box would be a fascinating proposition, btw.

I can help you with the marks on your chest - they're caused by rogue dentists who kneel on your for extra support when you're unconscious and they're removing your wisdom teeth. Allegedly.

Mid-lifer said...

Oh..I thought it was from repeated attempts to create the illusion of cleavage (post-children)...

out off to find a bi american box now! (ooh what sauce)