Dr. Jekyll and Mommy Hyde (anytime)

September 11, 2008

While trying to make it through my one-a-month “quality” read by its library due date yesterday, I suddenly became extremely impatient with the book, Divisadero. I never quite managed to lose myself in it, reading as I was while waiting at drama class, the playground and other venues where I always kept a fraction of my brain on my surroundings. When yet another chapter opened with an unidentified speaker who had apparently not been introduced in the first three-quarters of the book, I felt a pang of frustration. The first thought that came to my head was, “I don’t have time for this!”

Then I immediately started scolding myself, because I’m making time to keep myself engaged with the non-kid-centric world. Unfortunately, I think I’m officially part of the parents-with-kids demographic whose brains are so fragmented from all the hassles of daily life that they could really benefit from a defrag. Would that I could simply click an icon and sit back for that to happen! I’ve heard many scientific studies — and there’s a new book out too, The Mommy Brain: How Motherhood Makes You Smarter — that cite the many ways parents’ brains are strengthened by having to make those extra synapses function. But from the inside, it doesn’t always feel like they’re firing correctly.

I wasn’t too surprised when I read a stat in Beverage World magazine that the average household with kids is 35 times more likely to consume energy drinks than those without kids, and that “Consumption of energy drinks peaks in households with the youngest children–households with kids under age 2 are 46 times more likely than the average consumer to drink them.” Yes, that is me, even though S. is now 27 months and exiting toddlerhood.

And now my overtaxed brain is telling me I need to wrap this up (so I can get on to paying jobs!) by bringing something useful to the post. How about a book recommendation for that same under-2 set that’s driving us to drink? S. chooses Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems. He can now recite both of them along with me as I read, and as he goes about his day he’ll often burst out, for no particular reason, with lines like, “That is NOT my bunny!” Good stuff!


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