I think the time comes, for many women, right around the first pregnancy. You find out that your little chicken-bean is the size of a quarter, and suddenly you have absolutely no recollection what 7 X 9 equals. You learn how many ounces per feeding and how many feedings per day, and then next time you go for a drive you need to label the gas and brake pedals. And once the most economic and absorbent diaper is determined, your husband catches you reading the instruction manual for the toaster.
Before my time came, I used to run to the store without a grocery list. My pre-baby brain could hold a list of ten to fifteen items- no problem. So I felt extremely confident when I went on a spontaneous shopping trip this morning to pick up three (that's 3, for any of you who have had that long "t-h" word elbowed out) things. Yet by the time I step in the store, I have already packed the babies into the car, navigated the closest spot to the entrance that will still leave room next to the car for the ginormous "truck cart" which despite it's size and difficulty to weild, is only designed for two kids and a smallish amount of groceries. After negotiating the bumpiest tiles on the planet, (whose idea was that anyway?) we finally get inside, check to see if the kids still have all their teeth, and my mind immediately starts replacing the mental grocery list with the produce I just realized we need, until the last item inevitably gets knocked clean out.
I can't imagine trying to do this with a list longer than two. Even six things: knock an item out for every time someone stops to say they thought they had their hands full, one more for every "are they twins?" and two more for every "what cute girls!" That last one is a little more effective at distracting me- never gets old, does it? Maybe I should just leave them in their oatmeal-covered pj's, neglect their messy faces and hair flyaways, and actually get some shopping done instead. But, no. I dress them up and they can't help but be crowd-stoppingly adorable. And even with a list only six items long, I'd get everything but what I came for.
I guess I can't feel too stupid, it's not like I forgot the milk