With Holes Like a Sieve, Only Bigger

That’s what my memory is like.

See, there are simple things, like putting rice on the stove. I’m guaranteed to forget that it’s there, so it inevitably burns. Sometimes it doesn’t though – that’s when I’ve forgotten to actually turn on the stove.

There are halfway amusing things, like telling someone I like their shirt only to have them tell me that I’ve complimented them on it on at least three separate occasions in the past.

There are embarrassing things, like forgetting ALL DAY LONG that it’s a colleague’s birthday even when she has expressly told you just the day before that it’s her birthday tomorrow.

There are crucial things, like forgetting to pick up a cheque that was delivered to your office while you were out of town. A cheque with a lot of zeroes on it. And forgetting to pay a phone bill, resulting in our phone connection being cut! (Thank god for cellphones. Also, thank god it wasn’t our electricity bill!)

There are things that get me into big time trouble. Like, we engaged a new car-cleaning chappie (CCC for short). After a few days, it emerged that this CCC manually opens the wing mirrors of the cars to clean them. Amit’s car, Honda Civic, has a power button for opening and closing the wing mirrors and Amit doesn’t want anyone messing with it. So when the CCC rang the bell one morning, he sternly told me to instruct the chappie not to open or close the wing mirrors on his car. To do so, I had to open one door, run down a flight of stairs, open another door and the open a grille gate. I also had to remember to take the garage key with me on my flight downstairs, and to take the key to open the padlock on the grille gate. Obviously, after doing all these things, expecting me to pass on a message I had received a full 120 seconds earlier is just expecting way too much of me.

Did I get into trouble for that!

So obviously, I’m not a textbook mom. I’ve already blogged about the time I forgot to send the girls’ mid-morning snack with them when they went to school. And another time fairly recently, I forgot to drop their lunch bag at daycare, so the poor things were waiting hungrily till well past lunchtime, when the daycare staff realized they ought to call me and remind me.

And just yesterday. This one was bad! We went malling, something we very rarely do, especially now that Forum is so far away. We had to buy ten books for the girls’ birthday and birthday clothes, in addition to the usual grocery shopping that we usually do in small neighbourhood shops. Naturally, this plan would have to include lunch. Everything went well and we got the books, the clothes, the lunch, and even worked in a short coffee break. The last stop was groceries. While this happened, I had to take both girls to the toilet. I loved this mall because they have a separate parent-with-child toilet. It’s spacious and has two toilets side-by-side, perfect for me with the twins. I imagine fathers with daughters can use it, though the line drawing on the door indicates mother-with-son. Anyway, once we were done with all that, we went back to the grocery shop, where Amit was just about done with billing, and we took our stuff and left. We drove home – a long-ish drive – and got back in time for the cook, who was to come at 4 (but eventually turned up at 5).

Now what was the problem?

Oh, yeah, now I remember. The girls’ new clothes for their birthday? We checked them in at the grocery shop and never took them back when we left! And that’s five thousand rupees worth of girls’ clothes – three fancy outfits apiece!

Since we don’t go malling often, we don’t have much stamina for it. The prospect of driving all the way back to the mall to recover the girls’ birthday outfits was absolutely draining. Luckily, S&S were not too far away from there and were heading over to our place anyway, so we asked them to pick up the parcel for us. But just think – 5K worth of shopping and you leave it at the grocery store! Do you know of any sieve with holes that big???

After that, you can expect anything of me, memory-wise. So what happened today is not that dramatic after all. I got up before 6 as usual, dressed, got the kids up and dressed, got all of us fed and combed and teeth-brushed and ready to leave. Amit had taken the lunch bag, so I only had to think of snack boxes and water bottles. Got to school with everything in place only to find that… well, it’s a holiday, of course! It’s Onam – I even read an article about it in the papers while I was gulping my coffee. It should be no surprise that it’s a holiday. As late as Friday afternoon, I had an sms exchange with daycare, informing them the kids would be dropped there at 9 a.m. on Monday. And here I was, on Monday morning, at 8 a.m., wondering why on earth school was so deserted.

I’m feeling especially foolish because I did the exact same thing last year. On the same day. I even blogged about it. Sigh. I hope it’s a different story next year.

Sup33 blames it on pregnancy amnesia when she opens the fridge and finds herself wondering what she was looking for. I’m much worse – and I don’t even have that excuse!

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