Mommy Chronicles

A funny look at motherhood and the mayhem it causes.

October 08, 2001

The Mother of Invention

I read somewhere that pregnancy supercharges your creative engines. I can’t remember where I read it, though, because pregnancy and childbirth also make you stupid.

For example, I can no longer remember the names of celebrities. I was watching a movie last week, and when it switched to a commercial, I couldn’t remember the name of the star. It was only a little more than a year ago that it was my job to know celebrities, and to know them well enough to decide which ones to feature on the MSN home page. (And which ones not to feature. Sorry, Woody Allen. No one wants to click your face.)

So here I was, watching this movie, and I had no idea who was in it. What’s her name, what’s her name? I asked myself. She’s a pretty young thing. Good teeth.

And then I realized I was talking like an old lady who’d filled her head with mothballs to keep the worms from eating the rest of the gray matter, or whatever they call that stuff inside your brainpan.

Losing touch with pop culture is a sure sign of the dumbening, and I can trace this directly to Lucy’s birth. Whenever that was.

It’s a real shame, because the creative side of me has come up with all these great inventions. When I remember what they are, I get all tingly. But that happy feeling goes away when I realize that I have no idea how to actually make any of them. I took typing in high school, not metal shop.

And without such skills, there is no way I will be able to make the prototype of my supermarket cup holder. This would revolutionize shopping, if only I could figure out a way of making one. Think of how much more fun the beverage has made driving. A drink could give the same lift to grocery shopping, if only you didn’t have to carry it. I just know it. And it would leave both hands free to squeeze the melons, if you know what I mean. (Hey, wait a minute. That wasn’t a creepy sex joke. I was just making sure you remembered what melons were. I sometimes forget such things.)

I once heard that the person who invented the supermarket-cart advertising holder is a zillionaire. I’d settle for half of that from my beverage carrier. Carts already carry children. What would a little drink be compared to a toddler’s heft? You could even make adjustable cups, so they would hold bottles. Kids would love them, and when kids love something, parents get on board. That’s the kind of creative fire I’m talking about here. Hot, hot, hot. HOT.

Too bad it’s all hot air.

Another invention I came up with probably doesn’t have the easy marketing angle. But here goes. After you’ve had the baby, but before liposuction, you’re no longer pregnant, but you’re not yet thin, either, thanks to that floppy wad of skin on your waist that hasn’t gotten the message that it’s no longer needed.

You don’t want to wear maternity clothes, but you can’t fit your regular clothes. This is where faternity clothes come in. You can wear them when you’re a little bit pregnant, and a little bit not pregnant. They’re not huge, but they’re not small. They’re faternity clothes. And they’re perfect. So far, no one else but me thinks that.

My true bit of inspiration, though, comes from a product I’ve spent far too much on for Lucy: educational videos.

She’s got ones that teach her words, colors, numbers, music, animal names and high-falutin concepts like generosity and nobility – two things I could easily afford to exhibit myself, if I made a zillion dollars on cup holders.

So why don’t they make videos like this for parents? For starters I could use one that showed me how to find my keys. The narrator could say, in a soft, supportive voice, “Finding keys is fun. Finding keys is easy. Your keys are where you left them. Try looking in your other hand.”

Advanced parental education videos could take on such topics as “Dinner: It won’t get made if you don’t go to the grocery store.”

Or, “Go ahead and shower: the baby won’t need therapy. Just don’t forget the diaper bag again the next time you go out.”

And for the advanced: “10 Songs Just for Grownups (Two in minor key!)”

Of course, there’s no way I can do any work on these. I can’t appear on videotape while I’m wearing these shapeless faternity clothes. Besides, I need to go to the grocery store, because there’s nothing for dinner.

If only I could find my keys.


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