A Train to Somewhere Special…

We’re going on da train Mammy.”

“Are we really?”

I do enjoy how much of a novelty the concept of a train is for my kids. Mini-Me will probably GET that ticket for the Hogwarts Express before we see trains in Donegal in fairness.


“Come on Mammy. Get on!”
“Where are we going?” Mammy asks.
“Somewhere special” answers my wee conductor.

The closest my Donegal Babies will get to a train is the Hogwarts Express


She’s turned the sofa into a train, using cushions to create compartments.
Quite frankly, I’m all for any game that involves Mammy getting to sit her arse on the sofa for a bit.

As I grab my cuppa and walk towards the sofa, sorry train, she is putting the passengers into their “carriages”.

“You sit in here Chase, aside Marshall.”

Aw.

She turns to the ponies… “You guys go in here togever.”

She puts two members of a Sylvanian Family of hedgehogs into the last carriage. “You girls go in here…”

I’m about to ask where exactly Mammy is supposed to go, seeing as that all the carriages are now taken by fluffy bottoms.

“Why don’t you put them in beside your PawPatrol…(sorry POP a Troll)… so I can sit in that carriage I ask.”

“Because of Cowona viwis…”

“Sorry what now?”

“COWONA VIWIS… Only bruvers and sisters can be togever Mammy. We can’t mix them up…”

Fuck.

“You sit here.” I plonk myself at the end of the sofa train and watch her jump on the other end and start to “drive” the train, choochoo sound effects and all.

And while she is off in her imagination, on her way to ‘somewhere special’, I sit at the back, a little bit broken that no matter how much I’ve tried to normalise and downplay the effect of this shitstorm on my wee angel, the impact of it and the reality of it is there in front of me, as plain as a big feckin train.

Fuck you very much Corona Virus.

I never did find out where the ‘somewhere special’ was… I suppose I was already there.

You are Now Approaching Station Baby Brain

You are now approaching Station Baby Brain…

Imagine a train network.  (Yeah I know that this is an alien concept to us up here in Donegal, but hey!)

Your brain is like this: a series of tracks, each with a destination and with all sorts of trains on them.  On any given day, millions of thoughts and signals travel through this network.

You are the Mammy Train.

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Most days, we have so many things to do and stations to visit that we wonder if we’ll have enough steam to get it all done!

We recall information and remember things by reversing back to a station we’ve already been in.

We learn how to do things by going to a new station and continuing on and on.

Sometimes, we turn onto a new track and realise we should have been on it all along.

Sometimes, we need to get off a track asap.

We keep going everyday, sometimes not having a clue where this particular track is going to take us. But always chugging on.

Some days are like rush hour.  Every track is moving, it’s fast and furious and how all of the trains manage to NOT crash, is a miracle.  (Most days if we’re honest!)

 

Other days are slow and quiet with just a functional service running.

But there’s a magical station that is known only to Mums.

It’s the station called Baby Brain.

It sometimes appears on the track during pregnancy and appears more and more frequently in the early months of exhaustion fog.

You start a sentence and can’t remember what you were going to say.

You forget people’s names.

You go into the shop to get…something.  You just can’t remember what that something is.

You forget words.  Yes, actual words that you have used your whole life, evade you when you are at Baby Brain station.

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Baby Brain station is derelict.  It’s grey and brown and draughty and cold. Tumbleweed blows by on the platform which is full of Mums staring into cupboards, trying to remember why they opened it, or of the Mum who is looking for the phone she has in her hand.

Thankfully, it’s only a temporary stop and often, your Mammy train is back on track and functioning after only seconds there.

But the station ever goes away.  I thought that Baby Brain was a temporary thing.  Turns out, many years into Motherhood, my train pulls up at Baby Brain Station more frequently than I care to.

I forget names.  All the names.  Always have, but it’s worse since I had the girls.

My “Somewhere safe” has become synonymous with “Never to be seen again”.  If I tell The Him that I put something “somewhere safe”, he rolls his eyes, knowing that I may as well have emailed it to fecking Narnia.  It shall never grace daylight again.

I often walk into a room and genuinely have to wonder why I came in in the first place.

I remember doing things, but doubt if I am remembering planning to do them or actually doing them.  Have you ever replied to a message or email in your head, but never actually typed the reply?

I’ve put the beige food in the oven but not turned it on more times than enough.

I could list all of the silly things that Baby Brain has made me do, but I’d be here all day.  I’d be parked up at that station trying to find my keys for the the train and trying to remember where I was going in the first place.

The station never goes away.  And really, we should rename it shouldn’t we.  Because it’s not “Baby Brain” really.  It lasts way beyond the Baby phase.

Let’s call it what it is and stop blaming the poor kids!

It’s Mammy Brain and whether you like it or not, your Mammy train will continue to pass through it until you are no longer chugging.

Now, what was I saying?

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