Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Something to think about: Granny Brain

By
From page A6 | August 23, 2013 | 1 Comment

I’ve heard a lot about “Mommy Brain”— the condition which adversely affects the cognitive processes of new mothers and is supposedly due to vast amounts of hormones still running through their systems after giving birth. I think the condition lasts far longer than a few months after birth and has more to do with the frenetic activity level of preschoolers than hormone levels. And grandmas get it too.

I love my two granddaughters and we have a lot of fun together, but after five days I have Grandma Brain, which is a lot like Mommy Brain but without the hormones or the immunity of daily exposure.

From 6:32 a.m. to 8:27 p.m. they are ON. There is no dimmer switch on a 4-year-old, no moderation, no half-speed and not much predictability. Trying to work out and circumvent all the possibilities of what they will do that are dangerous or involve damage is like little steel balls firing off inside a pinball machine. After days of this, the adult brain goes on Tilt.

At 6:32 a.m. I can hear the wake-up whine: “Haylee, stop it. I don’t want to …” Imagine this in a tiny voice like Cindy Lou Who’s that manages to pierce the adult brain through two closed doors and a hallway and wake it from a sound sleep. Then imagine the effect on your brain of  hearing it 11,000 times over a five-day span like the endless drip, drip of Chinese water torture. If you’re a parent or a grandparent, you already know this well and I apologize if this is too graphic.

I haven’t seen my husband or the dog for hours — maybe days — I’ve lost track. One of them is hiding out behind the tomato plants pretending to garden and the other one is lying downstairs under the pool table. GrandBob promises he will return one day — when his granddaughters are just a little older and the youngest one has stopped doing that whining thing.

My daughter and I left our little cherubs in the care of father and grandfather for two hours while we went to the Craft Faire. We’d scheduled them to take the girls and dogs to the park and then meet us downtown. They felt staying home watching TV was a better idea. They won’t make that mistake again — ever.

Checking in, I suggest to my husband that he give them the little rakes we bought — they can help him in the garden raking up leaves and burning off a little energy. A flat, dull-sounding “no” is the unequivocal reply. He thinks they will turn the rakes upon each other (a distinct possibility) or perhaps use them to cut a swath through his beloved tomato plants (a definite probability). He needs a nap.

The granddaughters have been on four walks, a trip to Funderland and Fairy Tale Town, played badminton and bubble catching, chased the dogs, listened to five new books, played their way through breakfast, lunch, dinner and 300 snacks. That was yesterday. We four adults have more fun things planned for tomorrow to wear out two children under the age of six, but whether our energy levels can keep up with them is questionable.

Decisions are becoming more difficult. Do we take the lawn chairs with us to the lake or not? What do we want for dinner? We can no longer make those kinds of decisions — it uses up too much brain power that we desperately need for survival.

We did this once before, earlier in our lives, when we didn’t know any better and were still in our 20s. Our brains recovered. This time around, I’m not so sure.

Wendy Schultz is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. Her column appears bi-weekly.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

  • Phil VeerkampAugust 21, 2013 - 7:09 pm

    Wendy, confess! You love it. You do. You know you do. Grandparenthood is the ultimate revenge. If you step back just one and one half steps you get to watch your grand children "do to" their parents all the things that your kids "did to" you. - YES! The ultimate revenge. Spoil 'em and run.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

 
Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

 
More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 77 Comments | Gallery

 
Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 31 Comments

 
Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

.

Letters

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 27 Comments

Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
Misquote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 10 Comments

Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

 
.

Sports

Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

 
Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8