Mom brain is an absolutely real condition that plagues us all at some point or another. Beginning a sentence and having no idea where it was going, forgetting your kid’s name, missing a doctor’s appointment as it completely slipped your mind … trust me, it comes in all forms. The exhaustion, combined with our busy and overloaded brains, can sometimes lead to some pretty humorous (and insanely awkward) scenarios. And sometimes, those scenarios involve police officers.
Enter Lauren Lodder of Mommy Owl, who recently shared one such story with her Facebook followers — and now has mothers everywhere saying, “BEEN THERE!”
Lodder is a former English professor turned SAHM of two girls (ages 5 and 3) who lives near Houston, Texas. Her story begins rather simply, with an innocent trip to a local coffee shop with her kids. After all, it’s summer, they wanted a mid-day treat, and Lauren had no other plans — so off they went. Lodder and her kids usually walk to the store, but because it was raining and her daughter “didn’t want to get rain on her new rain boots” (LOL), they drove instead.
The story continues on with more little nuggets of #ParentingLife that we can all relate to.
“They each got a blueberry muffin and I had a coffee,” Lodder writes, adding, “(It was my 4th of the day, but don’t tell anyone.)” But after about 15 minutes at the coffee shop, Lodder says her girls became “antsy” and asked to leave. “So we grabbed our umbrellas and our barely-nibbled-on muffins and began our short walk home.”
Did you catch that part? “We began our short walk home.” — POW, there it is. Mom brain strikes again!
Apparently, Lauren’s daughter had accepted the inevitable truth that at some point her rain boots were going to get wet, so this was as good as a time as any to let it happen. So they skipped home, happily singing “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”, looking all sorts of adorable to passersby before getting home and going about the rest of their day.
It wasn’t until the next morning that Lauren noticed her car was missing.
Now, you might be wondering why it took her so long to realize — but then I’d wager a guess that you’re not a totally crazed parent of tiny people. A SAHM of young children knows especially that oftentimes, one outing per day is the max. She also knows that upon re-entering the house, there are baths and dinners and cleaning up and making more messes and cleaning up again and snacks and drinks and bedtime stories to be done. And finally, hours later, Mommy often falls asleep in a heap of exhaustion on the couch while watching Law & Order or Friends re-runs with half a glass of wine next to her. THAT’S how she might have no idea that her car isn’t in the garage where it belongs until the next morning.
But here’s the best part: When Lauren did realize that her car was gone, she didn’t suddenly recall that she’d left it in the parking lot of the coffee shop. Nope. Rather, she immediately came to the conclusion that of course, it had been stolen. STOLEN RIGHT OUT OF HER GARAGE. And what does one do when one’s car is stolen? THEY CALL THE POLICE.
Lauren describes the tale with hilarious detail in her post:
“An hour later a policeman stopped by to get a description of my vehicle,” she explains. “‘You say it’s black with a small dent on the bumper and rear side door?’ he asked.
‘Yes,’ I responded. ‘And it has two car seats in the back and smells like rotting cheese?’ he confirmed. ‘Yes, sir!’ I said. ‘Ok, we will keep an eye out and get back to you if we locate the vehicle.’
I couldn’t believe this was happening. What kind of a person steals a car with toys, diapers, and car seats so obviously displayed on the inside?
The answer is … literally no one.”
It wasn’t until the officer returned to tell Lauren that he’d found her much-loved car of rotting cheese at a local coffee shop that she knew mommy brain had got her good.
“As soon he said ‘coffee shop’ I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach,” she tells Babble. But in the end, she decided to tell her story anyway, “life is way more fun if you can laugh at yourself.”
So, Lauren mustered the best awkward apology she could: “I’m sorry,” she told the officer. “It’s been a long summer and I’m doing the best I can.” To which the police officer kindly replied, “It’s okay, ma’am. Happens all the time.”
And mothers everywhere can wholeheartedly agree with that one. (Though luckily, most of our mom brain moments don’t involve the local authorities.)
Thanks for the laugh, Lauren — we are so glad to know we’re not the only ones losing our cars (and minds) this summer!