Four stories about what happens to your brain after you have children and/or get old

(I saw this image several places, and am not sure of the original source; I think it might be one of those things the youths call a “meme.”)

1. When Mabel was starting her rehearsals for the Secret Garden, I quickly used up the minutes on my prepaid phone. I knew I had stocked two more phone cards, so I tried using one, but the number on the card wouldn’t work. Frustrated, I scratched off the other card and entered its number–which wouldn’t work either. I really needed to have minutes on my phone, and really didn’t want to lose the value of the cards, so I drove straight to Target and told the girl at the customer service desk that the cards hadn’t been properly activated. She refunded my money.

I used the refund to buy two more cards, asking the clerk to be absolutely certain she had activated the cards. Then I went back out to my car and, before leaving the parking lot, called up the number to recharge my phone. I entered the number off the back of the first card and ONCE AGAIN IT DID NOT WORK. I could hardly believe it–but this time, I heard something I’d missed every time previously–the voice telling me to push the star key after entering the number. I’d been pushing the pound sign.

Sheepishly, I went back in the store and told the clerk there had been nothing wrong with the first two cards. (She told me that it was okay, she’d voided them out and there was no loss.)

2. Our upright freezer broke (such a nuisance, but I won’t bore you with all the details of our salvaging all the food we could, etc.) and when I went to look at our bank account, I was thinking we were going to have to save for many months to replace it. And then the next day I realized I’d been thinking that a new freezer would cost about eight thousand dollars instead of about eight hundred.

(We still haven’t replaced it, though. We will just as soon as we can find one without multiple bad reviews.) (So, never?)

3. Dean and I inherited my parents’ already-old waterbed when we got married, and in the last few years, no matter how much Dean refilled the water tubes, the bed had gotten so decrepit that  Dean would wake up with back pain every morning, and when I would lie down I would sink almost all the way through to the box springs. So a couple of weeks ago, we finally bought a new mattress. As much as we needed it, picking out a new mattress was stressful–would it be too soft for Dean; too hard for me? Also, like freezers, all mattresses have bad reviews. But we finally agreed to order one and give it a try, and Dean promised me we could return it if I didn’t like it (we got it from Costco, so there should be no trouble returning it). I was still feeling stressed, though, because I’d seen on the site that the mattress weighed 1600 pounds. I just couldn’t think how we would get such a heavy mattress back to the store, even if we did decide to return it.

You’ll probably have guessed that when I told Dean of my concern, he told me I’d seen an extra zero. The mattress actually weighs 160 pounds.

(Image from here.)

4. Meanwhile, we also ordered a foam mattress topper from another site, in hopes that it will make the new, firm, mattress soft enough for me. The new topper is very smelly, so we had left it on the trampoline for a couple of days to air out. Two days ago, I saw that Dean had put the topper on the mattress and made the bed. I was surprised, though, that the topper had compressed so much that our sheet still fit over it (we’d ordered deep-pocket sheets, but they hadn’t come yet). And although Dean had complained that the topper was still very smelly, I was surprised that the smell didn’t bother me at all. It was especially surprising because I usually have an incredibly keen sense of smell, and am bothered by odors no one else can even detect. But I figured this must be a lucky exception, since I really didn’t smell a thing.

On the other hand, after a night of sleeping on the new topper, I was surprised by how little difference it made. It really didn’t seem to make the bed noticeably softer.

And here again you’ll probably have already guessed how the story ends: Dean hadn’t actually put the topper on the mattress yet; it was still airing out on the trampoline.

Meanwhile, the kids built a living room playground out of the old box springs and the empty waterbed mattress. This was a completely unsanctioned activity (because I fear it could have damaged the couch) and they were even brazen enough to photograph their naughtiness.

It does look like they had a lot of fun. Mabel was the chief construction engineer, but she’s not in the photos because she took the pictures.

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12 Responses to Four stories about what happens to your brain after you have children and/or get old

  1. the MomB says:

    You’d already told me most of these stories, but I decided it was OK to laugh at them again.
    Also, that bed (I think it was at least 25 years old) was remarkably clean for its age. The dump seldom receives such nice clean material. And I really appreciated Dean and Isaac picking up the ancient box spring from my gr-grandmother’s bed (no, it wasn’t the *original* box spring) and taking it along with your old bed to the dump for me. Now I’m really curious if the foam pad does the trick for you on your new bed.

    • zstitches says:

      Mom, he just really did put the pad on the bed, and I laid down on it for a minute and, um, couldn’t tell the difference. I thought, “Hmm, this feels exactly like when I *thought* I was lying on it before.” But hopefully after a full night’s sleep I’ll think it’s like lying on a cloud. I hope so, because I don’t want to have to return even a 160 lb mattress if we can help it.

  2. DeLaina says:

    The sleep number bed is worth every penny if your new one doesn’t work out. My number is 30, very soft, and my husband’s is 75 because of his back. I did not realize how poorly I was sleeping (tossing, turning, waking up every 2-3 hours when I shifted positions) until the third night on the new sleep number. I never wake up in the night now and I need less sleep because the sleep I get is so deep. I used to need 8-9 hours and now I am good with 6-7. I can’t say enough good about this bed – it literally changed my life by giving me more hours in the day and who wouldn’t want that? Good luck!

    • zstitches says:

      Thanks! I hope this one works out, just for the convenience of it– but we’ll see.

      • the MomB says:

        Well, I’m sorry the foam pad didn’t help, and I’m truly sad if you have to go through the process of getting another bed–but DON’T KEEP THIS ONE JUST FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF IT. If it’s not comfortable now, it’s just not going to be…

  3. Rachel Matta says:

    The mattress playground looks fun! (Don’t tell my kids I said that.)

    • zstitches says:

      Yeah, I was pretty mad when I caught them (I like that couch, and I also thought they should have known better) but looking at these photos it did look like a good time. Family bonding. 🙂

  4. Kayli says:

    Good stories. Too funny.

    So, when I was reading this book the other day, it reminded me of you. The lady in it is quite witty and funny- I thought you might like it. It’s called Mrs. Tim Christie, by D.E. Stevenson.

  5. Nae says:

    Does is say too much about me to confess that I might still be the one to design an old-mattress playground? And I wouldn’t let anyone else on it until I had gone first and decided it was fun. Maybe I shouldn’t be a mother yet…too late for that!

  6. Jen says:

    Oh, a good mattress is a happy, happy place. Kind of like your blog.

    • zstitches says:

      Thanks! Sadly, we are still searching for the perfect mattress. Or, rather, we are still sleeping on the imperfect mattress until we can find time to do some more mattress-shopping.

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