I Used to be A Lot Smarter Than This

I’ve come to a sad realization.

I used to be a lot smarter than I am.

Most people have the reverse effect. As they age, they gain wisdom.

Not me.

I decided (against my gut instinct and pride) to go ahead and share how I have come to this conclusion. It was realized a few nights ago, when McKenna asked me what a “fixer upper” was.

….. Well …..

Something to fix up.

Duh.

After a moment of thought, I decided that specific answer probably wasn’t exactly helpful. I passed the buck to Bryant, and he (of course), explained much more intelligently than my lame definition.
(Then he and McKenna seamlessly leapt into a conversation regarding weather systems and barometric pressure, but DETAILS).

So yeah. That’s cool.

It made me think of how simply my mind works these days. And as most unfortunate people, like myself, do, where else would I lay blame for my sub-par intelligence but elsewhere?? 😉

It’s not ME lacking smarts, it’s my circumstances.
(I ask that you just indulge me while I keep telling myself this, please. Thank you for your cooperation.)

I swear – I used to be smart. Or at least a little smarter than I currently am.

Confession time.

I’ve always held slight concern for my intelligence level. (Is that my husband I hear laughing right now?) Maybe it was being a cheerleader, where I always felt pressure to prove I didn’t fit in that basket of ditsy, stereotypical, cheerleaders. So I enrolled in AP classes, took school (semi) seriously, and laughed off comments (which always came) of sub-par intelligence with (less-than-stellar attempts at) wit. I made friends with all the smarty pants in school and even ended up marrying an extremely intelligent person…
(Because birds of a feather, flock together, right? RIGHT?!?)

Personally, I felt I began to flourish in the counterfeit smarty pants department while in grad school (and maybe slightly beyond that… maybe. Okay… not really, but whatever). I conversed regularly with people who used strange words such as “gasconade,” and didn’t bat an eye. Sometimes, if I was feeling especially frisky, I might have thrown out a “perfidiousness” in casual conversation myself. I even had a professor tell me and the defense panel, my graduate comp exam answer on culture and communication was “the best answer he’s EVER. RECEIVED.”
(Yes – the former is a “gasconading” statement. And sadly, he may have just been saying that out of pity. And enough time has passed, even if it WAS true then, he’s been a professor long enough now to most assuredly have had someone steal that crown from me.)

Anyway… Back to laying the blame elsewhere…

But now, I rarely find myself in a situation where my brain waves are stretched. I guess this ultimately comes down to the Nature vs. Nurture debate. I firmly believe while we inherit qualities, we must also nurture them, if they are to be developed to their full potential.

Well.

With that being said, my circumstances are not really conducive to brain building. I chase kids around the house all day, and the hardest decision I make is whether to use Tide or All laundry detergent. We’re lucky if my vocabulary extends past the following stunted list of words and sentences in any given day:

No.
Fine.
Don’t touch that.
Don’t eat that.
No.
Because I said so.
Sh*t.
D*mn.
No.
Dear God, please help me.
No. 

Impressive list, huh? This is a far cry from the intellectual reverberations resonating from inside office buildings and university classrooms that I have (swear) been a part of in a former life.

The most intelligent thing that comes out of my mouth on any given day probably has something to do with which type of bread I should use to make McKenna’s Jelly-No-Peanut-Butter Sandwich. (Whole grain is probably best, and with the crust cut off, she’ll never know it’s actually whole grain).

Am I the only mom who feels their intelligence level has diminished over the years?
(Bueller? Bueller?)

Maybe there’s hope for an intellectual future? Maybe once I start doing helping kids with homework again? If that’s the case, maybe you and I can sit down over a cup of coffee, in say, 10 years to discuss freshman literature or economics (or something else 9th graders know about… selfies? the latest social media? fashion?), because I may have caught up to that level by then. In the meantime, you can find me ignominiously struggling to explain what a “fixer upper” is to a 5 year old.

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