By Laura Snyder
Trying to have a rational conversation with a child is like trying to capture sand in a sieve. They have so many things going on in their head all at once that some of the simplest concepts are lost somewhere between your mouth and their ears. For example, I could say to my youngest child: "We're going to have pancakes at IHOP tomorrow." He heard some of that, but missed a key point. "But we already had breakfast." "Tomorrow." "But when are we going to IHOP?" "Tomorrow." "Tomorrow is Monday." "No, tomorrow is Sunday." "But when are we going to IHOP?"
It is conversations like these that test my own mental agility. Every available brain cell is occupied just trying to stay on the same page as an eight-year. I don't have time to deal with trivia. Trying to think like an eight-year old while having a conversation with an adult causes its own set of challenges. My husband suffers from this malady as well. On a recent trip he started warbling an old song and I joined in, hoping to make him sound better. "Old worn-out pool, no pets. Ain't got no fifty cents. Ah, but two hours of pushin broom buys an eight by twelve 4-bit room. I'm a man of means by no means, King of the Road!"
My husband said, "That guy just died." 'He did?" I was surprised. "Yeah, he was old." "Roy Rogers?" "No Jimmy Dean or whatever his name was. He was a singer-actor." "You mean the blond guy that played opposite Burt Reynolds?" "No, but he was kind of like him." "What was his name?" "It's on the tip of my tongue." "Was he the guy who sang When You're Hot, You're Hot?" Then we broke into song again, "Na-nana-na-na-na, when you're hot, you're hot!"
There must be some kind of unnamed neurological impairment that allows people like us to remember the words to a song we haven't heard in 30 years, but not the name of the singer. If there isn't a name for it yet, I've got dibs on Snyder Syndrome!
We had watched an episode of American Idol several weeks ago that featured Katharine McPhee, a past finalist. This was our inane conversation with regard to that talented songstress. My husband said, "She used to have long hair, now it's short and bleached. I don't like it." I responded, "Didn't she used to have long brown hair?" "I said that." "No, you didn't." Exasperated, he asked the world at large, "Is it me?" I answered for the world, "Of course, it's you." "Okay, cuz sometimes it really feeeeels like it's you." "Nope. It's never me."
This is called whatever the opposite of dj vu is. Dj vu is like a TiVO that replays a movie. What we have here is more like an LP with a skip in it. I just gave away my age, didn't I? Well, just to be clear, none of this has anything to do with my age.