I.Q Tests

Having mentioned recently that I felt like I was stupider…since I had children, I decided to put it to the test and take an I.Q. test.  In fairness, I did a free one online so it doesn’t really count but I was disgusted surprised by the results.  I am stupider!!!  I mean, more stupid….or something…I took an I.Q. test (can’t remember which one, Mensa or Stanford-Binet, doesn’t really matter) before I had children when I was about 19 or 20, I scored quite high in the gifted zone.  Shocking, I know…but before you faint, my recent test revealed I was now in the above average percentage…and very barely at that.  What I mean is, I guessed a lot fluked getting into that category, trust me!  Plus they say that online tests are overly generous with their scores so I dread to think how little my brain cells are worth these days!

My scores were then divided into categories.  Apparently I scored highly in both verbal communication and short term memory.  Um…I can’t verbally communicate with anyone and I have absolutely no short term memory to speak of.  Something is very wrong here…Although people good at this crap are meant to be good at things like writing so woo!   I scored shockingly low in the Mathematics section.  That’s scary because once upon a time I was very good at Maths.  My old Math teacher would be furious that it’s now my poorest area because she used to pride herself that Maths was best subject.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her she was wrong, sorry Miss!!

Why does this happen?  Is it because I’m now only using my brain to learn Tweenie songs, Wiggles Dance Routines and Hi5 skits?  Is it because I don’t test my brain beyond the realm of blogging?  Why has intelligence forsaken me, why?!  I have to admit that of all the things that happen when you are a parent, it’s the stupidity that gets to me the most.  I hate feeling stupid.  I hate that my brain doesn’t work as fast as it used to.  It’s like it hit it’s peak in my teens and after that it’s been downhill.  I’ve always been great at grammar, spelling and punctuation, give it to me straight, my writing is a load of bollox now, isn’t it?  I feel like this is how senility must kick in except a billion times worse.  I don’t want to live through that, seriously.  I’m having a hard enough time as it is coping with not being able to string a coherant sentence together without that on my shoulders too.   I used to be smart.  I used to know a lot.  What the hell happened to me?!  Oh, yes, that’s right, I had two kids and apparently donated my brain to them…

I don’t read as much as I used to because I can’t take in as much unless the words are seriously enthralling.  I can’t remember what people tell me.  I can’t take in simple information easily.  I space out…a lot!  I constantly repeat myself and forget who told me what, leading to a lot of repetitive conversations with frustrated people.  I can’t work out complicated sums in my head anymore.  I need to write that shit down, I feel so SLOW!!  

I’m disgusted with myself for letting myself go so much.  Losing my brain means a lot more to me than losing my tiny figure.  I said goodbye to being too small for a size 8 a loooong time ago.  I’ve made my peace with that…it’s the ‘oul brain slowing down that I can’t get with.  Grey hairs, wrinkles, love handles, I can live with all of that no bother but I’m really worried about my mind.  I make Mr. Claire buy me books, novels, history, biology, law, anything he can get his hands on…but I just can’t take it in like I used to and to be honest that scares me.  It doesn’t feel…normal.   Imagine if I started night classes like I had planned.  I would be so behind everybody else.  I just couldn’t deal with being the slow one.

I have serious problems with this because being smart is all I’ve ever been sure of.  Now that’s gone, I’m left with…quirky, at best.  That manages to both suck and blow at the exact same time.  I even forget the things that I have learned.  I really hate that feeling that I once knew this stuff so well and now I can’t manage to form one single fact on it.  Blah!

Enough about me…what is it that you’ve lost that you can’t live with?  Have you lost some brain cells since you gave birth?  Did you wake up one day and realise that you were no longer the hot young thing that everyone was jealous of?    I’ve never been funny, witty, popular or droolicious so losing my intelligence is the end of the world, how can I ever go on?!  Apart from the fact that I have two incredibly beautiful, entertaining, healthy children to live for, of course 😉  Seriously though, how did you cope when you realized that the person you believed you still were, was no longer looking back at you in the mirror?

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20 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    sleepyjane said,

    ‘I can’t remember what people tell me. I can’t take in simple information easily. I space out…a lot! I constantly repeat myself and forget who told me what, leading to a lot of repetitive conversations with frustrated people. I can’t work out complicated sums in my head anymore. I need to write that shit down, I feel so SLOW!!’

    Claire…I may have a baby that I don’t know of! *eeeek! Seriously. I have SUCH a bad memory.

  2. 2

    Andy Bailey said,

    I wouldn’t worry too much, if you practice a few IQ tests, you will get better results. It’s the same with anything, the more you practice, the better you get.

    I’m sure if you took a “how to care for a child” test before you had children, you’d get a much worse result than you would if you took the test today.

    I don’t see it you getting less smart, you just have more experience of things that can’t be measured in I’s and Q’s 🙂

  3. 3

    clairec23 said,

    lol @ sleepyjane. It’s horrible isn’t it? I HATE not being able to remember anything!! Aargh 😦

    Andy – “I don’t see it you getting less smart, you just have more experience of things that can’t be measured in I’s and Q’s” – have I ever told you I love you? 😛 The next time I get stick for my stupidity, I’m going to send ’em to you to explain! Thanks 🙂

  4. 4

    Yankeechick said,

    This is very interesting….I always thought that a gals IQ dropped DURING pregnancy, like the baby was sucking their brains out of their heads! I swear every time someone I have worked with has gotten pregnant it is like this! Amazingly enough it has never happened to my daughter (Irisheyes)…..it’s a miracle!!!!!! Hee hee hee!!!

  5. 5

    clairec23 said,

    Sounds creepy when you say it like that — the baby sucking the brains out of their heads – but that’s what it feels like. It’s as if all the baby information just shoves everything else out of there, like a cuckoo in a nest.

    That IS a miracle! The lucky thing 😉

  6. 6

    bluesleepy said,

    i think our brain is sort of a “use it or lose it” sort of thing. And now that we’re mothers, we don’t have anything stretching our brains like when we were in high school or college. We just think about what our kids are willing to eat for lunch, and teaching them all the little things that kids are supposed to know. I feel sort of slower than I did in college — but then Kurt asks me to explain something and sometimes it all comes back, though at a trickle. But then I’ve only had one child to suck my brain out; maybe when I have two, I’ll be a lot dumber than I am now!

    Start doing things like crossword puzzles or other brain-extending activities while your kids are in the bath or playing quietly in their rooms. That way you can pull your brain back to the level it was before!! And keep writing in your blog; I know it helps keep our grammar and spelling skills honed. Also, once your kids go to school and they need help with homework, your math skills should come flooding back.

    I’m somewhat jealous — I’ve never been good at math! LOL

  7. 7

    clairec23 said,

    That’s the thing, everybody says that if you use your brain, you keep it in tip top condition but I do crosswords and things like Sudoku all the time. I’m still stupid…I think there is no hope for me anymore 😉

    I’d rather have a few trickles of intelligence than be able to say I used to be good at maths!

    You are right though, thinking of what we should have for dinner isn’t exactly exercising my brain…

  8. 8

    Aimee said,

    I think the key is study, study, study. I read that you really do get less intelligent while pregnant…but that it is supposed to come back. I think it’s like with old age, the less we use our brains the less our brains function. They try to make elderly people do puzzles and things here so they stave off senility longer.
    FYI I just typed are brains instead of our and had to change it. Don’t feel bad!
    Also, I might trade a few IQ points for perky boobs again. Just saying…

  9. 9

    clairec23 said,

    I suppose it’s harder to focus on learning when there are little people running around constantly making noise and distracting ya. I’m hoping that when they go to school, I’ll re-learn everything I used to know. Perky boobs or IQ points…perky boobs or IQ points…hmm…;)

    I really hope the supposed to come back bit is true!

  10. 10

    bluesleepy said,

    I have to say that I didn’t lose my figure when I got pregnant. I am actually thinner now than when I got pregnant! But then I’ve always been a chunky girl.

    Also my boobs have never been perky. They developed early, and sagged from day 1. It’s a very sad thing. 😦

    Hehehe.

  11. 11

    He he this made me laugh:

    In fairness, I did a free one online so it doesn’t really count but I was disgusted surprised by the results. I am stupider!!! I mean, more stupid….or something…

    But most of all this post just scared me… I don’t want to give my babies my brains!

  12. 12

    clairec23 said,

    Blue, I always lose weight after I get pregnant, at first I thought it was because of morning sickness but I had mild morning sickness during my second pregnancy so I think it was just something hormonal. My body just changes shape within the first few weeks. Mr. Claire did one night’s work as a favour in Ms. Selfridge before a huge sale and bought me a big plastic sack thingy full of clothes. They all fit me perfectly, some were even too big (even though I had been eating a lot) and it hit me that I must be pregnant and I was 🙂

    Don’t talk to me about my boobs. I did have one thing apart from my IQ going for me, boobs! Then I breastfeed…bye bye nice boobs…*sigh* 😉

    hehe Guilty, tough shit, apparently it happens to all of us! I would rather my children having brains than me but it would be nice if they left mama a little sometin’ sometin’ behind…

  13. 13

    melbs1969 said,

    i did one of those, a while back…scored pretty high, which i thought was ridiculous. because, i have not one single brain cell left. after pushing out kids…all of the cells spontaneously exploded, never to be regenerated again.
    the thing i lost…perky boobs and a firm tummy…i lost those with the brain cells. maybe, one day…i’ll have them surgically reversed. and, maybe there will be some big scientific advancement to replace brain cells. until then, i’ll just sit and drool, while contemplating my navel…if i can find it under my drooping boobs and fat roll 🙂

  14. 14

    clairec23 said,

    lmao @ mel. I sometimes wonder if I ever did have a firm belly in the first place, I can’t remember but I’m sure my bellybutton looked normal at some stage 🙂 Here’s hoping the brain cell replacement works out…

    Poor guilty is probably running away screaming in horror right now 😉

  15. 15

    Elle said,

    I find this post very comforting. You see, when I had Max, I was way elderly (three months out of forty… and I just thought I’d triggered Alzheimer’s onset by waiting too long to have kids. Yay. I am certainly not particularly glad that the lot of us are dumb and dumber, but at least I’m not in the soup alone. So, uh, I had some intelligent remark to make, but it will have to wait until after second grade homework. Or not.

  16. 16

    clairec23 said,

    Elle! You didn’t really think that! 😉 It happens no matter what age you have children at…unfortunately. It sucks but apparently we all have to live with it! At least we have an excuse for our stupidity…men don’t. 🙂

  17. 17

    Susan said,

    Claire, the online tests are POOP, believe me.

    For one thing, I think our brains switch off when parked in front of a computer screen. It’s supposed to entertain and inform us, and our brains know that…so they switch off.

    Several years back I did just what you did, and took an online IQ test: it was a mid-life crisis or something, I don’t know (I have a lot of those), and since I was always the “smarty sister”, what was I now if not smart?. I was so upset by the bad result online, that I booked in for a Mensa test to know the ‘official’ score—you have to use pencil and paper for those, in a classroom, supervised. And what do you know, in the RIGHT environment for thinking, the thinky-thing in my head came through, and I scored better. MUCH better. (so much better they now bill me for membership–so go take the test!)

    And no more online IQ tests. That’s only your intelligence while your brain is switched OFF. (Now it looks better, eh?)

    Seriously, I think they design them to give you a bad IQ score simply so they can sell you ‘how to be smarter’ stuff in their ads.

  18. 18

    cardiogirl said,

    Claire I would like to be flippant and witty.

    But right now I am seriously struggling with your last question: how did you cope when you realized that the person you believed you still were, was no longer looking back at you in the mirror?

    I really don’t know who I am anymore. So much is going on and I don’t know who the woman is looking back at me in the mirror. And I don’t know where the woman I thought I was went.

    I am in a strange limbo, trying to figure out who I was and I who I might become. A large part of me has been crushed. And I don’t know what, if anything at all, will rise from the ashes.

  19. 19

    AntiBarbie said,

    I don’t think you are stupider at all Claire. As we stop studying things like math and move on to a different phase in our lives, there is much we aren’t going to retain because it’s of little use to us out there in the real world and that information ends up getting shoved into the back of the closets of our minds.

    You aren’t stupid, you just have things going on in your life that are more important to your daily life that take the foreground now that your mind isn’t being crammed full of knowledge on a daily basis.

    Raising young children takes a lot of our energy and brain power. So much so that our brains actually change in order to better suit the undertaking when a woman gives birth for the first time. That’s got to tell you something 😉

  20. 20

    clairec23 said,

    Susan – If our brains switch off in front of the computer screen then it would explain a lot 😉 I use the computer way too much so my brain is probably shut off most of the time! What you said is how I feel. I think that as long as it was only an online test, I can say ah that doesn’t count but if I took the real thing…and I was stupid…there’s no going back from that! I know I sound like an eejit saying it but it does matter to me.

    I have been thinking that maybe how smart I feel depends on the people I talk to. Most of the people I know don’t challenge me in any way so I get lazy but a lot of the people I’ve met online in the last few months express themselves so intelligently that I think it has a good effect on me. I don’t think texting helps either…

    Antibarbie, I’d love to believe that but right now my brain feels slow and sticky! I know I can’t retain everything, I think I’m just shocked at how little I retain sometimes. I suppose we do have to concentrate on different things when we have children. More important things really. I think maybe a part of me misses learning and feels a bit useless. I love being Mammy but maybe I’m not happy JUST being Mammy. Sounds a bit selfish but there ya go 🙂

    Cardiogirl, I totally get that, I’m feeling something similar at the moment. You believe that something is right for so long and when it changes it makes you question everything. Sometimes life passes by and we don’t notice the changes until it suddenly hits us and then it’s hard to cope with because it seems unexpected but really it’s been building up all along. Discovering who you really are is your personal journey and I know you are feeling like it’s your burden too but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. You can mold yourself into the person you want to be rather than the person you are supposed to be.


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