Wednesday, January 19, 2005

36 Points of Light

I read somewhere shortly before my twin boys were born last May that for every child you rear, you lose 12 IQ points. Because I can’t for the life of me remember where I read that, I am increasingly convinced that this statistic is frightening in its truth. In the time since they came into this world, my children – all three of them, have contributed significantly to the blatant murdering of my brain cells. For the mathematically challenged, the sum total for three children would be 36 precious IQ points. This would put my intelligence on par with that of my dog, with whom (or is it who, Mikey) I now feel a strange connection. Even if I split the point loss with my wife, as I know she would do the same for me, I am still no more than the intellectual equivalent of a 98-pound weakling.

My brain drain is evidenced every day as I leave for work, when my first thought as I leave the house is, “Where’s my damn car?” Unless I can see it as I walk out the door, the answer now requires a few extra seconds for my brain to recall exactly where I parked. The breathe of relief when I see said auto is usually followed by another mental challenge: Which pocket did I put my keys in?

My wife loses things within the confines of our house on a daily basis. We are now on high alert for her keys, which seem to extricate themselves nightly from the front door lock, and make their way to various clandestine locations, such as under the couch cushions, on the bathroom sink, in the basket on top of the dishwasher, and once, in the refrigerator.

Miraculously, we have not yet managed to lose one of our children. I feel that will come in the near future, when all three little explorers discover the ability and/or desire to run away. The image of an exploding star enters my mind, with three streaks of light hurtling in opposing directions of the universe. And as I watch them go, I’ll think to myself, “There goes my 36 points. How many Pulitzer Prize winners had children?”

Then I’ll send the dog out to look for the kids and go help my wife search for her keys again.