I have popcorn brain.
There, I said it.
If you are a parent who spends over 50% of your day with your children, though, disregard what the articles say about popcorn brain.
It’s not your fault for slowly becoming addicted to technology, for loving your smartphone in unnatural ways, for preferring to play online Scrabble with people you’ve never met over listening to your pre-teen recount the lifecycle of Hagrid for the 27th time.
It’s your kids’ fault. Really, it is.
Here’s what happens: you need to do X so you go to the computer to figure it out. Your devious little spawn notices that you’re on the computer and asks you a rather provocative question that you would feel guilty just tossing aside in favor of keeping your focus on X. So you google the answer for the little darling, who then asks for clarification, or a demonstration of some sort. The next thing you know, you are no wiser about X, but Tiny Tax Deduction is happily watching honey as it is extracted from a beehive on YouTube.
So you go to your smartphone and start searching for more information on X. That’s when another of your ankle biters, the one your spouse took on an errand specifically so that you might have some time to more fully consider X, texts you from your spouse’s phone: “arrived at store. Love you xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo.”
Well, you can’t exactly ignore something like that, something so adorably sweet. That would be cruel. So you text back, “Have fun. I love you to the moon and back.”
Then, Diminutive Distraction writes back, “I love you from Jupiter to Mars to Venus to Uranus and back. Haha. Uranus. LOL.”
Aw, that’s funny that the little darling correctly used LOL, isn’t it?
Just as you are responding that you love your tenacious whippersnapper 500 times that much, another text pops up: “Hey, how many miles would it actually be from Jupiter to Mars to Venus to Uranus LOL?”
Now the LOL is annoying, but it is an interesting question and you are impressed that they wonder about it.
So, you go to your window on the smartphone about X and type in “distance from Jupiter to Mars to Venus to Uranus” in the search box and get 3,947,6253 hits. Now it’s time to do some research.
Meanwhile, Punk #3 has joined Punk #1 at the computer and they both want to watch one of the sidebar videos about how honey is processed in the factory.
And you have completely forgotten what X was in the first place.
And your brain is officially popcorn so you switch over to your Scrabble App while you have a few minutes of quiet. You won’t remember what X was anyway until it’s time to make dinner and it hits you that X was the recipe you needed to make Tiny Tot’s birthday cake for tonight. You’ll go searching for it again, at which point two of the petite poopsters will suddenly have the urge to explore Aztec Pyramids, and you’ll let them because you need them to be distracted while you search on your smartphone for a local bakery that is still open.
See how they are?