Mommy Mush-Brain: The inability to think clearly, remember things or participate in any type of moderately intelligent conversation. It could also be referred to as Daddy DooDoo Brain. I knew I had MM-B because I would do things like ask myself, “Did you just take your vitamins?” as I was putting the glass of water on the counter after just taking my vitamins. Or I would pause in the middle of a telephone conversation and my friend without kids would say, “Hello? Barb? Are you still there? I would say yes, but then have no clue what I was talking about.
Surprisingly, it was during the last few Mommy Mush-Brain years that I came up with the concept for KidsCanGiveToo.com™. Ironically, it was an actual mush-brain moment that brought on the first whisper of the idea. See, I was aware enough of my condition to use counter active mush measures in extreme parenting conditions, like getting the kids out the door at a specific time. I would quietly repeat things to myself over and over again as I tore around the house getting ready to go. I recall one particular day when I was trying to get to a birthday party before they cut the cake. “Grab the sippy cup. Bring socks. Don’t forget the birthday gift. Grab the sippy cup. Bring Socks. Don’t forget the birthday gift.”
Well, in spite of my efforts, I still forgot the gift. I remembered just as I literally ran into the GIANT DESIGNATED GIFT BIN in the front of the party room. As I looked at the over-flowing bin full of presents that we wouldn’t even get to see the birthday kid open, I specifically remember thinking, “So what! That kid doesn’t need one more thing”. Don’t worry, my brain wasn’t mushed enough at that point to say it out loud.
A year later, at my son’s birthday party I had another moment that was instrumental in the forming of the concept for KidsCanGiveToo.com™. Fortunately, my son was turning 5, which meant his sister was 3, and I was getting back to my sharp-minded self after being in mush mode for close to 6 years. We had just returned from his bouncy house blowout and Nate was ripping through presents in the middle of the living room floor faster than I could say “wait I need a pen”. Since none of his friends were there for him to make eye contact and say “Thank you” or “This is awesome”, I wanted to make sure I took good notes of what he got and who it was from.
But by the time I got back into the room, he was opening his third pair of Incredible Hulk Hands. Yup, that’s what I said, Three pairs. Now, Hulk Hands are cool and he loved them, but six giant, green, roaring-when- you-slam-them-together hands in one house was enough to make me nuts. And after all, I didn’t want to go nuts now; I was almost over my Mommy Mush-Brain. As I added up the value of those hands to be more that $90.00 plus the gift wrap and cards, I knew that there had to be a better way to manage the gift giving at kids’ birthday parties.
And it came to me. Instead of wrapped gifts, collect money that a kid can share. Not a “Give-It-All-Away” charity party (although that is very admirable), but a way that would allow a kid to receive presents, but also experience the joy and the character building experience of giving their very own money to a charity of their choice. My mind was racing.
The original idea was to include a website address with a unique party code on birthday invitations that would allow parents to RSVP and give a monetary gift online. The money would be placed in a secure account until the party was over and then half would be sent to a chosen charity and the child would get a Visa gift card to buy a meaningful bithday present. Wallah! Kids get a lesson in giving, parents don’t have to deal with the massive amounts of stuff and charities receive much needed funds.
That idea has come a long way. I am happy to report to all of you parents out there that Mommy Mush-Brain and I assume Daddy DooDoo Brain are only temporary conditions. I have been able to think clearly for quite some time now and I use my un-mushed brainpower to develop and nurture what has become my life’s passion, KidsCanGiveToo.com™.