By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 07, 2015
What the doctor wants you to know:“Viral infections, despite being very annoying, need to run their course. They do not get better with antibiotics, and using antibiotics when they are not necessary promotes resistant bacteria,” says Diane M. Straub, an associate professor of pediatrics and the chief of the division of adolescent medicine at the University of South Florida, in Tampa. “If you aren’t sure what your child has, check with her doctor before giving her any medication.” Where she slacks off: “I don’t remember to give my daughter vitamins consistently at all.”
Amy Wilson

Not because my dad ever ran for president or, thank God, died when I was young. (My own father is very much alive and well and trying to boss me around every chance he gets. For which I am grateful. After all, consider the alternative.) Or because I had 38 siblings, which would have been fun. Or was married to a Cuomo, which would have had its moments (Note to real-life husband: Sorry, honey. I do really love you!).

No, I could have been Kerry Kennedy—who you all know by now was acquitted today—because I can’t even count on both hands the number of times that I have done something absent-minded and dumb like she apparently did. I have never taken Ambien when I meant to take my thyroid medication. But:

  • I call my kids by the wrong names all the time (Note: By this I mean I call them by each other’s names. Not by, say, the names of our next-door neighbors. Yet.)
  • I can never remember where I put my phone, even if my purse has a handy slot designed just for that purpose. And we’re not even going to talk about the remote, because it’s such a cliché.
  • This year I threw out one of my son’s Christmas presents. It was the empty box you get at the Lego store that you then go back and fill up with their most boring and probably least-expensive-to-manufacture bricks, but still. Had to retrieve an actual Christmas present out of the garbage can, which was a first.
  • Sometimes when I have a headache I take two aspirin and 20 minutes later can’t remember if I took any aspirin or not. And then when my headache doesn’t go away, I don’t know if it’s because a) I only thought about taking aspirin but never actually did it or b) I have a brain tumor.
  • There was that time that my husband and I went to a Very Fancy Wedding and once I got to the reception I realized that the reason my arms smelled so weird was because I had put hair conditioner, not body lotion, on them after I stepped out of the shower. And I wondered why I was so sticky.

My list could go on and on. Perhaps you recognize some of your own lapses on my list. Or maybe you’ve even done the Ambien-thyroid med switcheroo. Luckily most of our mistakes don’t result in hitting a truck on I-684. But we can always dream!