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Now, I must beg to differ. The Other Two Children, are, guilty as charged. I, however, am not. Because I suffer from the opposite problem which is refusing to go back for whatever it was I may have forgotten and either muddle on the best I can or beg, borrow or steal a replacement or something close.

I can remember countless times when The Mom and I have set off in a flurry of activity, only to realise halfway up the street that we’ve forgotten something. Nine times out of ten, it’s not crucial, so nine times out of ten, we don’t go back for it. Which usually leaves us somewhere in the vegetable aisle of the grocery store, scratching our heads.

“No, the list said lettuce, that much I remember,” I’ll say.

“But I just got lettuce yesterday,” The Mom will reply.

“I don’t think you did.”

“Of course I did.”

“No, because yesterday we thought about going out but decided to go swimming instead and vaguely penciled in the possibility of leaving the house after a post-swim nap, but once we got that far we decided it had been a full enough day.”

“No, that was the day before.”

“Seriously, I’m not making this up.”

“No, because I remember when I went to feed the birds this morning and I was getting my breakfast ready that I had to fight the lettuce to get at the half of banana that I’d nearly abandoned to the depths of the fridge.”

“Ah, say no more. So, we’re good for lettuce then.”

“I believe we are.”

“Should we get one just in case?”

“Why not,” The Mom will say, casually tossing a head of the stuff into the shopping cart I insist on driving.

If we’d gone back for the list, where would the fun and sport have been? No challenge in grocery shopping if you know what you intended to buy.

My habit of refusing to go back for things has led me to some strange situations. But the thing is, I rarely forget anything because I never leave home without my bag. And I don’t change bags, ever, so I always have the basics with me: phone, wallet, keys and a notebook. Possibly also a laptop, novel and a pair of socks, depending on how far I’m going and for how long. But, beyond the addition of a passport and my visa, I could pretty much rock up anywhere with those items and carry on as usual. People have clothes that you can borrow and most corner shops will sell you a toothbrush.

Maybe it’s that I’ve moved countries now and have a more cavalier approach to things – with a few IMPORTANT exceptions (Dear Crazy D, in case you’re reading this, step away from my books). But I tend to not leave the house in a flap. When I am forced to go out, I generally do so in a bit of a huff, because in all likelihood leaving the house is not what I want to be doing because there are slim hopes for accomplishing what I’d like to accomplish during the day, namely writing.

I have been known to realise I’ve forgotten to pack underpants and skin cream when I’m off to the pool. But these are small inconveniences. And I can suffer the ride home commando style with my skin a bit more burny than usual.

I think the thing is that The Other Two have a lack of focus, or rather that they’re focused on what’s coming up as opposed to me who, when leaving the house, is focused on how quickly I’ll be returning. The fewer creature comforts I have with me at exit, the quicker I’ll want to come home.

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