Newly released findings of a Swedish study prove once and for all, something that every parent has long suspected, that having kids rots your brain. For the last 20 years, Researchers at the Stockholm Neurological Institute in Sweden have been studying how parenthood effects brain function. The study known as Degradation and Reduction of Intellect Near Kids or D.R.I.N.K, provides incontrovertible proof that brain damage occurs during parenthood. Researchers also discovered that neurological damage accelerates as the number of children increases.
Dr. Sven Stevenson PhD, has headed the study at the Stockholm Neurological Institute since DRINK began in 1991. “We took M.R.I. brain scans of young adults who did not have any children. We then took scans taken every 12 months thereafter. It began to become quite clear that the patients who had children showed immediate degradation of brain density and decrease in the size of the brain. We discovered that there are four stages that the brain goes through during the 20 year collapse.”
Stage 1. The Tasmanian Devil
During the first 5 years of parenthood, the brain of the sleep deprived guardian decays at an alarming rate. The victims become disorganized and absent minded. Their social life suffers as old time friend are replaced by other parents with mental issues. They often lose their wallet or car keys. They go to the supermarket and forget what they went there for and then forget where they parked their car. They become more stressed. They may yell at other drivers in traffic. They volunteer for things they have no time for.
Stage 2. Saddlebags, muffin tops and beer bellies.
In years 5 through 10, the parent loses all signs of physical youth. They also become delusional. For example,they may believe they look cool while driving an SUV provided they wear sunglasses and turn the radio up. They may believe that the pigeon-toed son could make a baseball team despite the fact that he can’t hit, throw or catch. The parents may watch their bow-legged daughter attempt a Pas de basque and although it reminds other audience members of a squirrel with scoliosis, the parents are in awe at her natural abilities. They become the masters of multi-tasking. For example they can drive the kids to soccer practice, talk on the phone and all the while keep their left directional on. The parents may use the child as an excuse for not attending a undesirable social event. They find themselves falling asleep at 9 o’clock at night, Law and Order replacing sex. The once athletic male has convinced himself that golf is a sport.
Stage 3. The Village Idiot
In years 10-15, the parents are always tired and they cannot function without coffee. At this stage, the brain is less than 20% of it’s original size and has the density of a Twinkie. Many parents are clinically dead but are too tired to take themselves to the morgue. They become apathetic about their appearance. The cost of raising the children has stripped them of all their money. They call their children by the wrong name. They are easily frustrated. The once active male now believes that cooking on the grill counts as exercise.
Stage 4. Pickle-head.
After 15 years of parenthood, the brain has become a pickle. The bodies of the parents have been exhausted of their life force. Their skin wrinkles. The woman typically begin to drink large quantities of Chablis in an attempt to dull the stress that the overloaded brain produces. Wives may dream of smothering their husbands who have ruined their bodies. In the males ,the vacuum of the brain cavity causes the hair to turn grey and subsequently falls out, clogging the shower drain. Hypertension threatens to take the life of the male, something he often thinks about when eating sausages. Until the child is separated from the parent either through marriage or college, the parents brain continues to erode. The once active male now becomes passionate about the hotdogs with natural casings, weather girls, the NFL, and BBQ. The women convince themselves that they look great in SPANX.
Doctor Stevenson said that the damage to the brain is permanent however certain studies have show that Caribbean vacations can reverse the symptoms. “We have found that parents who travel to resort destinations like those in the Caribbean Islands, become nearly symptom free,” he said. “The mixture of the sun, salt water, and frozen drinks re-hydrates the brain allowing it to function again, although in a much diminished capacity. This diminished capacity will make itself known when…for example…the subject finds himself lodged under a limbo pole. Keep in mind though that the amazing recovery disappears as soon as they call home to check on the children.”