Well, it’s finally happened. After years of everyone asking Michelle Duggar in regard to her 19 children — all with names beginning with J — “how do you keep them all straight?” Mama Duggs has finally done the unthinkable and called one of her children by another one of her children’ names.
In a since-removed post to the Duggar Family Official Facebook page on Saturday, a picture of one of the younger Duglets messing about on a sewing machine was captioned with, “Looks like Jordyn is getting some practice.” There was only one problem with that, as die-hard Duggar fans pointed out immediately — the picture wasn’t of 7-year-old Jordyn.
It was of another Duglet, Jordyn’s 9-year-old sister, Jennifer. The post stayed up for a while, which gave people ample time to panic about the long-term ramifications of what being called the wrong name will do to poor Jennifer and about just how terrible a mother this actually makes Michelle.
Of course, there are a few simpler explanations for how Mama Duggs was able to commit so grievous a parenting sin as calling a child the wrong name. The first, of course, is that maybe it isn’t even her posting to the page. Perhaps it is, of course, but it’s hard to picture Michelle click-clacking away when that task could be offloaded so much more easily onto a child, much like preparing tater tot casserole or watching a younger sibling.
Then there’s the simplest explanation yet: the insidious mom brain that plagues us all.
Whether or not science has officially dubbed mom brain a thing, we all know what it is: the little bouts of mom-nesia, losing chunks of your vocabulary to make room for new words like “night-nights” and “lovey.” It’s definitely a thing, and it’s one that is exacerbated at different times by the number of children you have and their ages. For instance, you might be at the height of your mom brain when you have two under 2, and then once everyone can toilet themselves, you’ll get your sanity back.
It’s something about the mix of sleeplessness, scheduling and hormones that turns your brain into Swiss cheese, with things like your kids’ names falling into the holes. Who among us has not called our own child by the dog’s name or — if we have more than three of them — run through the entire roster until we land on the one we’re talking to. If you grew up in a large family as well, then you know what it’s like to be referred to simply as “you.”
Michelle Duggar may never recover from mom brain. Her oldest children have already moved out of the house, but her youngest are only just now heading off to kindergarten, which means it could still be decades before her recall is anything like it once was. And even then, who knows?
Certainly, giving every child a J name hasn’t helped her to keep it all straight, but at the same time, she may be missing an opportunity to swap out a misnamed child’s moniker or the ubiquitous “you there” for the simple nickname of J.
If Michelle did in fact write the post, then yeah, she called one of her kids by the wrong name. But it may just be the only thing you really have in common with the endlessly perky matriarch.
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