Call me silly, but my impression of Jennifer Garner over the past few years has been of her eternally pregnant, captured in photos with her lovely family but never really walking the red carpet or even speaking. That’s not to say she didn’t do this stuff, obviously, just that in my mind she’s become synonymous with only one image. I mean, on her birthday we even jokingly proclaimed her Hollywood’s Least Stylish Mom, for all those shots of her in jeans and sneakers.
But after giving birth to her son Samuel six — no, seven — months ago, Jen showed up on Ellen in a tight blue dress, chattering animatedly about life with Ben Affleck and their three children. The way she was making goofy jokes and mocking her own parenting skills, it was like Vintage Jen again. That age flub above wasn’t me, it was her; she stumbled over remembering when Sam was born and even had a brief brain fart where she forgot his name.
“You know that thing when you have a baby,” she said, “and you have another one… I look at my daughter and I’ll say, ‘Violet — Martha — Sam — Martha — Ben — no, Violet, you are Violet, yes.” Even though she and Ellen DeGeneres joked about Jen being a bad mother, I found it completely charming! I have those brain farts when introducing my friends at parties, so I can imagine how hectic it gets as a parent when you simply forget which is which for a moment. Maybe it’s because it’s Jennifer Garner and I’ve loved her since the days of Alias and 13 Going on 30, but in this interview she proves that Michelle Duggar isn’t the only celebrity who has trouble telling her kids apart. (For the record, she often refers to her brood as “the big ones” and “the little ones,” or just reverts to “sweetie” when addressing the kids.)
“I don’t know if it’s ’cause he’s a boy, I don’t know if it’s ’cause he’s my third and I forget I have him,” she confessed to Ellen. “You know, you’re just dealing with two, and then you think, ‘Oh, I put a baby down. I swear I put a baby down somewhere!’ You walk through the house — ‘There you are!’ — and he’s just there, happy as can be.”
But the best part is when she laughs off her mistakes by saying, “Talk to Brad and Angie, they seem to have it together” and “I call my kid Shiloh sometimes!” Seriously, can we just have Jen on every talk show? I’d forgotten how hilarious she is.