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Friday, May 19, 2017

The Sanctity of Solitude. Or, Mom Needs a Break.

The babies are asleep!

Bill is preparing to come to bed but first he is munching his supper and watching a noisy basketball game in the kitchen.  I know what some of you are thinking.  GASP!  What kind of a wife lets her poor husband eat ALONE?

You know what?  I MADE that supper.  I don't have to eat it with him too!  Jeepers.  What am I, June Cleaver?

I give care to two little adorable, attention-addicted, me-focused-soul-sucking minions ALL DAY and who wants, needs, no, DEMANDS her OWN SPACE before she sleeps.  

Time to read.  To write.  To meditate.  To peruse the O magazine she bought last year and still hasn't had time to finish.  To bathe, perhaps?  To pee alone, for certain.  Ah the luxury of privacy whilst I eliminate…

The sanctity of solitude for a stay at home mom cannot be over exaggerated.  I do not get ‘breaks’, or lunch, or the drive there and back to think a single thought alone in my head through to completion.  By the end of the day my brain is so used to being constantly interrupted it kind of gives up.  I think I should…sputter, sputter, SPLAT.  

It’s so quiet where I am now I can hear the water in the pipes as the washer goes.  The clack of keys.  The tick of my new clock.  Toby’s gentle old-man-wheeze-snore.  Benji’s sound machine is on ‘ocean.’  

And yet…I have to encourage my thoughts to emerge like small dogs who’ve been teased too much.  

“It’s ok, there, there, I know.  No one will stop you here.  You can come out now.  It’s safe.  Poor things.  Here’s a treat.”  Gentle, gentle…

The clock I bought for my ‘new office’ is the old kind that ticks.  Oh, my 'New Office' is a small white desk I bought on Amazon that I shoved against my bedroom wall.  I put some books there, a new clock, a candle, LOVELY. 

I'm quite enjoying my new 'office'.  Sitting here clacking away at the keys and pondering life's mysteries.  What’s the meaning of life?  What is Toby really allergic to?  How come the two beings I love most in the entire world SUCK SO MUCH ENERGY FROM ME!?  

Well, maybe that one has a simple answer.  It’s because you always have to be ‘on’.  

Not only from a safety stand-point, swiveling around constantly like a light house beam watching for danger while also cooking, cleaning, scheduling, running errands, doing chores and trying to remember to put deodorant on in the morning.  Oh, and did you order more wipes?  Because baby 2 is giggling happily as warm poop slides down his thigh.

You also have to be emotionally ‘on’.  Preventing a toddler tantrum is the skill I’m working on right now.  

I’m getting better at it but it takes time to master.  And patience.  And, I hate to admit it, but I'm sensitive.  Every scream, every cry, every thrown cup (because this isn't the BLUE cup I wanted...) kind of jars me.  

I need time at the end of each day to fill back up with...quietness.  With silence.  Like I need time to shut off my screens and recharge and process what went on during the day.  Or just sit still for a few minutes and watch the sun set.

I feel like every time I lose my patience I’ve failed her, failed him, and failed me.  Today she shoved a whole chocolate chip cookie in her mouth.  Then chewed it, but didn’t swallow it.  

Then she waited 45 minutes until the cookie mixed and melted with her saliva into a liquid brown mess she had to either spit out or swallow.  So she spit it out.  

On the carpet.  

In front of me.  

I caught some of it in my left hand as it cascaded down her chin but my right hand was holding Benji.  So I’ve got brown liquid goo slowly running down MY left hand, a fidgety, fussy baby in my right, and she’s got more goo dripping off her chin on the floor, and now she's screaming and crying because I’m yelling at her to go spit it out in the sink.

So, that was today.  

Lesson learned for me - she WILL shove food she doesn’t really like in her mouth if she thinks Toby is going to try and eat it.  But.  She.  Will.  Not.  Swallow.  It.

So after the screaming and the cleaning we both agreed I will never give her a chocolate chip cookie again and next time she puts something in her mouth she doesn’t like, she’ll spit it out in the garbage.

And I, I do not feel guilty for taking a half glass of red and retiring to my room by myself with my headphones on ’Spa’ as soon as the little love bugs are out.  At least, I don’t think so.  Wait, what was I saying again?

Oh yeah.  Don’t yell at your kids.  Lean in and whisper, it’s scarier.