Peanut was about 10 months old when I started this blog. He had finally settled into a predictable routine. I was settling into my role as a stay at home mom while the fog of his early infancy had cleared leaving me with the mental need for an outlet and the time to devote to it.
Three years later, Pumpkin is in his tenth month (yes, I’m in denial at how quickly that 11 month mark is approaching since the big bad first birthday is quick on its heels. Sniff.). He’s finally settling into his little routines. School’s back in and I have found a little mental breathing room in my life again.
As a result, I find my head is in constant action as a variety of thoughts, ideas, plans ricochet their way through my brain. I can’t turn it off. Some of these ideas downright inspire me. Some scare the crap out of me. Some require more rumination and research. All demand more physical time than I seem to be able to conjure up and that, my friends, frustrates me no end. The time I *found* when Peanut was this age just doesn’t exist this time around with an older child’s demands.
My brain desperately wants to latch onto one of these thoughts/ideas/plans and dig in, get dirty in the execution/research/completion. Unfortunately, my physical self can’t commit.
Am I rushing into it? Attempting to add more to my plate than my stomach can hold? Or am I afraid? Afraid of starting something I may love, something challenging, something time consuming that may make my short term uncomfortable but could pay off in the long term mama happiness bank?
I wish I knew. Unfortunately, Curious George is almost over and, therefore, so is my break time. One of these days I’ll have it figured out. Won’t I?
Peanut is back in preschool leaving me and Pumpkin three hours together on M/T/W and five whole hours on Thursdays. I’m newly inspired to accomplish all this nonsense on my to do list with only one child underfoot. It’s amazing how much I can get done, suddenly. Until I remembered that I should be inspired to pay some individual attention to my youngest.
So, last week after dropping Peanut off at his first day of school, I sat on the floor of the playroom across from Pumpkin, surrounded by toys and attempting to engage him. He, apparently, couldn’t care less. He was much more interested in rolling a ball around the floor to chase after, independent of anything I was saying or doing. Hm.
I realized in that moment how much Peanut dictates the tempo of this house. I wondered what in the world was I doing with Peanut all day long when he was this age? I questioned whether I was short changing Pumpkin.
Then we picked Peanut up from school and Pumpkin’s eyes lit up once the second car seat was filled with the exuberance that is his older brother. I saw how during afternoon play time, he eagerly wanted to play with Peanut, crawling after him, pulling up on the train table to see what was going on, searching out Peanut’s toys to experiment with, imitating him at lunch time, squealing with delight when Peanut popped into his room after nap time.
Although Pumpkin may not get the same individual mom attention that Peanut did, he doesn’t lack for actual attention. The example that Peanut sets, the silly things Peanut does to make Pumpkin laugh, the attempt Peanut makes (sometimes) to play with his little brother all give Pumpkin a level of attention and care that I couldn’t possibly provide alone.
That doesn’t mean I won’t still try to play with the roly-poly goodness of my second born, it just means I’ll relax into the moments more, not feel guilty for filling the dishwasher while Peanut’s at school and look forward to the beauty of their reunions each day during car pool.
The blank page can sometimes be an evil thing. It stares at you, the cursor blinking, practically daring you to put thoughts to font. Then there is that delete button in the corner. Easily accessible to wiping out the babble, the bleh, the bad. Back to a blank page. Empty.
Somehow the clutter in my mind has manifested itself as a blank page. If only I could put that delete key to work in my brain. There has been a constant flow of thoughts, words, lists and tasks bumping around in my head. The result is a constant noise. An exhausting cacophony of to-dos, what ifs, not dones.
And so it is that I realize I haven’t written in more than a week. More frustrating is that I haven’t had that burning idea come to me in the shower that rattles around in my head until I just have to share it. And it’s not for lack of things going on. Peanut’s back in school this week. I’m tackling a side project. Pumpkin’s cutting his third tooth and learning how to clap.
Maybe that’s it. The busyness of life has clogged my thought process. Maybe. For now, I’ll take small comfort in the words I’ve put down today. I’ll work hard to fill another page tomorrow, or maybe the next day. And hopefully quiet the chaos enough to hear my own voice again.
That is the greater truth, isn’t it? That we mother’s are so busy listening for the cry on the playground, the bad dream whimpers in the middle of the night, the lack of sound when a toddler and a crayon might have been left alone too long, the yawns before nap time, that we often forget to listen to ourselves. And we need to hear ourselves. We need to hear the solutions, the dreams, the voice of our self. The self that isn’t mommy. The self that isn’t the speediest grocery shopper this side of the Mississippi. The self searching for words to put on a blank page.
So I’ll take this rare new moment of quiet in my house while Peanut’s at school and Pumpkin’s napping to take a deep breath and listen. What will you hear?