A little more than two and a half years ago I was entering my final year of college. I remember sitting out by the pool with my textbook or laptop working on my studies and taking frequent breaks to cool off with a short swim. I knew exactly how much time I needed to get ready to go somewhere, to prepare a meal or to finish an errand. Ahhh, those were the good old days...
Along came my little Beastie, Aaron. Last summer I spent more time cleaning water off the kitchen hardwood floor (after he'd transplanted it from his water table out on the deck) than I did actually swimming in the pool. I no longer know how long it will take me to get ready to go anywhere because it will always depend on how many times the Beastie interrupts my progress. Running a simple errand has become much more complex as well. A quick trip isn't always so quick when navigating tantrums or his overwhelming need to wash his hands in every available public restroom. If I run to the grocery store for a few items I cringe visibly if I see anyone I know because my hair is often unwashed and thrown up haphazardly, I'm wearing oversized sweats with jelly smears and not a stitch of makeup. Sure I could try to get a shower in at 5AM while the Beastie is still asleep. However, anything after 6AM is inviting him to roll out of bed and have a free-for-all play date with the freezer contents or my vanity or any number of off-limit spaces that he makes a beeline for the minute he thinks he can get away with it.
Each day is a constant demand on my time and attention with little room for relaxation. I stay awake late evenings in a desperate attempt to capture some "me" time. That quiet spell after Aaron and my husband have gone to bed in which the TV is turned low or off completely. I can read, write or watch a program without any demands being made on me. I absolutely adore Aaron, but that little boy leaves me utterly drained emotionally and psychologically at the end of a day. If I don't get my quiet "me" time in on a regular basis I get impatient and grumpy which tends to rub off on everyone around me. A few days ago I went grocery shopping by myself at 8PM and was able to take a shower, add a little mascara and dry my hair before going; I felt like a normal human being for the first time in weeks! As I say it I realize how pathetic it sounds; the truth is, I am lucky I find the time to brush my teeth twice a day and at least one of those times will be as I simultaneously play goalie in an attempt to keep Aaron away from the toilet bowl.
I know as he gets older, more independent and self-sufficient my life will get easier and I'll long for those days when he needed me to help and entertain him all the time. But, for now I'm exhausted and emotionally drained. I rarely have time to do the things I'd like to do, such as writing this blog. My last blog I had planned to write before the Thanksgiving holiday. I had another topic I had hoped to write about the day before Thanksgiving, yet, I wasn't able to find a time in which I wasn't completely exhausted to develop either one as I'd wanted. Even now, as I write this during one of my Beastie's rare afternoon naps, my time is brief. He has been asleep only an hour and as I near the end of my writing I hear his bedroom door creaking open and him stealthily tippy toeing up the hallway thinking I don't know he's there. He has lunged at me with open arms and a big smile exclaiming "G-ma, I wake!" and my writing is lost amid his wiggly hugs and requests for a snack. His arrival instantly erased all thoughts I had on how to end the particular writing piece and left in it's place giggles and tickles.
I guess my point, to some degree, is that I may get irritable when denied some quiet time. But, these moments of him curled up in my lap with an abundance of hugs and kisses, as I try to type around his squirmy little body, are going to pass all too soon and I won't get them back. So I talk, or rather type, myself to a better perspective of my life and kiss the top of his little head; the faint smell of baby shampoo still lingers on his curls. No, I wouldn't trade these calm, loving, giggly moments for all the quiet "me" time in the world. The cranky, tantrum throwing moments are a different story!
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