Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Break from Mother Nature

This has been a long week. Trying to get my room painted at a snail's pace. The walls are finally done, I have a little bit of trim to do and then the doors. But it looks so much better already that I will not even complain about my paint-induced headache.

We have had more than 2 weeks of over 100 degree heat. It has been the 2nd hottest June in the 150 + years of recorded weather history. The morning lows barely drop below 80 and the highs are from 103-106. By the time we get up, dressed, and have breakfast (by 9-ish) it is almost too hot to go outside. In the afternoon, the only way it is bearable is to play in the kiddie pool.

I have been trying to fight my natural inclinations... I am the mom who avoids messes: I am the mom who cringes inside when my kids take the box of blocks and dump it on the floor. Why can't they learn to take just the blocks they will need, one by one rather than spreading them all over the floor? I am the mom who insists on not getting clothes wet outside... that is what swim suits are for, am I wrong? And who wants more laundry? Who wants to take wet clothes off and put dry ones on? I am the mom who secretly hopes activities like painting will not be requested--which involve 20 minutes of prep and 20 minutes of cleaning for five minutes of artistic diversion for a 3.5 year old. I am the mom constantly picking up--books, toys, grass, sticks, even though I know they will be back on the floor before I am done with "rounds". I am the mom who discourages my tots from playing with their food, even though I know that is part of the experience of eating at that age. I am the mom who remains fully clothed only dipping feet in the pool, rather than jumping in and splashing around.

Where does that come from?... that desire to keep things clean... that urge to fight chaos and mess? It's not exactly that I am a sidelines-mom. It's not that I won't get on the floor and play... I do that... and as long as things stay orderly, I don't panic.

But I have been fighting that lately... trying to let my kids just be kids... even if disaster ensues, even if clean-up is required.

Today was a good day for that. We had our first break in the heat wave. When we got up the skies were dark and rumbling. It sprinkled/drizzled all morning. While the lightning was still striking and thunder rolled, we took all the pillows to G's room and played and climbed and built a fort (though I kept getting upset with Nico for wrecking the roof--little slip). Then fighting the urge to stay dry we decided to go for a walk in the slight drizzle. I even let G splash through the puddles. That was one happy girl!

I have also been fighting another natural inclination: the constant connection addiction. I literally get on the computer a bazillion times a day--checking email and reading blogs mostly. I think part of it is just craving some kind of activity that is not child-related. I get restless at home all day with the kids: feeding, cleaning, wiping, playing, scolding, holding, bathing... it is endless. The computer is my 2-minute escape. It is a coping mechanism, in some ways, but it also means I am not always "present" and that, like numerous other things, adds to the mommy-guilt.

I can't leave the computer on and not check... so I have been turning it off after checking email in the morning and not turning it on again until naptime--my guilt-free alone time.

I am just getting on now, after our pillow-play, rain-walk, lunch, clean-up, diaper-change, teeth-brushing, potty time, 2 songs-no-3 songs, lights out... and... BREATHE

Ah, my internet connection... I have tried not to long for you all morning... have I missed anything?


mosey along said...

No, you haven't missed a darn thing. It's been crickets-chirping quiet. Why is that?

See you in a couple of weeks, I'm off to see the inlaws....

Stay cool(ish)!

Danielle said...

Wow, you sound so much like me. I'm constantly fighting 'the mess'. Everything you talk about sounded just like what I would be doing/thinking. I guess I gotta learn to relax. I hate messes, especially sticky ones.
I'm looking for a break in the cloudy/rainy weather here. I want to get a tan! Maybe we could trade a while...
I too find myself on the computer a lot off and on during the day and at night too. I agree with your reasoning for it. I don't do much with 'friends' and get most of my social interaction on the web. It's easier and then I can still do my own thing.

Sara said...

I was that kid who got into everything and my Dad was very much like you. He was tidy and organized and just couldn't understand why I couldn't be more like that. The thing is... I'm still like that.

Danielle said...

I'm glad you liked the pics :) I mostly read about stuff here http://digital-photography-school.com/