Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On Staying One Step Ahead


I just want to have one of those days, you know? A pajama day, though not necessarily in pajamas. Just a day that goes hmmm, hmmm, hmmmm in a sing-songy way, a comfortable, meandering day of easy activity with no particular structure.

But I have this boy; this boy who seriously needs structure to stay cool. Needs to know the next item on the agenda, on and on. Not that he knows this about himself, but I, his Mama, feel it in his behavior, and thus deliver it to keep him even and happy and peaceful. And it's minute-after-hour-after-day-after-day of AGENDA - first we will this and then we will that and before you can this, you need to these and those.

Really, both of my kids absolutely crave to be one step ahead at all times. Bean asks me most nights as I tuck her in, Mom, what are we doing TOMORROW?

... (sigh.)

And in my head I'm like Dude, all the information I can currently muster up about the future is that I am fixing to lean over and kiss your forehead and then I'm going to will my tired feet to walk me to the bathroom where I'm going to sit down on the potty indefinitely, by myself, and let the buzzing in my tired head and ears subside. After that, and well into 2023, it's pretty much anybody's ballgame.

Don't worry. I don't say that. (That would explode Bean's head. It totally would. Like - KABAM!) Most days I'm in the position to advance both of my kids their requisite next step. Just not the days like today, when I'm brain-fried and body-worn and longing for wide-open mental spaces and soft, cozy physical places in which I can find simple, restorative repose.

Some days I yearn for a day of freedom from knowing, caring, gearing up for, being in charge of what's next, Mama.

Do you want those days? Do you have them?

(Do I sound whiny?)

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  1. This is so my girl! And as I discovered today, having her off sick is so very different to having her brother off sick! Even sick she needs constant entertaining!
    Hugs! Sounds like you deserve a day off ;-)

  2. I have some kids who like to know this too. But through sheer laziness, Husband and I have cured them of some of it. ;) We slow down and don't make plans and let the day happen and our kids (though older than Bean) manage. What kills me is the "what's for dinner tomorrow?" as I'm serving today's dinner!

  3. I made my mom a x-stitch that has a woman sitting slumped in a chair with a thought bubble overhead in which she's juggling dishes, laundry, a car, & various other household tasks. Underneath in large letters it says
    I am woman
    (smaller letters) I'm invincible, (now tiny) I'm tired"

    You are not at all whiny, you're a fabulous momma who works hard to be the best you can be & if you didn't get tired once in a while I start to wonder if you were a Stepford wife or something!

  4. I definitely want one of those days... I tried for it to happen on Sunday... but no. Instead we went to church. We left the phone at home, without even thinking about it. This to me is saying something that I was able to leave the house without making sure I had it. But when we were supposed to meet Joe after church (who conveniently was not ready to go to church with us) and could not find him, because he had gone to a different store. We had to drive home to drive back to the store for him to say, "I found the tree... just pull up your car." Then the kids started with… when's lunch, when can we decorate the tree, I'm bored Mom play with me, when can we decorate the tree, what's for dinner...
    Yes I want one of those days. Nancy

  5. I had MANY of those days when my 2 boys were little. My oldest was/is especially challenging! They're now 11 and 13, and things are easier physically, but I'm still trying to keep ahead of them, only now it's trying to figure out how to keep them safe on-line and worrying about their new interest in girls (sigh). It does get easier, especially once they're in school :). Music, dancing, friends, fresh flowers and lots of chocolate helped me out a lot when they were little! Hang in there!

  6. Oh Megan. I soooooo hear you. I always want one of those days, literally every day! My brain is on permanent fry, for too long to remember now - definitely years though. I can't clear my head of the noise and tasks and so on, to think straight when I'm asked what's next, what's for food, when are we this or when can we that. My default answer (to my shame) is, "I don't know!" literally a thousand times a day, which must be so exasperating for my children, but it's the honest to goodness TRUTH at all times! I don't have any useful thoughts in my head, even after they've gone to bed! Aaaaargh! I'm hoping it's pregnancy, but then it never really clears up between pregnancies, and well, you know how long this cycle of precious, wonderful, soup-brain hormnonalness has been going on! It gets me down, but I can't find any solutions. I need to make a schedule. On the wall. So that they KNOW what's coming next, and for that matter so do I, without having to think much about it. If I can just rub my remaining brain cells together to create a schedule I think that will be the way forward.

    I honestly truly sympathise, and you're not whining. I promise!

  7. Oh baby. The fact that I'm still awake means I have way too much going on, and I'm gonna be really tired tomorrow . . . and my 4-year-old will be asking me, "What are we doing today? Are we staying home? Are we going anywhere?" Etc. Must plan for caffeine . . . at least the two older ones won't be able to ask anything until after 3 p.m. :o)
    Nancy (a different one than the one who commented above!)

  8. I have those days because I *need* them, but I also have to plan them in advance. Not quite the same maybe, but it gets the job done. The kids do know what it means when I say the words "pajama day" (board games, whatever they want for lunch, crafts, some kind of tv special, lots of books, some kind of snack food that is generally forbidden, no chores). So I guess in that respect, it isn't really quite as unstructured as I fancy it to be, but it works. Of course, it didn't always work.

    When Boo was younger, we had to do the same things at the same time every single day. And if we didn't? NOT GOOD. She is a lot like Kent that way. Monkey and I both need downtime in a huge way, time to just do whatever we want without noise or people or life bothering us. When it is just Monkey and I, there is hardly any talking, we might play a board game or cards, or read separately together. When it is just Boo and I (without Monkey or Kent as a buffer), my head feels like it is going to EXPLODE by the end of the day. She goes constantly, and always has to know what we are doing. If I am reading, she will come up to me and ask, "What are we going to do now?" and I will say, "I'm reading" and she respond with, "Yeah, but are WE going to do NOW?" and then stare at me until I think of something.

    Like everything in life, for us anyway, it's a balancing act. :)

    I think I have rambled enough for now! I do not think that you sounded whiny in the least! You always write with great insight and emotion, making it easy to see where you are coming from. xoxo

  9. Bless your heart--I can relate. Our son is 11 now, and pretty self-sufficient, but back in the day, oh baby!

    You need Daddy Al to step in and take over the entertainment committee for a day. The difference is good for everyone involved.

    Nate's Mom

  10. You do not sound whiny. You sound sane! And a little like me. :)