Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The clock is ticking

I have one hour and fifteen minutes until I have to pick Emma and Charlie up from preschool. Teddy fell asleep about ten minutes after I got home from dropping off the kids. What have I done with the past hour and a half of glorious free time you ask? Ummmm....I really couldn't say. I spent a good deal of it catching myself up on my own blog. I haven't even looked at the thing for several weeks. I used to feel guilty about that, but now I have no problem taking a break from documenting my own life. Sometimes you just have to focus on living (L-I-V-I-N) and save the documenting for a quieter time. Or at least that's how I rationalize it. So, it would seem that that quieter time has actually arrived...at least it's quiet at this particular moment. There's no telling how long the quiet will last, though. With a new baby in the house it's always hard to know how long you've got until the next feeding, how long the current nap will be...could be 20 minutes, could be 3 hours.

And because you never know how long you've got, it's always hard to know what task to tackle when you do finally have a few seconds (or minutes, or hours) to yourself. Do I finish transforming the mountain of pre-drilled particle board I bought at Target into playroom storage? I am itching to complete this project (projeck) because I still suffer from the delusion that I will one day have a clean and organized playroom. For those of you who have been on this blog journey with me for a while, you may remember I was blogging about organizing the playroom at this time last year. There have also been all the other billions of times I have rearranged the playroom and not even blogged about it. (I know, I have cheated you out of so many playroom organization posts, I'm sorry.) Only Brandon can know the full extent to which I obsess over playroom organization. It is my motherhood holy grail. Deep down I know I will never really achieve the Real Simple vision of a playroom that I have embedded in my mind. But still, I persevere. So, I bought a ton of that cheap ClosetMaid organizing stuff from Target in the hopes that our lives could be a little less cluttered in '09. We'll see...

Anyway, I can't really put the ClosetMaid stuff together because it involves a whole lot of banging and cursing on my part and I don't think that's in the best interest of Teddy napping. It turns out Teddy has slept long enough that I could've gotten a decent nap in, but I hate to spend my precious me time unconscious. I know I'd probably feel better afterward, but I sort of want to be awake to enjoy the quiet and not miss a minute of hearing the central heat cutting on or the ice maker depositing another batch of ice into the freezer. Ahhhh...quiet. I love you.

I could've maybe cleaned something or prepped dinner, paid bills, or some other productive task. Bor-ing. I'll save that for when the big kids are home and Teddy's hanging out in his swing smiling and doing his little spastic arm movements that make it seem as though he is waving at you. I love when babies can't control their arms and their feet. It's like, "whoa, where'd this arm come from? Whoops, here comes my foot!" It's so charming how little control they have over their body parts.

In the same way, I guess I have very little control over my schedule these days. For a while yesterday it was looking like it was going to snow last night. There was talk of freezing streets, treacherous commutes and possible school closings. I went to the store yesterday and diligently bought toilet paper like everyone else in the DC area. After several years of living here, I have learned that that is what you do when there is talk of snow. When I woke up this morning my first thought was to look outside and see what the weather had brought us. What would our destiny be? Turns out it's just gray and rainy. No snow, or ice. Just a whole lot of toilet paper.

My time and really my life are not my own. I am in a season of life when one never knows when they will get to shower or sleep or eat or when a snow storm will blow in and cancel preschool. At least I'm assuming this phase of having no control is in fact a phase and not a life-sentence. Am I wrong?

I can't even imagine a time when my life will be my own, when the quiet time outweighs the hectic, loud, chaotic time that generally rules my life. Part of me never wants Teddy to grow up. He is most likely our last baby and I am mourning his babyhood even as he lives it. Part of me can't wait to have a little control over things again, to have long leisurely sessions to write, to finally finish what I'm working on and not feel like such a writing fraud. But that control comes at a high price. Basically, I will finally get to that stage when my kids are grown and don't need me so much anymore. The organized playroom will probably only become a reality when no one is playing anymore. The clock is ticking....the kids are growing up even as I write this. I have now used up all of my preschool/nap time. Oh well. I don't think it was a complete waste. Time spent realizing how quickly time passes is time well spent in my opinion. (Say that three times fast.) And now, I have to go. Me time is officially over.


mdm said...

It is my duty to inform you that I am in charge of investigating fraudulent writing and have determined that you are not a writing fraud. Two main reasons:

1) A fraud couldn't write, "Time spent realizing how quickly time passes is time well spent..."

2) There's only room for one of us.

Raegan Brown said...

I love this post! First of all, I feel the same way about napping. Even though it's good for you, it's like you missed your only alone time! Also can totally relate to wanting things to look nice/be organized. Your observation that they probably only will when no one is playing anymore is such a good one. I'm trying to enjoy 'the now'- mess and all!