Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Duh Moments

Sometimes, I can be painfully slow about things. For example, after spending quite a bit of time reading about the supposed vaccine-Autism link and realizing that the controversy over it stemmed from the fact that you are never more emotional in your decision making than when your children are involved, I decided it would be a swell idea to spout off my opinion about the bunkumness of this link to a group of mothers whom I had never met before while at a theoretically social outing. I had a lovely time. I have not been invited back. It was only a few days later before I realized that I had unleashed the conversational equivalent of a grenade and blithely continued eating chocolate fondue, completely unaware of the intense discomfort I had created. Yay, me. (And this is exactly why I am afraid of nuns, the Amish and people in uniform. I'm likely to start our conversation with the abuse scandal and let it degenerate further from there. I'm slow and I have feet that just ask to be inserted in my mouth).

My most recent Duh moment came about when I realized that I've been trying to get LO on my schedule. I have a vision of the Platonic ideal of my day. I would wake up around 7ish, have a healthy breakfast (it is the most important meal of the day), jump into workout clothes and head to the gym. After a virtuous hour with my favorite elliptical, I'd shower, head home, and get started on my writing. Around noon, I'd be feeling peckish and heat up some leftovers for lunch. After an hour or so break for lunch and reading/crafting (okay, let's be honest, Facebook), I'd finish up my writing by 3, and get started on getting the house clean(er), and then dinner and baking. J would come home at 5:30 for a romantic meal a deux. We'd finish up our evening with a stroll around the neighborhood, then watch an episode of whatever show we're currently enthusiastic about. Lights out by 10, as staying up until midnight is just a form of showing off.

LO apparently did not get this memo.

For him, sleeping is done best when held in Mama's arms, particularly when she is on deadline. Eating is accomplished when he is hungry, which is generally 3 seconds after Mama's meal (which is never a one-handed affair) is ready and Mama is herself ravenous. Anytime is a good time to play, especially when Mr. Mercurial will go from giggling to grumpy (and back again) in 1.2 nanoseconds. There is never a good time for a bath, diaper changes are most needed when someone is about to ring the doorbell, and feeling lonely and wishing for a Mom to come by is most likely to strike when said Mom is trying to unload the dishwasher which finished its cycle sometime in the past week and is tired of the dirty dishes piled on the counters because the dishwasher wasn't ready for a new load.

Last week, it occurred to me that there are things that I can get done while LO is awake, and things that I must get done while he is asleep, and that I had not been particular about which tasks I completed when. I was still trying to follow my Platonic ideal schedule, despite the fact that I was now in possession of the world's most reliable schedule disrupter.

After months (months! LO is half a year old now) of trying to accomplish my tasks in the order I would complete them if I were captain of my own schedule, and miserably failing at putting the FUN in frustration, I realized that I was doing this all bass-ackwards. I could get a lot more writing done if that was all I was worried about while LO napped. But I had been trying to shower, do laundry, exercise, clean the kitchen, bake, etc, etc, ad infinitum, all while LO was sleeping. Now, my boy likes his naps, but NO ONE sleeps that much of the day.

So, since last Thursday I've been experimenting with doing the things that don't require all my creative attention while LO is awake. He likes sitting in his car seat in the bathroom while I take a shower. He hangs onto the letter links hanging from the handle and looks like he's commuting. He thinks it's funny to watch me fold clothes while he lies on his jungle gym mat and coos. He's not as big a fan of dishes, since I Bjorn him up and make him help, but he'll get there. And I have been able to do more writing in a day than ever before.


I don't know what I would have done if I'd had LO later in life than 31, because it would be even harder for me to recognize when I'm being slow.

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