Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

The Time-Space Continuum

There will come a time, they say, when my child will not want to talk to me incessantly.
“Momma, I’ve got an S T 15 4 hundred telescope!”
A time of ignoring, of being out, of closed room doors and worrying about how he’s doing.
“Look, Momma, I’m at 128 steps on my foot thermometer!”
“Your pedometer, Darling.”
“Yah, my footomometer! 136!”
I will wonder what to do with my spare time. And my spare space. And my spare quiet. They say.
“Momma, how much points do I have now in the game? Do I have more than you? How much more than you do I have now, Mummy?”
Someday, I will not be touched at random times and in random places. My body will no longer be public property, nor my sleeve a place for unclean faces to cuddle.
“Momma, for your birthday, I’m going to buy you something special. Something of your very own, that you will really like. It starts with a T. But you’ll never guess! It’ll be a 15 5 hundred, at least! A tuh, tuh, tuh T!”
I will sleep more than one night in a row uninterrupted. People will knock on the bathroom door, and then go away when they discover that someone is on the other side. I will blow-dry my hair from start to finish with nary a shouted conversation during.
“Look Momma, I unlocked the bathroom door with my own thumbnail! Oh, clever me!”
Dinnertime will include conversations, not negotiations. Even, should I dare to dream so brazenly, with only one person speaking at a time.
“1288! One two eighty-eight steps from breakfast to this lightpost!”
There will come, they say, a time when I will miss this. I will. Whether it will be as much as I miss that fantastical time now, oh, I don’t know.
“Momma, did you know? Did you know that chocolate is moo-licious? Did you know that sand is really little tiny rocks? Did you know that one of the constellations is a hunter, with a bow? Did you know that? And, when I become an inventor, I’m going to invent a car that can fly, and runs on air, and never gets dented. And I’m going to biuld you a robot that will cook you dinner. And, did you
know, that, that, that rocketships can shoot missiles? And that ped is like the French word for foot, but it’s actually another language. And, I’m at, I’m at. Hold on, let me check. I’m at 14 hundred steps! 14 hundred! 14 hundred steps to daycare!”
For now, I cherish my solo walk to work, filtering in only the noises of traffic, of birds, of feet crunching. My chatter-free fifteen minutes. I soak in the sun warming my legs, the freedom to walk at my own pace. I am grateful, every single time during elevator chit-chat, when I don’t need to reply.
Someday, silence will stretch. It won’t be measured, allotted, stolen. I will remember all of this fondly.
I will delight, at a further someday, at charming moments just like these, which will come in defined doses, at reasonable hours of the day. When children will not feel like an endless bombardment, when there will be rest in between the waves.
There will come a time.

A discipline

I spend my time reprimanding, these days.
Lecturing, setting limits, cajoling, ordering, counting down, laying down the law.
It is the Age of Chastisement.
Even my consoling is tainted with lessons and consequences.
There is very little laughter left,
our lighthearted moments islands amidst rough seas.
Things are easier in so many ways, physically, logistically.
Bonhomme gets dressed by himself – although generally not without drama.
He gets up, finds a snack, turns on the TV, and plays, blessing us with much appreciated extra sleep on weekend mornings.
He opens his own car door and does up his own seat belt, he helps to carry in groceries.
He begs to help with laundry and window washing.
But so much is fraught with his temper, his dawdling, his pushing of every boundary.
Tantrums when he doesn’t win at a game.
Twenty minutes to brush his teeth.
Every tiny bobo a scream, a wail, a scene.
Endless negotiations regarding vegetables and books and shoes and videogames.
Fury and frustration and bitterness and resentment as he explores his full range of emotions, only molding himself to his world when it refuses to mold to him.
I find myself thinking often of my mother these days, having had three of us by the time I’d had one. Raising my eldest sister most of all, a lifelong manic depressive.
What must it have been like?
I remember only too well how volatile it was, to be around my sister, simply being in her orbit. But to be the focus of all that intensity?
My mother survived it, as all mothers do, mothering one day at a time, waiting it out.
Weathering.
I count my blessings every day, every minute, that I have a healthy child, albeit an intense one also. But, a balanced intensity, helped along by ongoing forgeing and tempering.
A loud child, yes, who lives every aspect of life at high volume.
I, who learned to find peace in solitude at an early age, cringe often.
And shush, explain, console, encourage, correct, direct, and repeat.
Stand firm.
And wait.