Tuesday, June 13, 2006


There are times while parenting when we find ourselves running into the same brick wall, over and over, with our children's behavior. Sometimes the phase passes before we ever figure out what it's all about...and other times it's not until we figure out what it's all about that the phase finally ends. Or, maybe we think we know what's going on but it doesn't change anything and we just have to ride the wave.

I've been pondering what E2's CONSTANT NEED TO TALK could possibly mean. She's loud, and I admit I often tune her out because to be attentive everysinglemomentoftheday would cause my brain to implode. As it is, I just have bleeding ears by mid-afternoon.

She talks about EVERYTHING, but I think what drives me craziest is that she's always days, weeks, months, or even just hours away from where we are right then.

She's got at least ten ideas on what she'd like to do for her next birthday (in September) and she's been planning it since October.

She's planning on E1 and I helping her shop for her wedding dress.

She thinks we should hike the blue trail the next time we go to Georgia.

She's saving her last piece of gum (from Easter) to chew on our flight to Hawaii in January.

She'd like to have Triscuits and cheese for an after school snack today (it's 9:30am).

She chatters on and on all day, making plans and dreaming up how great it's all going to be...and she's got a memory, so don't think she'll be forgetting any of this any time soon.

It's inspiring, I guess, that she has so many grand plans and ideas. I should see about hiring her a personal assistant, really, someone with superhuman qualities to keep track of all these ideas and help make them happen. But the trouble is, the personal assistant tasks usually fall to her not-so-superhuman mother.

We scarcely get finished eating breakfast and she's plotting an afternoon snack. We just walk into the house after getting groceries and she's telling me what she thinks we should have for lunch, oh and can they have marshmallows for dessert? After lunch she thinks we should... and after Dad gets home... and when is Friday? Is it tomorrow?

All this before I've unloaded one bag of groceries. Before I finish eating lunch she'll be back to adding to the list - and hey, don't forget those marshmallows. She let's me know if I'm slacking by trying to squeeze in something foolish like laundry. She's exhausting. Not in the physical, play hard, kind of way. She exhausts me mentally.

Motherhood, I think even more than Fatherhood, is mentally challenging. There is so much we Mom's have crammed into our brains about what happens, when, where, and with whom, and it all increases exponentially the more kids we have. As the CEO of the household, there is a lot of day to day stuff we automatically do that isn't always obvious. To the unsuspecting family members this stuff often just happens and the intricate chain of events that took place to make it happen go un-noticed (well, unless we finally blow off some frustration by TELLING THEM EXACTLY EVERYTHING WE'VE GOT GOING ON). Adding E2 to that is like having a second boss, who really isn't your boss, but keeps piling work on your desk anyway.

I've taken to reminding her not to worry about later, tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year - funny, since my life revolves around strategizing in advance, worring and pondering what will happen in the coming year. "Let's think about right now," I'll wisely advise.

And maybe this isn't a phase that she's going through...but a lesson in 'one day at a time' I'm learning.