Friday, July 15, 2011
"Tales From the Crib" is my normal Friday ritual - though I miss a Friday from time to time. What's "Tales From the Crib" you ask? For that, look here. Then look here. "Things My Two Year Old Taught Me" morphed into "Tales From the Crib" in the beginning of January - so I could include both my daughter and my son - neither of whom are two right now. I thought the change was appropriate.
Wake Up Call
I was busy. As usual, I’d overcommitted myself in several different avenues - bloggy guest posts, creating invitations for a number of events, finishing multiple projects around the house before the BIG APPRAISAL, and this on top of my usual tasks of posting to my own blog, making meals, bathing and dressing the children and (if I could squeeze it in) myself, and generally avoiding housework while eating bon-bons on the couch. Just kidding. I can’t afford bon-bons.
As such, my mind was a flurry of activity as I sat at the computer, hurriedly editing a few photos so I could finish off a tutorial. The kids were set - in my mind. Each had a sippy cup and free reign of the play room near the computer, and the Whirling Dervish of Mayhem and Treachery that is my son was occupied with his best friends - The Backyardigans.
Amidst my flurry and hurry, along with the ever-growing to do list in my mind the thought occurred to me that I’d once promised myself I’d never allow the TV to babysit my children.
bug was speaking to me. Loudly. It was an incessant drone of noise - like a yapping puppy you can’t control. I heard him. But I couldn’t focus on it, too busy was I with the computer and my time.
Normally, I’d wait until nap time to finish on the computer, but desperate times call for desperate measures, wouldn’t you agree? And there was still the porch railing to fix, the vanity to paint, the carpet to vacuum, and ten tons of laundry to do. This post must be scheduled. Now.
The puppy whine was getting louder and more insistent. I swatted at it with a quick, “In a minute!” without even looking up from the screen.
There was a momentary lull, but the small, persistent voice of my son began again as a wave... receding briefly before growing and swelling and ultimately cresting before it came crashing down upon my head in screams for my attention.
I turn, upset at the shrillness in his voice - at the completely unnecessary screaming and yes, at the interruption - to hear him ask YET AGAIN, for the BILLIONTH time if we can go outside.
“I SAID, in a MINUTE!” I try to say this without snapping. I know I need to spend time with the kids.
And the waves begin again. I can hear it out of the corner of my ear - a whirring and turning that you can ignore for a time, like bad background music at the grocery store.
“Mom. Mommy. Mommy. MOMMY. MOMMY!!!”
“I want you to listen to me.”
“I AM listening to you!” I say, still facing the screen.
“No. You can hear. But you don’t listen.” He said, matter-of-factly.
That is when I pause.
Is my son channeling Sophocles? Aristotle? Nietzsche?
bug seems an astoundingly astute three-yr-old, but most likely he was simply repeating something my husband said. It didn’t matter. It was enough to penetrate my hurried fog.
What is the difference between hearing and listening? Was I listening to my son, as I claimed to do? Or was I hearing the drone without allowing it to affect me?
And how often do I do this in my daily life? Not only with bug, but with everyone. How often do I get caught up in all I HAVE to do and fail to hear the unasked plea of a friend in need? Or the weariness in my conversation with my tired mother? Or even the gentle whisperings of the Holy Spirit and promptings of a loving Heavenly Father sent to my aid?
I hear their words. But do I listen to them?
Needless to say I left the computer mid-edit and took my kids outside. We frolicked in the sprinkler, splashed in the pool, threw balls and examined rocks. We were tired by naptime, just the way it should be.
Consider this my wake up call. To not let myself get stuck in minutia I think is important. To not allow another less important (albeit necessary) task replace a vital one. Will I listen to the call? Or simply hear it?
*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!