Sunday, April 10, 2005

Nap Time, Happy Time

I love naptimes! It's almost two, and everyone's snoozing. It's a wet and drippy day, as well, and I've long noted that they tend to sleep longer and more soundly when it's grey and dreary out there. Naptime. That hiatus of peace and reflection in the middle of the day. I could undeniably spend it in an energetic attempt to restore order - but to what end?? In another hour, they'll all be up and chaos will once more be reinstated. Not chaos of behaviour, I hasten to add. A comment I've received consistently from parents over the years is how calm my home is. But material chaos? Oh, absolutely. I used to feel guilty about this, and I continue to feel some degree of embarrassment. After all, I do know caregivers who keep an orderly home, and still provide superior care. I used to console myself that they must needs ignore the kids in order to clean constantly, but of course that isn't true. They're just way more dedicated to the task, and thereby consistent in its implementation. I tend to get engrossed in what we're doing, absent-mindedly plonking down that thing in my hand on the nearest available surface... It isn't long before there are no available surfaces, when that's your "strategy". Can't blame anyone but myself for that. I know it. Still, the place is safe. Stairs are gated, outlets are plugged, wires are hidden, toys are categorized so that everyone's playing with age-appropriate equipment. And we have fun! Right now, though, while I'm happily blogging away, the playdough toys are strewn all over the diningroom table. A more visual and orderly person would not be able to settle into another task with that laying there, oppressing them. For me, it's okay. They'll get put away when the kids leave, or, at worse, when we're setting the table for dinner tonight. My aunt - my parenting mentor - once wisely told me that we tend to eradicate such behaviours as we totally can't stand because we are 100% consistent about it. I completely abhor whining. None of my kids (biological or daycare) whine. I don't like clutter, true, but I love my solitude even more. In the long run, time for quiet reflection is more important to me than a clutter-free dining table. And besides, Thomas wants to finish his playdough "dog-poop" (potty training is underway, and we're heavily into excrementory humour these days) when he wakes up... One day, I'll be retired, and my house will stay clean once it's been cleaned! What an amazing thought! I'll revel in clean surfaces and orderly shelves. I truly will. Until then, I need to sit and read and think and write in the small windows of stillness I can claim. Guilt-free!

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