Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Following the Leader.

Maybe my children will be leaders. I hope so, at least. For the moment though, they are "followers." Followers of their mother.

I give the boys a lot of attention. A LOT. I mean, I'm there for everything, and then nod my head enthusiastically when they tell me about Lego Helicopters, their dreams about polar bears, and which Hot Wheels car is the fastest. But then, when I excuse myself to use the bathroom, change a dirty diaper, or to change a load of laundry, the pitter-patter of little feet follow me.

They follow me everywhere. It gets really tricky sometimes, because if I haven't thrown myself together before they are up and at 'em, I'm really at a loss for the day. There I am, trying to maneuver deodorant and toothbrushing, while the boys are digging through the bathroom drawers, making stacks of the toilet paper rolls, asking me to cut the crust off their toast, button their pants, and load their Nerf gun with arrows.

It gets crazy. Sometimes I get frustrated. They don't seem to follow anyone else around, but apparently changing the sheets on my bed warrants a pow-wow in the middle of the mattress, and a trip to the basement to retrieve decorations for spring must be a united effort.

Getting frustrated doesn't help, so I try really, really, REALLY hard to be patient. I pray for patience every day, to enjoy these little guys, and especially to love their littleness and curiosity. I also try to wake up as early as I can to get as much done before the morning routine of absolute chaos begins.

The oldest one doesn't seem to want the kisses and hugs he used to. One day he won't ask me questions continuously while I wrestle with my contacts in the morning. My middle babe won't always need me to hold him close for several minutes in the morning and after nap, so I try to enjoy these moments, even though those first minutes in the morning and after nap times are the busiest of the day. And the baby has a special radar that no matter how early I wake up, he just knows and has to join me on my hip while I swiftly prepare the coffee and attempt to be a step ahead of the game before kids come trampling down the stairs.

For an introvert, I've basically given up on being alone in the house. It used to bother me, and it might have even depressed me at an earlier time--really needing that quiet time. I still need quiet time--time for reading, prayer, and reflection, but it just comes differently. Maybe now 6am isn't too early? Maybe nursing a baby with a prayer book in hand will do? Maybe the morning dishes can wait and we can all take advantage of baby's morning nap?

For now, the kids are at my side--sitting on my lap as I type, asking questions as I chop vegetables, and making a royal mess as they go from room to room along with me. It still bothers me sometimes, especially when I'm short on sleep or help, but it's for now it's life. 

I have three little gentlemen following me around wherever I go.

What an honor. :-) .

EDIT* I love it when a seasoned mother writes authoritatively on something I'm newly discovering. Elizabeth Foss does it again!


Sarah said...

I have struggled with this from day one. It's so sweet that my kids want to be around me that much, but like you, I'm an introvert who needs quiet time. My latest solution: my husband gives me some time each week to sneak out in the mini van, park at the local park and read for a few hours. Ah, so nice and quiet! It's nice to hear another Mom open up about this.

Theresa said...

yes. yes. yes. just wait until 5am doesn't seem too early. ;-) and staying up much past the kids bedtime becomes a past time.

i'm pretty sure to most, we are insane and masochistic. but really, i just think we're happy and gluttons for squishy cheeks, wet kisses, good husbands, and early morning coffee.

cheers to you mama!!!!

Anonymous said...

Just found you through Elizabeth Foss' blog. Thank you for your post. It brought back such happy memories of when my first babies were still little. It is definitely hard not to have alone time when they are all little and needy, but your perspective and "realness" is beautiful, as, like all of us, you see the beauty in your life even in the midst of the frustrations.

Mallory said...

Sarah, your time in the park sounds lovely! It will be too cold here for several more months to do that, but I think an afternoon at a coffee shop is in order for me! I'm happy to know we have similar temperaments :)

Theresa, the kids were up at 6 this morning, and I thought about your post. I really like to wake up before them and just have a few minutes to pump myself up for the day, so who knows, maybe 5am isn't too early. Keep pushing me. You can keep me accountable!

8Arrows-Thank you for your comment and for visiting! Thank you for the reminder that even though this time with littles can be so exhausting, that it is truly a very happy time!