Monday, June 3, 2013

A Salute to the Mother of a Pre-Schooler

How quickly we forget...

Quiet Time, that magical hour from 1:00 to 2:00 in the afternoon, was my favourite part of the day for several years.  I always intended it to be my cleaning time, since:
- my kitchen was always messy from breakfast, snacks, and lunch,
- my bathroom was always messy from kids running in and out without paying attention to the precise location of the toilet,
- my laundry room was getting filled from the mess of living, and
- my floors moderately resembled a muddy forest floor that had been used for a picnic.

And then my kids grew up.  They learned to clean up after themselves by placing their dishes on the counter and helping to empty the dishwasher.  They 2 out of 3 of them learned to aim for the hole in the middle of the toilet.  They started folding their own laundry and putting it away.  They learned not to track mud/food/clothes all over the house.

So Quiet Time became family fun time!  Sometimes you will find us playing board games or card games together in the afternoon.  Sometimes, we'll be out riding bikes.  You might find us in the back-backyard at the park, hitting/catching the baseball, or playing basketball.  Or, very rarely, if I just want some downtime, I'll declare it Quiet Time once more and send my kids off to read for an hour or so.

Today I found myself walking in the shoes of Wanda Whoopie-Cushion from years past.  The older kids were off at school and the younger kids were here at the house, making a mess and having a happy time playing.  Now, at 1:00 pm, I once again have blocks on my floor, dishes in my sink, dishes in my counter, dishes on the table, shoes all over the entryway, spots of this and that all over the bathroom sink, and laundry piling on the floor.

"Girlie, it is Quiet Time!" I declared.  "You can have a nap or you can read books on the bed.  When this number *gestures to the clock* is a "2" Quiet Time is done.  Okay?"

"Okay" she answered.  She's done this at Auntie Wanda's house before.

Auntie Wanda has never needed Quiet Time as much as she needs it today.

Auntie Wanda salutes the mommies and daddies of pre-schoolers.  So much energy packed into such a tiny frame.  So much mess to be made, whether externally-sourced or internally-sourced.  So much fun and joy to find and welcome with each passing moment.  So many squishy arms around my neck, ready to give me sticky hugs and smiley kisses.

So much love.

It is 1:20.  I need to stop playing on my "cah-puter" so that I can clean up to make room for more mess.