Yesterday, it took me three hours to write my quick takes. And I even had the topics (always the hardest part of quick takes!) predrafted. I knew exactly what I would be writing about, and it still took me forever.
Because, every five minutes:
“Mommy, how do you draw a baby carriage?”
“Mommy, have you seen my crayon?”
“Mommy, I can’t find my kitchen” [Kitchen was directly behind him and is taller than he is!]
“Mommy, what are you doing?”
“Mommy, when will you be done?”
“Mommy, can I snuggle Tindómiel?”
This isn’t a Mommy-is-sitting-at-the-keyboard based phenomenon. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, organizing, cooking… All are subjected to a constant, never ending stream of interruption and his desire for me to just sit and watch him do whatever it is he’s doing. He can’t even sit and eat a meal without someone dancing attendance. And Heaven help me if I go upstairs.
It’s not all bad. He does, genuinely, want to help me with whatever I’m doing. But he lacks both the strength to do the things he wants to help with, and the attention to any task more complicated than scrubbing the toilet. I try to come up with little things he can do to participate, but this just turns into a different variant of his play behavior – he needs someone to sit there with him the entire time.
It’s exhausting for me, and not at all good for him. I sympathize a great deal with Calah and the stress she experiences dealing with needy Lincoln – GeekBaby was just like that as a baby. And as a toddler. He’s four and a half, and I’ve given up hoping he’ll grow out of it. I hope Calah is more fortunate, that the presence of so many siblings, so close in age will help as he grows.
GeekBaby needs a playmate, and we tried and tried to give him one, but the reality is that Tindómiel will never be a playmate for him. He loves her dearly already, although he romanticizes her somewhat, not really knowing what living with a baby is like. (He’s in for a bit of a rude awakening.) And so it will really always be just him and me… and he needs me. All the time, it seems.
And that’s the crux of the matter. He really does need me. And he’s so much like me that I know this is something he needs to grow healthily, as much as eating his vegetables or getting enough sleep. I don’t entirely understand why. I really don’t know how to provide for it. But it’s still real, even though it requires delicate balancing. Sometimes I feel like I’m walking a tightrope I can’t see. And in the meantime, the work of living still needs to get done.