Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Uneven, itchy and skin too small....

"Life is short, the art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgement difficult."

  "Mama can you pat me on the other shoulder?" "What?" "My other shoulder...you need to pat it." "Umm..Why?"  "Because you patted this one..now you HAVE to pat the other one-to make it even!" "Even." "Yes! I like everything in twos..nice and even...so you have to pat me."..."No." "What?"  "No..I won't..I can't" "Why?!" sigh..."Because once you start with making things even..it gets worse..you start to count things..ceiling tiles..floor tiles..road lines..and before you know it, you are quitting your lucrative job as an artists model because counting has taken over your life!...Trust me-that is no way to live!" "But..... I just want you to pat my shoulder." "I won't do it to you buddy..I can't as your mother, in good conscience lead you down that path!"  This was followed by a very long afternoon in which my boy,( behaving as stealthily as a gangling legged eleven year old can be) attempted to get me to touch his other shoulder. We actually had quite a lot of fun. He would jump out from behind doors..sidle up to me...he even put things on said shoulder in an attempt to lure me into patting it. We had a great time.  More importantly, I got him out of the "making things even" frame of mind-if only for an afternoon.   It is the end of summer and the school year is looming ahead of us..Let the anxiety begin!

  This is an awful time of year for all of us. Looking back to the beginning of Summer. Oh I had such plans! So many ideas!  We would work on math and science, take long walks..watch documentaries. I even thought about trying crafts! HA!  Me and crafts-that is a joke. Give me a glue gun and some sticks-and you'll wind up with a mess.(Give them a glue gun and some sticks and you would have an advertisement for industrial cleaners or sedatives)  Who am I kidding?..It seems that in all my planning I forget a few essential things. Like asking them what they wanted to do.  Sometimes I forget that I am surrounded by some very strong individuals-who differ in age..interests,,and emotional levels.Working one on one hardly ever happens at our house.  It is usually all or nothing.    We did do things as a family..we took day trips, have gone hiking, we even went camping with friends . It's just that I feel as though I didn't prepare them...work with them enough..get them fully ready for the next school year. So the anxiety sets in..for the kids as well.

  This is a big year for us.  Sammy is going off to the middle school, Lily is in second grade,  Oscar fourth..and my baby girl Zoe is going to pre-school.  As for me?   I will be alone..by myself for the first time in almost twelve years!  So we are all a little edgy..jumpy...loud. None of us seem to be fitting in our skins.  There is a lot of very loud laughing and crying and eeeeeing and repetitive behavior. Being that I am the primary herder-it is all directed at me-and I am overwhelmed. I feel as though I am running around putting band aids on issues and helping no one. sigh... If only they could take turns with their anxiety.

 The sweetest thing about all of this is-that they worry about me. They worry that I'll be lonely..that I won't know what to do without them around.  "Oh I'm sure I'll find something to keep me busy while you are at school" I tell them- trying to keep a straight face..while in my head I am dancing a jig...surrounded by books and coffee..  Although,to tell the truth, I am a little anxious.  I don't think I remember how to do anything without constant interruption. Will I have the urge to suddenly drop what I'm doing and make snacks-only to wind up wandering through my empty house (in dirty pajamas ) looking for someone to give them to? sigh... I'm afraid my dogs are going to get fat.  God!  When did I become such a ..a mother!  Will I never learn to relax? If only there were a support group for us disenfranchised parents. I can imagine what it would be like..held in some musty church basement..squeezed in between the A.A. and the O.A. meetings..I would be the one hiding in the back..to cool and reserved to join the circle..until I was forced to testify.  "Hi I'm Kathleen and I'm a redundant stay at home  parent" .."Hi Kathleen.." And thus I would tell my tale of snack bags..and woe..Sigh..I know that  in a couple of months or so, after everyone is well into their new routine and settled  into the rhythm of the  school year (probably just in time for Christmas vacation) I'll start thinking of things that I can do. It's just hard right now, to realize that my services in the home will no longer be needed as much. Just like that...And.... I don't even get a gold watch.

Oh deep down I know it will be alright.  I already have more than enough to occupy my time with. It's the wide open space of possibility that makes me nervous. Excited as well. I look forward to filling it up. With what?  I'm not sure-But I can say with absolute honesty it won't involve glue guns or counting.  


Kim Wombles said...

((())) Hee, are you sure no glue guns and no counting? Not even a little?
We're in the same head place, aren't we? Sigh. We will be okay. They will be okay. We'll find plenty to play at. After all, we'll have three days a week where we both won't have kids at the same time!
Ha, think of what we'll accomplish!

Big Daddy said...

It's amazing how fast the summer goes. Sounds to me like you accomplished plenty, even if your pre-summer plans didn't pan out. If, when school starts, you do find yourself involuntarily (unconsciously) making snacks, feel free to send them my way. I love snacks.

jazzygal said...

Oh my....I would have given in. Fair play to you for not. My WiiBoy likes to do things in threes...and I let him. Oops. It's always been like that and hasn't escalated. Yet.

Oh the plans I had for this summer too...no trips realised though, well hardly any. Didn't realise how busy we would be. Crap weather didn't help. You only camp in Ireland if you like mud. Lots of mud!

Can't wait to hear what you get up to in your free time!! You know we ALWAYS find things to fill it with. But be careful, don't get caught moping around the schools or ya might get a job. Like....choreographing a school show or somethin';-)

xx Jazzy

Jen said...

I notice you labelled the post with OCD. Umm, I have to have things even so if I lean on one foot for too long I have to even it off by leaning on the other one *coughs* I didn't realise this was OCD ish the other day until my sister and myself were talking about our mental counting. I should probably stop now! Except to say it would have driven me nuts if you hadn't patted my other shoulder :D

Best of luck to Zoe in preschool and I hope you might blog more with some of your spare time:)


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Clay said...

I got into the awful habit of counting while working at Jack-in-the-Box. Drop tacos in the deep fryer, count to 20, pull 'em up. Started to count other things too, habitually, and near drove myself crazy with it. I put my foot down and stopped the nonsense.

I think you'll find things to do, just put on some favorite music, and relax until something comes to mind. Take it easy for awhile, you've earned it.

kathleen said...

Hi Kim..yes three days!! But I wonder-will I be ABLE to write without four kids on me? Either I'm going to be able to do tons-or I am going to have to ask people to come over and ask me for things

Hi Big Daddy-yup, we did do a lot-most of it was fun. :)..I always stress out at this time of year..always worry that they aren't prepared for all the demands of the coming year..and then we have the change in routine..or actually just change in general-it isn't popular with some of mine...sigh..I'll be more than happy to send snacks your way..it would certainly beat wandering around aimlessly in my house..trying to pawn them off on the dogs-although they wouldn't mind...not one bit..
Hi Jazzy-it has become a game of wits here...now Sammy will come downstairs after he has been in bed for an hour or so...and try to ambush me! It really is kind of fun-this tormenting...hee:) No-I refuse to go anywhere near the school...well...more than I have to that is.
Hi Jen-Firstly, thanks so much for the encouragment in writing..it means the world to me. :0 But, yeah..O.C.D. is a huge part of our family..it is a big part of the family I was born into..I know what leaving it unchecked can do-at least to me..oh the counting..I really did leave a job because it got out of control..I still count-but I have found ways to distract myself..so I don't get carried away..yeah..he really really wants me to touch that other shoulder..I WON'T!! Stubborness is part of my family too..;0
Hi Clay-thanks..The thing is...well I really don't know HOW to relax..this has always been a problem for me..my body NEEDS to move..I swear I sometimes drive Omar to distraction because I am always tapping or shaking my foot..I can't even sit through movies-always have to be doing something..I so know what you mean with the counting..so know! If I don't stop myself it becomes all consuming!

Clay said...

I know how to relax just fine, kinda an expert at it. What I don't know is how to have fun!

Floortime Lite Mama said...

Summer goes by so fast ..

Your child just sounds sooooo charming
I love this
"This was followed by a very long afternoon in which my boy,( behaving as stealthily as a gangling legged eleven year old can be) attempted to get me to touch his other shoulder"

I hate this time of the year too

Many hugs

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I find the idea of free time a bit scary as well. I prefer to be really busy so then I don't have to think about stuff. So I'm already planning how to fill the empty mornings - and with only a little housework, as I just find that depressing. I hope you enjoy the chance to do some new things xx