There comes a time in every mom’s life when we start to sound like our own mother.
Being that I had a great mom, I don’t think this is a bad thing. But I’ve developed the kind of empathy that you only get by shared experience; in this case, parenting a talkative, inquisitive, energetic child.
5:17 a.m. “Wah, wah!” Naomi, that little butterball, thinks she needs to eat. Ah well, if I feed her now, I might still get another hour of sleep.
5:40 a.m. “Mommy, I can’t find my chewy.” The strident little voice cuts through my dreams. I stumble out of bed, grope for the flashlight, retrieve the pacifier from the floor next to Milo’s bed, and tumble back into the warmth of the blankets.
6:00 a.m. “I’m being followed by a moon shadow, moon shadow, moon shadow.” Cat Stevens says it’s time to get up and Jeremiah dutifully rolls out of bed. But I don’t work today so I turn over and snuggle deeper into the comforter.
6:30 a.m. “I want my oats!” Thankfully, Jeremiah is dealing with that Milo-demand.
7:00 a.m. I hear the door open and the light streams in. Feet patter around to the far side of the bed and the blankets shift as Milo pulls on them to haul himself up. A heavy scraping noise warns me that he is probably holding Jeremiah’s rock club, potentially somewhere in the environs above my head. Retrieved from Kaikoura beach and relegated to non-decorative status, for some reason this Maori artifact wanna-be resides on the shelf behind the bed. It’s definitely time to get up.
7:15 a.m. “I have to go toilet!” “Why that book here?” “Mom, watch me! Watch Me! Watch ME!” I’m not at my most innovative in regards to parenting when I’m tired, but when I’m numb and sluggish in my responses Milo thinks I haven’t heard him, and tries the repetitive approach.
8:00 a.m. Mobilizing to exit the house. “I want my peanut butter and jelly! (whine) “Uh-oh, my shoe, my Shoe, my SHOE! YOU do it! (whine). I don’t want to wear my coat! (whine).”
9:00 a.m. Rain is splattering the windshield on the way to the discovery center at Canterbury Museum. Milo keeps up a steady commentary about everything we’re passing. I’m listening with half an ear (responding with much less than half a brain) while strategizing the route and free versus paid parking. “I see lights down there!” Milo declares, as we bump over railroad tracks. A block or two later: “I have good memories to think about what is that light about. I saw it was train.” “Say that again, Milo?” It took me the second time around to understand what he what his three-year-old jargon was saying. Interesting way to say it, that.
The commentary continues. “Mom, you like that car?” “Look mom!” “Mom, I hungry.” (whine)
“Milo, my ears are full. I can’t talk to you right now.”
Pause from the back seat. “When your ears going to be empty?”
“I’ll let you know.”
“You let me know?”
“Yes.” 3 minutes of quiet ensued.
“Mom, your ears still full?”
“Yes Milo.” Wow, that was a good technique tip from my mom! I would have been just like Milo, just as relentless in my questions, just as clueless to others’ needs, and she told me she would periodically get a little respite this way. It works.