I have to stick to schedule or there is no way anything will get done. So I’ve planned it all out. The problem with cleaning and tidying a house with two little people in it is that as soon as you get through one room they’ve messed it up again. So I knew the only way the place was going to be in a decent state by Saturday was if I not only clean and tidied but then maintained the areas that I’d already done so the whole thing didn’t go to shit. A smart woman would say this is what normal people do ALL THE TIME which is why their houses are tidy and mine looks like there should be someone Twister style yelling ‘Debris!’ I am not a smart woman.
I have a whiteboard full of baking, preparing and cleaning tasks and I anticipated that this would be a TV week for the girls to help me get everything done. So it was somewhat surprising to find that I didn’t need my old reliable TV babysitter that much this week. They have been happily playing together. Delighting in one another’s company. Riley has been inventing games that Piper loves and I can hear her shrieky giggles all through the house. And there has even been alone play. A kind of play that has been sorely missed around these parts. SORELY MISSED.
And I might not be a smart woman, but I know this isn’t some grandly convenient coincidence.
To cope with my workload this week I have severely reduced my computer time and my online time. I’m not on my phone that much, I’m on twitter hardly at all and I flit in and out of facebook occasionally. But for the most part of the day I am playing or cleaning or tidying or baking or running errands. I am not sitting at the computer. I have about 15 emails I have flagged for follow up out of the hundreds in my inbox.
And although I know part of the transformation with my babies this week is that they are getting older. Piper is making noises that sound like talking. She plays copying games. She adores her sister and lights up whenever she catches her attention. Riley is seeing her as more of a source of amusement than of annoyance. Every now and then she stops worrying about her things and her tidal wave of love for Piper flows out. And Riley is loving having a captive audience.
But I know a big part of why this week has been so easy, so effortless as a parent is because I’m more available away from the computer, more engaged. I don’t need to concentrate as much, I don’t need space. I’m just doing my thing and they are doing theirs.
Wholly and completely inconvenient.