Photo: Observant readers will see that I’m quite out of practice. I’m worried about the size and pallet of the block, frankly. I’m afraid that it’s screaming Mardi Gras, and that’s not really what I’m going for. I’m hoping that it calms down when you put a few together…? Hmmm….
This week I learned the following:
First: Panic! Closing the playroom was the worst possible idea!
Second: Don’t Panic! Closing the playroom isn’t the end of the world! (But you probably aren’t going to be very productive until you open it again)
Third: Those Kindles are the best things I could have ever purchased (for all of the reasons why I should never, ever have purchased them).
Life is full of contradictions, Dear Reader. The mother’s life in particular!
It has been a work-week of the playroom being closed and all I’ve got to show for it is a messy living room, a big fat headache and a mild (but growing) case of writer’s block. Blogger’s block, too! These Quiet Thoughts have been hard to get to! (A beer helped on that front, at least.)
However, we’re all learning a lot of lessons that we hadn’t had to learn before. Before we go anywhere and before we go to bed, I’ve been making the boys put the room back together. You want something? Clean up. With the playroom, the boys would dump everything all over the place until it became so dirty that they didn’t want to play in it. I wouldn’t go in there to clean because a) so thankless and b) so much stuff. And getting them to clean it up before TV time? Forget about it! So basically, I’d close the door and tell myself there was no mess beyond it. But with the limited space of the living room, the fact that I often us it for thinking and working, not to mention just being comfortable, I’ve had to teach the boys have to keep it clean.
I used “teach” purposefully. I had never really taught the boys how to keep the playroom functional, even when they really get into their play. The playroom was either perfect or a disaster with no in-between. Sharing the living room has taught me to tolerate some disarray (for a while) and prevent total destruction through conversation about what they are playing with, how and when. So, while Monday was a total disaster and a long clean-up, last night was a breeze! And that’s important, because little boys are living to play with their Kindles after dinner.
Those damn Kindles. I love them and loathe them. The boys are playing with them right now, giving me the time to write this post while dinner is in the oven. (Motherhood is about multi-tasking, ya’ll!) Right now, I’m listening to the same two videos playing over and over and over again. Amazon Playtime has a curated Youtube that Minor somehow found, and then he found the first video and the rest is history. It’s… obnoxious.
Here is why those Kindles are the greatest things ever: I’m sitting here getting this blog post done right now because my boys are in there rotting their brains watching the damn nursery rhyme video over and over and over again. I can hear it and I know that they can’t get into the dark terror that is the real internet. I don’t need to supervise them, they aren’t distracting me and they aren’t fighting with each other. Outside of the asinine noise of the videos themselves, it’s a peaceful house right now. I’ve been able to take my little freelancing video course (the lessons are about an hour each) and get my blog posts done during reasonable hours thanks to those beautiful little tablets!
Here is the reason why they are the worst things ever: You know what I’m gonna say, right? I mean, when I got those things, I imagined that the boys would be playing mind-stimulating games, maybe looking at PBS games, looking through picture books, etc. They were doing that until they discovered kid youtube! So if I want them to do that, I’m gonna have to turn off that feature, and that’s gonna mean war… and supervision again. If I want them to do the little educational apps, I’m gonna have to make them, which means that I’ll be fighting with them, which means nobody is gonna be happy and I’m not gonna get a break and
I need a break because I’ve been in the same room with the boys all day today because I closed the playroom to save money on heating because I’m a damn idiot!
Lost it there…
It’s only week one. I’ll try a different strategy next week (and probably shut off kid’s youtube because it’s gonna drive me crazy) and we’ll start again. The house must still function, I have work that must be done, and the boys must be cared for, entertained and stimulated. It’s not so tall of an order, but having one less room makes it just that much more difficult.
Then I remind myself that there are many families who don’t have a playroom and they are fine and don’t complain. I’m a spoiled brat and so are my children!
Anyway… what is your lesson of the week, Dear Reader? Did you learn anything about yourself? Are you still feeling hopeful about 2016 after our first week back into the groove? Have you found your groove again or do you need another week like I do?
It is a Friday fit for chicken roasted with sage and rosemary in a cast iron skillet, served up hot with the appropriate fixings. In other words, Dear Reader, it’s a Friday for comfort and warmth, a look back and a look forward. I wish you time to look back on this first work week and decide that you did ok. Maybe choose three things that you did well, two challenges that you want to tackle next week. I wish you a good bowl o hot soup. Something decadent like French Onion or something. Bonus, of course, if it is made by you or a person who loves you. I wish you a little time to read, a little time to create, a little time to breathe in the crisp winter air. I wish you a good strong laugh, a flutter in your chest and mischievous grin this weekend. Use them wisely and try to share them, too. Above all though, Dear Reader, no matter how your week went or how your weekend goes, I wish you the time reflect on how much you are loved and appreciated and counted on. Let it warm you up against the cold of a chaotic world. Let it carry you into next week when we get to try it all again.
And if you win the big, huge jackpot tomorrow, I hope you’ll share some of it with your humble blogger. I promise I won’t ask for too much. 🙂
Until Monday, my Dear Reader, take care.