This is something I struggle with in my day to day life. When I worked outside of our home I was a nurse in a hospital. For part of my career I worked in the float pool. That meant that I only went where extra help was needed. My days were always busy. I had to keep one eye on the clock at all times lest I miss a medication, treatment, or vital sign. I settled on to a floor eventually but the pace didn't slow down. I worked on an orthopaedic surgical floor. My days were a whirlwind of prepping patients for surgery, taking care of them fresh from the recovery room and assisting with rehabilitaion. My watch was one of the most important things I wore. That, and my nursing shoes. (I didn't catch on to the Croc craze....don't get me started on those!)
When I made the transition to stay at home parent the first thing I did was take off my watch. Here, I don't really need it. If the kids are hungry, it's meal time. If the kids are tired, it's nap time. If the kids are picking on each other, it's go outside time. They tell me what time it is.
I still need constant reminding to slow down. Why do I hurry? There are times we really do need to hurry, when it is time for a therapy appointment, for example. Most of the time though, why do I care if Char takes 10 minutes to put her shoes on? The grocery store is open until 1100 PM. We will get there before it closes. She needs to do things herself. If you rush her she melts down. I need to remind myself that this is how she is learning. 10 minutes to put shoes on today means a child who can dress herself tomorrow. That is one less child for me to dress!
Emmett reminded me of this yesterday. I couldn't see his bedroom floor. There was kind of a funky smell in the air. It was time to really clean up. I had grand plans to tidy his room, vacuum and then meet my friend for our Tuesday walk. (see yesterday's post?)
Emmett does things his own way. His version of tidying was to make the room messier first. He decided to resort and refile all of his toys before putting them away. As I sat on his floor, my blood pressure rising along with the tone of my voice something inside of me snapped. I heard a little voice. It said: "Shhhhh. He's CLEANING." Why was I rushing him? The more I pushed him to do it my way the more he resisted. The more he resisted the more frustrated I got and the less actual cleaning happened.
I sat down. I sorted flashcards. I changed the sheets. I found three sets of dirty pjs balled up in various corners of the room. I opened a window.
Emmett sorted. He showed me various toys. He set aside a box for Charlotte. He found a place for the Matthew toys that had wandered in. He practiced using his new, ever growing vocabulary. I didn't get the vacuuming done. We went for our walk.
You know what? The tumbleweeds of dog hair were still on the stairwell when I got home. The house was still standing, even though I didn't cross that one thing off of my to-do list. I am going to have to vacuum again today anyway.