Dear door-to-door salesman, friend stopping by to chat, family member who expects my house to be clean, and girlfriends during craft night,
I am sorry that you have been at my door for 45 minutes trying to sell me household cleaning products, and that my silence leads you to believe that I will. My mind is as empty as my fridge because I haven't been grocery shopping nigh on a month. To my friend who wants me to go with her to Zumba this week... ah yes. It was my idea that we go to that. Sorry I forgot. Sorry I will probably forget again.
My house is in a state of unrest, the toys and clothes are competing guerrilla forces and there is only all-out civil war in sight. Or more accurately, the real insurgents are battle-crying three- and four-year-olds that will only cease fire if Mom drops the iPad and brings out the blocks. Or gummy snacks. Or.. **breathing into a paper bag** the watercolors..
Did you know the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of screen time for older toddlers and preschool kids? Any more than that over-stimulates the little tykes, and leaves parents with turnips for children. "Tubers and the tube". Couch potatoes.
Weeelll, with the squash I painted orange at pumpkin-painting night as my witness, I too am easily over-stimulated.
There's so much I want to cram into each day, so many newspapers to read and daily deals to check in my inbox. By the way, the Thanksgiving week newspaper delivery was out of control. It got to be so many that I stopped bringing them inside. That and toys + clothes piled knee-high really drains a person.
But when your little ones surprise you with catapults and castles they've fashioned out of blocks, or your mini-Monet actually paints something recognizable, it hits home. Even the non-verbal baby shows his love for you in a full, if toothless, grin. My boys dress me as a princess and give me bouquets of the flowers that are supposed to go on the Christmas tree. These little guys not only keep me on my toes but they often have a solution where my creative consciousness falls short. They rely on me and Job to meet their physical and emotional needs and in return things are so much more fun with them around. I love my crazy, over-stimulated life!
"In raising my children, I have lost my mind but found my soul." *
Me at craft night with my homegirls: "Oh, I'm just painting the squash the color it should be," I told the group. And that was orange. Go figure.
*Lisa T. Shepherd