Friday, May 15, 2009

On Housework And Motherhood, and Crayolas

I'm sure you'll agree that we've had quite the eventful week. We found out on Tuesday that MIL needed us, brought her here on Wednesday and made the decision to move her in, turned the office/craft room into a bedroom for her on Thursday (a lot of work for one day!!!), and today we're moving our stuff out of that bathroom and back into the master bath (the Worst Remodel Ever is still not completed, but at least the master bath is liveable-ish! Could you imagine if we all had to share one tiny bathroom?). Tomorrow, Saturday, MIL is moving in. We've definitely not had much time to adjust to such a major change, but we're managing.

I really have never been a great housekeeper, and since Jack was born, I've gotten much worse. I mean, I still do the essential housekeeping things, but my list of essentials is pretty short, and I will drop what I'm doing in a heartbeat if Jack wants me to hold him or play with him. My feelings on balancing motherhood and housework is best summed up by the well-known song, Song For A Fifth Child, by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton (not well-known to you? Click here to read it). Children grow up so fast, and I don't want to miss a moment of it. No bit of housework is more important than spending time with my son, and I never ever want him to think, even for a second, that mommy is too busy to play with him, or rock him, or that any bit of housework is more important than he is. It's not. Nothing is. And the housework will still be there after playtime/cuddletime is over.

Since we've had such a crazy week, it has been necessary that I concentrate on housework. I haven't been able to just drop whatever it is that I'm doing the moment that I hear "Okay come on let's play toys!" or "Let's go rocking chair!" I'm sure that poor Jack doesn't really know what to think of all this cleaning going on over here! I am trying to find ways to entertain him and occupy him in such a way that I can still get things done. Sometimes, just being in the same room with me is enough, sometimes I actually have to hold the helicopter high over my head and spin the rotors and make the noises and talk to the pilots and the whole nine yards (whatever that phrase means!), and sometimes I just need to get him started and he'll play mostly alone as long as I pop in and out of his activity so that he knows I'm still paying attention. Usually if I know I'm having a big cleaning day I will see if someone can come over to play with him, or if I can take him to play with someone, so that I can concentrate on cranking out the work and not have to worry that he's being neglected. That way I can work faster so that I can concentrate on him sooner, and I know that even though I may not be the one playing with him or rocking him at the moment, someone he loves and who loves him IS.

Anyway, on Wednesday Dave left early to go pick up his mother, and he wasn't going to be back until the afternoon. I had to start making a dent in the major task of cleaning out the office/craft room (if you know what my office/craft room looked like, you'd know that major was an understatement!), and I had to do it with no one else there to entertain Jack, so I opened up a brand new box of crayons, taped some clean white paper to his easel, and let him at it! He loved it, and it entertained him so much that I only had to stop what I was doing to draw a helicopter, taxi, or airplane a few times when he asked me! Of course, I did drop what I was doing to grab my camera! I couldn't resist, he was just having so much fun!

I'm going to draw here!

See, I'm drawing there!

The two-handed technique

I also pulled out his Ta-doodle stampers and he LOVED those!

Different angle for you ;)

Do you have that stupid camera again?!

To get him to smile these days, I have to ask "Where's your happy face?" Of course, he'll smile, but his hands are up at his cheeks then!

Finished at the time, but he added a LOT more after his nap. The crayons were stubs by the time he was done with them! (Don't judge my drawings... I'm terrible!)

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