Seize the momentPosted: 09/10/2013
As I write this, I am also keeping an eye on dinner (bubbling away nicely on the hob) and glancing over every now and then at ToddlerGirl (playing happily by herself). It is all very calm and peaceful for 5pm… This is one of those oh so rare occasions where I feel like I might just have this mum thing sorted.
(OK, now I have written that in black and white, I am holding my breath waiting for it all to go pear shaped…!)
One of the reasons that I actually have a few minutes to sit down at the computer while I wait for dinner is that ToddlerGirl is having a fun game, with a few bits and pieces I’ve set out for her. She is so much better at entertaining herself these days but it is unpredictable. Some days she will happily amuse herself for a good while and I suddenly find that I have some TIME to do something (usually housework related unfortunately; maybe some playing on my phone or reading my book if I decide I can sit down for ten minutes!). But if I plan for this segment of time, it doesn’t happen as that will be the day that ToddlerGirl needs all my attention.
I’m sure this will gradually change. When I look back to even a few months ago, the way she is playing is so much more developed now. She’s been embracing pretend play for a long time but this has entered another league since she started talking more and more. Her toys have little characters and she acts out whole dramatic scenes with them. I just love listening to the near constant chat as she plays and hearing the influence of our real lives coming through. Perhaps the mummy toy is taking the baby toy to the museum or a farm. Or sometimes rabbit is having to learn how to share with mouse, which always makes me smile!
As these games become more involved, I can glimpse ahead to a time when I may well be able to schedule in a hour of quiet play in our day, maybe at the point when naptime, such that it is, no longer happens. An hour of quiet play for ToddlerGirl = an hour for me to Get Something Done. That is an exciting thought! Not that I am counting on it, however. One thing I have definitely learnt over the last couple of years is that these developmental stages we’re promised as parents don’t always materialise. The fabled long afternoon nap – that I have finally, reluctantly admitted we are probably never going to experience in this household – being a case in point.
But then again, another thing I have learnt is the importance of seizing the moment. When you only have ten minutes to jump on the computer and do some writing, you do it. And you write, even if what you write is rubbish and will need complete revising or ditching the next time you read it, even if you are simply telling a small story from your day at home with your toddler that, in the scheme of things, really can’t be classed as great writing. Whereas a few years ago, I could stare at a blank screen for at least ten minutes before writing, deleting, rewriting, carefully editing, waiting until that perfect sentence materialised – and often hampering my attempts to write by striving for this perfection each time – now I just get stuck in. I relish the opportunity to have a few moments to myself. I have always been a brilliant procrastinator but motherhood has taught me that indulging in that either makes my life much more difficult or stops me doing the things that I really want to get on with.
So, I will use that fifteen minutes I gained before dinner when all was surprisingly under control and feel productive and creative and that, yes, I do occasionally have this mum thing all sewn up.
Of course, I only managed to squeeze out half this blog article in that time… As if the tapping of my keys was like Morse Code to ToddlerGirl’s ears, it didn’t take her long to finish ‘playing happily by herself’ and come over to investigate what Mummy was up to! But nevermind, I shall be waiting somewhat patiently for the next ten, twenty, (dare I hope) thirty minutes to come along for me to seize, savour and USE.