Today’s post is unique because everything I’m writing about literally happened an hour ago. It involves my maddening morning and failed attempts to write what I’m writing right now. We’re basically going down a meta-rabbit hole.
As always, Lucas was up first. I met him in his room to a wonderful round of applause. After getting ready for school, we walked downstairs and I served him up some waffles and water. With food in his face and clothes on his back, he was all set to sit with his iPad and watch some of his shows – the same shows he watches over and over again. But, that’s a subject for another post on another day.
I sneaked away into my office to finish writing an article that I had ready for today when he followed me in. An expected misconception people have about parenting a non-verbal child is that life is quiet. It’s not. There might not be a lot of talking, but life is certainly not quiet. This morning was no exception.
With Raffi blaring in my ear, I tried to tune it out and focus on typing. While I was able to distract my ears, Lucas had other plans for my hands. Each time the video would reach a part that he particularly liked, he would come by and pull my fingers off the keyboard in order to get my attention. Even though it’s borderline infuriating, I would look up at his little smiling face and have no choice but to happily sing along. He’d laugh, clap, and run back to the couch. Within ten seconds, he’d be back with another hand-grabbing song request.
I must have written the same sentence five times by the time Olivia woke up. Her curly hair bouncing two feet above her head, she flopped onto the couch next to him in my office. Continuing my typing, I tried to wax philosophic about parenting while he began tapping her on the shoulder and she repeated, “Hi, Lucas. Hi, Lucas. Hi, Lucas”. Luckily this didn’t last long. Unluckily, it didn’t last long because he sneezed on the iPad.
I knew this happened because Olivia let out a massive, “UGH!” Like a robot, I turned my chair around wiped the screen with a Lysol wipe and his nose with a tissue. I turned back to the screen and offered a pretty innocent suggestion.
Lucas, give Olivia a kiss.
He did. Again she yelled out like she had been stabbed, breaking what should be the silence of the morning, but wasn’t because of Raffi. When I asked what was wrong, she told me that his mouth was all wet. After close examination, I realized she was right and wiped him with another tissue. I assured her, “It’s only water.”
Truth be told, I had no idea if it was water or not. I think she realized that I was unsure too.
Ugh! Why would you make him kiss me like that!?
Seeing that there needed to be a way to get these kids out of my office so I could finally finish this post, I offered to make Olivia breakfast. We all went into the dining room where I served her a bagel. She scarfed it down in a few minutes and I turned to go back to my desk.
Before I could cross the threshold, Lucas rushed past me and plopped into my computer chair with his iPad. Taking his hand, I lead him to the couch, where he sat and continued rewatching Raffi. I settled down in front of the computer and accepted the fact that I would have to have Baby Beluga as my morning soundtrack when Olivia came barreling in with a new soundtrack to take its place.
It’s hard to explain what she was doing, but she does it all the time and most parents will understand. She was making a sound song of sorts. It’s not a whistle. It’s not a hum. It’s an “ehhh” noise that she does to a random tune. It’s similar to the most annoying sound in the world as seen in the movie Dumb and Dumber only, you know, more annoying.
I begged her to stop in that exhausted parent way. It begins with, “Olivia, I love you, but you really have to stop doing that.” She agreed. That’s when she went to get her recorder so she could “practice” for me.
At this point, every part of me wanted to blow up, but I didn’t. I looked at what I was doing and what I wanted to be doing. I took a break and instantly became keenly aware of my surroundings.
You see, all of this will be over one day. My mornings will be silent. All mornings, every morning. Provided I’m lucky enough to live long enough to see it, one day my children will be grown and days like this will be mere memories. It’s the stuff they write songs about. It’s the warnings from older people about how “one day you’ll miss this.” I’m aware of that fact and I was aware of it this morning. I pushed my chair back, stood up and spent the next 45 minutes running with them through the house, taking pictures, and laughing along.
For all the annoyances that come with being a parent – whether it’s the constant pushing and pulling into different directions or all the events we miss out on because we have kids at home – I wouldn’t change it for anything. There’s plenty of time to write. After all, I found time to write this. The days of having kids at this age who follow me from room to room won’t last forever. Heck, it won’t last another few years. In the meantime, I’m going to make sure I love every annoying minute of it.