When the school year starts we, parents, enter a new level of busy. Getting children up, dressed, fed, and out the door, is just the start of it. Evenings are filled with many extra curricular activities, and we are the chauffeurs, cheerleaders, and clean up crew. We then have the evenings at home to power through. Dinner, homework, bathing children, preparations for the next day, and bedtime routines happen next. It’s busy during the school year. We are all very busy these days.
This is the first year I have entered into this realm of busy. My days have gone from home-bound with multiple children in diapers, to bouncing around town doing this and that. I have to admit I am enjoying all the things I am involved in, as well as the children’s activities too, but I’ve been quick to forget to push the busy aside. Being busy is not an excuse to forget how important being present for our children is. We are all busy, and I’m learning I just need to get over it.
Today I was switching loads, dreading folding yet another load, pondering the sheer wonderful concept of a machine that does this awful task for me. When my little three-year-old came up to me asking questions about a random piece of paper. I answered her with a monotone “uh-huh,” half listening, half just wanting to get the laundry folded and put away. My half-hearted answers started to fade as she kept talking. Soon her voice elevated and she started shouting, “Mommy, mommy mommy, mommy mommy, mommy!” while tugging on me. I snapped and shouted back, my voice filled with annoyance and much louder than it needed to be, “What do you want? I need to get this laundry done!”
Instantly her eyes widened, her lips curled and quivered. Her insanely long eye lashes batted away forming tears. She turned quickly and darted off with delicate, but hurt, steps, to her bedroom. I fell to the ground, breathed deeply and sat there. I cradled my face in my hands and let myself have a quick cry.
She’s only three. Did I have to snap at her like that? Did I have to make my precious little one cry over laundry?
I pulled myself off the floor and went to her. The door was shut and I promptly barged in. She was curled up on the floor, tears splattered on her soft skin. I laid next to her and rubbed her back. She wiggled her little self up to me and smiled. We lay there, silently. My hand moved from her back to her cheek as I wiped away her tears I apologized and gave her a squeeze. It was all she needed and I was instantly forgiven for the outburst. She asked if I wanted to have a tea party. Eyes were still wet, hair was askew from rolling around the ground, and she looked beautiful. A tea party sounded perfect.
The boys quickly joined in and we all laid on the floor of her bedroom, drinking from delicate little tea cups. She made chocolate chip tea, cotton candy tea, and cocoa puff tea. It was delicious. We laughed and clicked our cups together in a jovial cheers.
We stayed like this for almost an hour. The laundry is still crumpled in the basket, yet to be folded. More importantly the taste of pretend chocolate chip tea is still fresh in my heart.
Yep, we are all busy, but let’s make an effort to spend extra time with our little ones. Have a tea party, or read an extra story at bedtime. It doesn’t have to me much. They just want us. All of us!by