And Other Thoughts

A Cause to Blog

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Don't Bother Me, I'm Busy!

“It’s about time you answered the phone. I’ve been calling you for days…”

It’s the typical response I get from my father when I answer the phone dutifully, if he’s lucky, every other week. He used to call several times a day—daily. And then he would just call once a day. And now he’s finally realized that even when he attempts to contact me every three or four days, I still won’t answer.

I don’t hate my dad. I just don’t have time for unimportant chit chat…with anyone. My husband doesn’t even afford that luxury on most, if not many, many, many days!

You see, I’m a stay-at-home mommy.

(So now you’ve got this image in your head of me lounging in our extravagant vacation-like backyard, taking long naps next to the pool while our nanny raises our two-year old son, Tavin. Think again!)

Some days I don’t even get to take a shower. Yeah, I know, gross. But hey, some things aren’t as high on the priority list for mommies with high-demand, on-the-go, hands-on-everything, don’t-turn-your-back-for-two-seconds-or-your-TV-will-be-on-fire toddler. (In fact, see this picture. This is what he does when he should be sleeping! Does anyone need their wallpaper removed? Tavin is for hire! Now, two weeks later, the wall is nearly paperless.)

Let me give you some background on our son. Because you may think you know what being a mom to a baby, or even a toddler is like, but you've never met our special Tavin.

From day one he has hated—correction: loathed, despised, abhorred—the car seat, or any other contraption that required him to be strapped to it or around it. Strollers: out! Store carts: out. Baby swings: forget it! Car seat: OMG! We’re riding on death row!!

Whenever we wanted to go anywhere, we spent the entire car ride listening to Tavin cry bloody murder, while trying to drown it out with soft lullabies blared as loud as the volume knob allowed. Most babies find comfort riding in the car and happily drifting off to la-la-land. Tavin was happiest…well, nowhere really. 

And when he did nap—which was rare—we literally had to tiptoe and whisper for fear he’d wake up and start that high-pitched crying all over again, because not only did he have colic, but he was--and still is--an incredibly light sleeper. All we hoped for was a nice break a couple hours a day, which we rarely received. At most, we were honored with a half hour here and a half hour there, twice a day. Instead we spent most of our days trying to comfort a colicky-crying infant. Our hope was for that six-month mark when colicky babies stopped crying non-stop. But we were blessed with another fun-filled three months. And by that time, at nine-months old, he began cutting teeth. Need I explain how that went?

By the time he turned one, the three of us hadn’t really gone anywhere or done anything together, because we just couldn’t tolerate listening to the screaming in the car or the cart or the stroller. We became absolute homebound. Prisoners in our own home to a baby who owned get the drift!

We knew our life would change by having a baby, but we never expected that. Never! It was heartbreaking in so many ways. Our nerves were shot by the end of the day. I didn’t talk to anyone, including Jared. I just didn’t have the energy for it. My whole lift was centered around a demanding child whom I loved dearly and eagerly wanted to enjoy.

As Tavin got older, we thought he’d outgrow those crying spasms, but no such luck. He’s found a new way to scream and holler: it’s called the terrible temper tantrums. I thought I’d have more time to do my work from home as a freelance scriptwriter. I thought I’d have time again to cook fabulous meals and experiment with new recipes like I did when I was pregnant. I thought I’d have time during naps to catch up on my DVR programs like Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen. Instead, I end up deleting most of them because the DVR is always at 100% and I need more room to tape the newer episodes that I never get to watch anyway. I end up cooking frozen meals when Jared’s at work because it requires very little time away from Tavin who is usually pulling on me and pushing his way in between me and the stove. I don’t read food magazines anymore, because it requires too much down time that I don’t own. And the only time I get to sit down at my computer to do my work or writing is after Tavin is finally sleeping for the night around 7 PM. By 9 PM, though, I’m so beat I can’t even see straight and end up neglecting most of my writing, reading, or scripture studies because my work took up most of my so-called, "free time."

My first son, Josh, is 25 years old now. When I was raising him, I was a single mom and worked a full time job, even went to college part time. How did I do it? How does ANYONE do it?! Now I even have one of the most amazing husbands in the world. Because he knew how much Tavin consumed my every waking moment, he began doing laundry and cleaning the house. Jared basically became the housewife so I could be the nanny.

Josh was a different breed. He was so mellow and so “who cares” (as he still is) about everything, that I could do just about anything I needed or wanted to do, but back then, I had NOTHING important that I needed or wanted to do. How did this mix-up happen?

So dad, so Pennie, so anyone else who tries to call and I just don’t pick up for days on end, please try to understand, it’s not that I don’t want to talk to you, I just can’t be bothered because I have a two-year old child whose life depends on making sure I don’t have one of my own.

So, you may wonder then, what’s the plus in all of this? In being a stay-at-home mom?

Tavin has a vocabulary of a three+ year old. He was doing things before he turned one that most three year olds could do. I read today of a proud daddy whose three-year old called an airplane a “flying boat.” Tavin sees a moving stream in the sky and screams in excitement, “ahpane” (for airplane). Other parents are proud when their four-year old knows their right from left. Tavin’s already grasping that. Tavin also knows that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. He speaks English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. He has a brilliant mind, and this isn’t just mommy-brag. This is our doctor’s warning. Warning, you ask? Yes, because he’s so highly intelligent, she claims my biggest challenge with Tavin will be…challenging him. No kidding?

He's always ready to go. And quite honestly...I wouldn't want my little Bubby any other way. When I said earlier that he's special...I meant it!

My world may be crazy and chaotic somedays, but I have the best life ever!


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