Monday, May 14, 2007

A Piece of Quiet

When did Mother's Day become more important to me than my birthday, anniversary and Christmas all rolled into one? Oh yeah, six years ago! This one was the sweetest so far as my girls are of the age where they took great pleasure in showering me with gifts, like paintings of their hands made into flower gardens and a "monkey that was a dog but his ears fell off on the bus," and saying Happy Mother's Day to me every 10 minutes or so, a sentiment accompanied by dandelions and lazy susans and any other flower-like species of wildlife they happened to come across. It was the BEST, Jerry. The BEST. Cutie Pie planned (I love him for this) a whole picnic, swimming-in-the-lake, sitting-on-the-fake-lake-beach extravaganza, complete with gifts and child disciplining and decisionmaking for the entire day. I was exhausted, but feeling very appreciated, by day's end. Cutie Pie, as Big Dog in Charge, got the bulk of our usual neverending questions, endless streams of comments, not-always fascinating observations and plethora of circular arguments, all of which started with "Daddy...Daddy... Daddy, hear this..." (usually they start with "Mama....Mama.... Mama, hear this...") He sometimes asks me, "Are they always like this?" Yes, darling, they are. Which is why I'm often sprawled on the couch on my second glass of wine in front of Seinfeld, children banished to some remote part of the house, when you get home. I know. I'm a bad wife. But by 6:30, I'm usually too tired to care. Sometimes, especially in the Silver Bullet after surviving some long, multi-interrupted errand together, I tell them to just Stop Talking, Mama needs some peace and quiet. I know. I'm a bad mother. But they give as good as they get. For example, Big Stuff or I will be saying something to each other when Small Fry suddenly pipes up, "Everyone! Be Calm! I Need A Piece of Quiet." Amen, sister. (Although I think she says this less out of needing quiet time than of needing to be the center of attention). But I'm just sayin'...How can they talk SO much? How can they say the same sentence SO many times? I vaguely remember a time when I was DYING for them to say their first words. Now we have running commentary, all day every day. I also remember being alone with them when they were babies and thinking - geez, hours have gone by, and I haven't spoken words out loud to them (because Mama can easily go for hours without speaking). How will they learn language? I am stunting their growth!! Back then, I always had the TV running, not because we were watching it, but so they could hear someone speaking in the background. I know. I'm a bad mother. Little did I know my girls' verbalization would one day be the least of my worries. Maybe it's all the daytime talk shows they heard when they were babies.

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