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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

WTH Wednesday: Train Derailment

I call it my Daily Cadence.  The way my day goes.  Mostly it has to do with my internal life; the thoughts spinning about my cranium, arranging themselves any-which-way till I beat them into submission or brain-dump them onto paper.

Sometimes, it's also physical.  The pace of life.  The way we roll.  First we make the bed, then we get dressed...

When I say "we," I don't really mean My Hero.  I mean Mommy, Monkey and Manatee.  How we function day-to-day.  How we manage to get out of the house in the morning, how I manage to get dinner on the table most days and laundry done before it stinks (gah!).

The thing is, I talk to myself a lot.  Now that I live with people, my monologue has gone inward.  Which means I am the silent narrator.  I'm commenting on life in general, mixed in with planning next steps for the day, week, year.  What's for dinner? Did I say the right thing to Kelly today? Are these pants really worth trying to repair? ... all jumbled in there.

But then... horror of horrors: the constant, or at least predictable rhythm of interruption - the children.

Look, I don't expect my life to be silent and orderly.  I have kids.  I get that.  I also don't expect to complete all tasks without interruption with anyone else at home with me (including My Hero). What frustrates the POO outta me, though, is when I go an entire day without 1. finishing a task, or much worse 2. finishing a complete thought.  I call this "Train (of thought) Derailed" and it makes Mommy VERY, VERY cranky.

Example:  I have a "No Talking To Mommy When She's In The Basement" rule. Why? Because I have counted ... and I get anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes from hitting that last step until someone is at the top of the stairs.  Calling out Moooooooooommmy?  Mom?  Followed by a request (food), a tattle (he's climbing on the furniture) or a random question (where did we get the sandbox?).  ALL I WANT TO DO IS PUT THE DRY CLOTHES IN A BASKET AND THE WET CLOTHES INTO THE DRYER, PUSH ALL THE BUTTONS AND GO UPSTAIRS.  Why, oh why, can I not do this?

It's like the Phone Phenomenon, which I think was more an issue for OUR moms; as soon as Mommy is on the phone, the kids go nuts.  Why? Attention.  They either want the attention or they feel they can get away with things because Mommy is distracted.  Now in the age of emails and cell phones, I think part of that phone traffic has been reduced.  But the issue remains - for me it's "Look, Mommy's attempting to be productive.  How can I reassert my very being into that equation?"

Yes, my children are more important than the housework!!  But that doesn't mean I relish the derailment.  There are small windows in the day wherein the children are playing quietly, or alone, or at least not fighting, and I sit, motionless and hostage, afraid to rise.  Like right now.  I have a load of laundry in the washer as I type.  Kiddos are playing (together! a miracle!) with Connectagons in the parlor.  If I were to cross their lines of sight, I GUARANTEE I would get that same 2-4 minutes before SOMETHING would go TERRIBLY wrong ("MOMMMMMM!   He took all the RED ones!!!  He won't let me have ANY!").

So why am I writing this? What do you care?  Well, I guess it's nice just to put into writing.  Why some days I am completely frustrated and defeated and confused and irritated.  It's because I can't (yes, you can have that) get a complete (I think it's in the top drawer) thought out.  (NO, YOU DO NOT NEED TO WEAR A COAT TODAY, IT'S 90 DEGREES!!!!)

Am I alone here?


  1. Did you read my (interrupted!) thoughts to write this? Thank you for putting into words so clearly what causes me to get so cranky as well. Only, for me, it's the bathroom, not the basement, that causes my boys to suddenly NEED my attention. You'd think that having 4 and 7 year-old children, I should be able to finally use the bathroom without interruption. :) Thanks, Rachel!