When It’s Easier to Plug-in, Unplug.

I knew today would be hard when I cracked open my eyes to see what time it was at it was only 5:54.  My daughter, standing at the side of my bed, leaning her face into my face, quietly asking if she could snuggle.  I peered back at her through blurry, glasses-less eyes and said “it’s too early, go ask your daddy….”  (He was on the other side of the bed, mind you).

I guess my answer should have been “sure, baby girl.  I know it’s an hour before your get-up clock says it’s okay to be in our room, but you never listen to that anyway because you are strong and independent, and I admire that!”

I just don’t like to be woken up, and especially not so damned early.  Turns out my son was working on a bowel movement and woke up 23 minutes later, screaming his face off.

This is motherhood.  It’s real and it’s raw.  It’s opening your weary eyes and having to immediately “get to work,” so to speak.  There is no waking up when your body says so, or going to the bathroom, or brushing your teeth, or drinking your tea/coffee while you listen to the silence of the earth rotating in space.  It’s just non-stop noise, dancing, hitting, yelling, eating, crying, screaming, laughing…. and that’s just from the four year old.

So, today, on day five of a very long week, I should have thrown my hands into the air and said “screw it!  Here’s an iPad, and the TV, and any snack you want, just be quiet for five minutes!!!” But, I didn’t.  I breathed through it.  I even did exercises every time I got frustrated (so, quite a workout).  I kept the TV off, I kept the iPad upstairs and my phone hidden.  I know that these things wear on my daughters mind.  They make her anxious and keep her mind running with all the noise and all the flashing colors.  She needed to be unplugged today, and so did I.

Sometimes the silence of being unplugged can be harder to fill with patience, because it definitely takes more work, but today, so far, has been an improvement on yesterday…. and that’s really all I’m asking for.

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The Day The TV Broke ——- *Wink*

Today the TV was broken all day.  Well, as far as my daughter knew it was.  I told her as soon as we got up that the TV was broken and would not turn on today.  I was expecting a total breakdown, but I was surprised because she said “okay. E want milk.”  Phew, crisis averted.  (Also, my daughter still speaks in third person… we are working on it).

What did we do instead?  We played with her stacking cups, we painted, we colored with chalk, we tried not to pass out from heat exhaustion (why are there so many hots outside right now?  I can’t handle all the hots!), and we went to the doctor because she has a little infection around her belly button.  Then we came home, had lunch, and took a nap (both of us — score).  After nap the TV was still broken *wink wink wink*, and she was still fine. She actually played upstairs with her daddy for an hour while I went to pick up her prescriptions and some dinner.  After dinner we played outside on the porch, then we played with puzzles before bedtime.

What was the point, you say?  Well, I’m tired of the TV.  I’m sick of all the background noise.  I want silence, or at least just my daughter saying the word “mommy” 45,000 times in a day.  That’s enough noise for me for the day.  So, what was the outcome?  Was today any different than any other day?  Yes, it was actually.  Do we always play? Yes.  Do we always play with cups and puzzles and paint?  Yes.  The difference was her attention span and her attitude.  She was so much more interested in what she was doing.  She was focused.  And she had almost no breakdowns the entire day.  She usually has a couple an hour.  Not tantrums, per-say, but just little fits about things like… wanting to have a pickle for breakfast, or wanting to go into the bathroom just so she can close the door, or needing to sit on the side of the couch that I am sitting on.  Today we had none of that.  It was marvelous.

I suggest you all try breaking your TV for just a day.  See how your little one(s) handle it. You never know, it may be the best day you’ve had in a while.  I know mine was.

Perhaps the TV will stay broken just a bit longer…