My daughter says "Two" and gets the cue to be patient.
My son says "25" and continues to try to get me to meet his need for the moment.
This morning I came downstairs after my morning of sleeping in until 8:30 and within seconds I was pulled farther and faster than saltwater taffy. I wanted coffee and my breakfast. That is all.
I have to get the kids medicine.
I need to make the juice, but I have to do the dishes first.
I have to get a band aid for my daughter's hang nail.
I have to get food for my son who just ate breakfast.
The kids want to feed the fish, I have to ask husband if he already did it.
I kill the ant on the floor,
I trip on the markers on the floor,
I run up and put deodorant on because my husband is now out of the bathroom and if I don't do it right at that moment, I will forget and be smelly.
I see husband on the bed feeling like crap from a cold, the laundry unfolded on the bed, as it has been for days (not on the bed, just put back and forth between the basket and bed).
I run back downstairs, the kids are fighting.
I start the DVD my son chose,
I put their dishes on top of the huge pile of dishes in the sink.
I spell words for my daughter who wants to write a letter to her friend.
I make my breakfast and coffee.
As I am eating my breakfast, I fix the dvd that decided to skip at the same moment that I sat down to eat.
My son is hungry. He Is told he needs to wait until I finish my coffee.
I am exasperated and split between twenty things and my mind is like a grapefruit being segmented into a hundred different sections.
And then it happens.
Daughter is quietly drawing a picture for her friend. Son is watching the DVD and says to me :
"I need you. I love you" and he curls up next to me.
We sit in quiet for one minute. The segments become whole.
And then my daughter wants to make necklace for her friend. And she takes out the beads and before I can stop him, my son jumps off the couch, takes the bucket of beads and dumps it on the floor. I put down my coffee and I begin to split again.
Parenthood is hard. Mothers typically are able to multitask more easily. I do it to a fault. I keep saying yes to the requests, seemingly simple requests, until I have no more sections in my brain left to process the information around me. And then I pause, regroup and take care of things in priority. And I do it over and over all day.
I am a mom, I put myself last. My mother did the same. She is the queen of multi tasking. And like her, I thrive off of it. But as I get older, I realize, there are some things I like to do for myself. I like to drink my coffee hot. I like to write when the mood strikes me and I like to notice the quiet seconds in between being split.
Lately, I have been thinking about how to teach patience to my children. I realize I must exhibit it myself more easily. I realize that it is going to mean that I let them do for themselves instead of jumping in, I realize that I am going to have to say "no" and "not right now". But it's a behavioral change for me. And it's going to take time. And practice.
Because, seriously, Momma needs her coffee. Back up and wait.