Thursday, August 23, 2007

Eyes Squeezed Shut

Dear Liana and Jadyn,

So often throughout our days together, I can't take my eyes off you. Not because I'm worried about your safety, necessarily, but because you never cease to amaze me. Silly things, like draping towels over your heads, or my underwear, or your bathing suits, or daddy's socks. It's hard to turn away, to do other things, for fear of missing a single beat of your lives.

Yet, there are times when I have to turn away, squeeze my eyes shut, really tightly, because I don't want to see, I don't want to watch the mess unfold. Times like these usually erupt during a meal, following 12 "We don't throw food" statements, and I just want to hit the roof. Or, when I've asked you so many times to keep the dried pasta in the big container, but you insist on throwing it all on the floor. Of course, these moments are few and far (well, fairly distanced) between. They can happen once in a week, or twice in an hour. I just never know. So, I get tired of saying no. I get tired of worrying about the messes. Who cares if I have to spend the first quarter of your nap cleaning for tonight's house showing?

So I close my eyes. Tight. I cover my face with my hands. I don't look until it's over; the rampage settled and all is calm again.

Breathing.
Breathing.
Breathing.

If a toddler throws a piece of chewed up food on your clean hardwood floors and you don't see it, did it really happen?

I'd like to think not.

3 comments:

bella said...

I hear you!
It is a constant process of wondering when to say no and when to say it doesn't matter anyway. The messes are hard for me too.
You said it so perfectly. To close the eyes is to miss the thrown food and yet also the stunning unfolding. It all comes together.

bella said...

Oh, and I tagged you to write eight random things about yourself, if your up for sharing.

Leigh said...

What, I didn't see anything happen! :)
At least it's not on your light-colored carpet...
My girl, at 2, still doesn't understand "We don't throw food" and it is absolutely one of my pet peeves, one of things that sends me more than ANYTHING (even beyond pooping on the floor).
Wonderful, wise post. Your children will remember you fondly for loving and enjoying instead of constantly worrying about the mess.
xoxo,