Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Need to hurry!"

I only move at two speeds- reallyreallyreallyfast and not at all.  Most of the time I'm moving at reallyreallyreallyfast speed with either my mind or body. It's really hard for me to slow down- relaxing stresses me out, I've probably only taken a handful of naps this decade, and sleeping at night is always challenging.

This need to move move move fast fast fast has helped me throughout life- I was known at my job for my efficiency and speed in getting work done.  But now I'm not spending my day writing technical papers, I'm spending my day with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. And they do not move fast.  Particularly when we're out and about.  Until recently, I managed this slowness by taking the kids out in the double stroller whenever we went out.  And then I started training for the 10K (coming up way too soon) and have been fighting with nasty shin splints and pushing around 75 pounds of kids and stroller is just no longer an option. 

So now when we go places, we go at Ethan speed (Vivian still prefers the stroller most of the time). And when I stop and listen to myself, I'm appalled at just how often I hear myself telling Ethan to speed up or hurry up or keep moving.  He's 4, he's discovering the world and I am NOT helping.  And the thing is- most of the time there is no good reason for me to be telling the kids to hurry.  We generally have nothing on the schedule for the day and there's no reason to make our walk home from the museum take only 15 minutes instead of 30. There is usually nothing at home except laundry.

This tendency of mine has been really made real to me lately by the fact that both kids will randomly say "Mama, we need to hurry!".  It kind of hurts to hear that- I've turned my kids into worriers who feel the need (randomly, never when I want them to hurry) to move fast. 

I'm trying to work on this- today when I was walking Ethan over to his day camp at the Children's Museum, I was careful about my words and let him go as slowly as he wanted. And it hurt me a little.  But I don't want my kids to grow up with the internal and external frenzy that has consumed my life. I need to learn from them and move at preschooler speed once in a while.

On a totally different note, about 3 weeks ago Vivian got up one night from our bed, walked into her room and got in her bed and has been sleeping there through the night ever since.  This, my friends, is why I'm not potty training the child. When she doesn't want to do something, no power on earth can move her. And when she makes up her mind, there's no effort at all.

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