Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Stairmaster From Hell

Being a mom is like climbing an escalator, only it's moving in the opposite direction. The higher you go, there you are. The faster you go, there you are. There's an infinite set of stairs, and finite energy with which to climb.

For example: activity books. There are tons of activity books. Cutting, pasting, folding, drawing, tracing, and so on. Or you could just cut regular paper. Or make activities of your own. I have six separate boxes for theme activities, like play clay, foam shapes, painting, etc. Why, the artistic stimulation is endless.

But it's endless. I could do art all day and not cover everything I want to show M and K. I could do art all day every day for a month and not get there. Because there's always more.

Oh, but we can't just do art, can we? Because there's music. Let's get out those instruments and sing and dance and make merry. Or we could learn to do hand gesture to songs.

That brings up physical activity. Should we be making an obstacle course, or playing a sport? What about taking a walk? Or should we bring the tricycle instead?

I guess sometimes I'm overwhelmed. The more I do, the more there is to do, or so it seems. And I want to give them everything, at least when it comes to their development. I passed a sign on the road today that reminded me: "90% of a child's brain is developed by the age of 5." As if the pressure wasn't enough already--I am an anal, obsessive, over-achiever after all--there it was. A world of ideas, issues, activities, and only five years in which to cram in the best that I can muster. All while tackling sleep deprivation, disciplinary struggles, and a house full of chores.

No wonder moms are tired all the time. Go give yours a hug, and give yourself one while you're at it. At least we are still climbing, amidst it all. What is it we always tell our children? Ah, yes: slow and steady wins the race. Or climb. Or battle to raise the best darn children out there. Or just to make it to bed without giving up entirely. Any of those work, too.

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