I don’t think it is a far stretch for any mom of two young littles to feel like she lives in some sort of alternate universe. You know, one where time is measured by the space between sleep (or lack thereof) and feedings and diaper changes, or the one where you listen to the Dinosaur Train soundtrack for the umpteenth time (that week) because it’s what your two-almost-three-year-old picked, again. You know, some imaginary place like that.
I also don’t think it is a far stretch for that same mom to feel, some days, like she ended up in this universe quite by accident….I’m not saying that it was an unhappy accident, just unexplainable at times.
No, I would say that some days, at given moments, motherhood feels quite a lot like falling down a rabbit hole and being totally confused and all discombobulated, Alice-style. And why wouldn’t it? What in this life really prepares you for what it is like to bring new life into the world? And to top that, what in this life really prepares you for what is it like to care for that new life? It is, at times, a daunting job, and one that has me constantly wondering if I’m doing enough.
Moving beyond the mommy guilt, though, I find myself worrying for the safety of my children quite a bit. It is not that I think they are in any real threat or danger (except for that time HD ran down the sidewalk, headed straight for 12th Street. which happens to be one of the main drags in Hastings – now that had my heart racing for all of the wrong reasons!). I guess I just use my overactive imagination and borrow trouble because I worry that they will get hurt doing something simple, something common, and then I will forever feel it was my fault for not having been able to prevent said hurt.
Perhaps if my children weren’t so darn active, I wouldn’t be paralyzed by this particular parental fear quite so much. As it is, they are and I am. That’s life. But what I’m learning in this life is that I, too, can be quick on my feet and with my thinking. That’s not to say I’ve prevented every possible injury (Harrison’s shins are all kinds of two-almost-three-year-old-boy-bruised), but from time to time I catch a kiddo mid-fall or leave a well-placed pillow or blanket on the floor to soften the space or think of some clever reminder of Safety First!
Enter Alice. Or better yet, keep her from entering.
That’s right. This lovely little sign (and its bright green counterpart on the other side) has a new home on the door to our basement stairs. We use these steps a lot because they lead to the playroom and the family room, and since we moved in January, we’ve always left it hanging open or at least unlatched. No big deal. The problem, now, though, is that my own little Alice has decided that stairs, along with shoes and paper, are pretty much the coolest. things. ever. And so she gravitates to them.
Seeing as having Raegan tumble down this particular rabbit hole is one of my worst nightmares, I decided to do something visual (because repeatedly telling my boys to close the door wasn’t so much working). Insert bright neon cardstock, a Sharpie, an unintended literary reference and you get: SHUT ME!
Really, when I did this, I wasn’t thinking of Alice or Wonderland. But now I’m loving it even more because, if nothing else, it is evidence that my book brain still exists, even if I have no time to nourish it these days. But what I really love, is how quickly both boys picked up on it. Although I am, perhaps, a bit quick to praise. I mean, really…it is bright stinkin’ pink. How could you miss it?!
Thankfully, they did not. Harrison was all over it on his first encounter asking me 10 times in a row, “What’s this say?” The 11th time I said, “What do you think it says?” (a common question I give him when I know he knows the answer to something he’s asking me) and he got a big grin on his face as he declared, “SHUT ME!” And to his credit, so far, he has. Ben is getting the message too, and to his credit, he even picked up on the AiW thing. Such good boys I have!
Now, if we can just get Little Miss to find other, less fear-inducing places to play, we shall be in great shape. Anyone know in what universe that might be? 😉