Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On Running Backwards and Slimy Noodles

I finally figured out my problem. Yes, problem. You see, the Good Lord has blessed me with 24 hours in my day just like He's blessed the rest of you in the same way. But, with me, He also blessed me with 3 time stealer's... i.e. children. As if that wasn't enough to be blessed with, He gave me 8 loads of laundry to do. And then He required of me to do justly and be merciful to my family and feed this flock 3 times a day. With the food comes the fun of dirty dishes. Usually about that time, the precious baby is screaming because his swing is causing him to feel lonely. And as I walk to the swing to get the precious screaming lonely baby, I step on a slimy noodle and track the noodle all the way to the baby swing.

So, not only do I have 3 darling children, 8 loads of laundry, 3 meals to attend to, 3 kitchen cleaning sessions a day and 1 precious baby to comfort, I now have 1 sticky smeared noodle to pick out of the carpet.

You do the math:

That leaves me with 5 hours left over. I usually use those 5 to sleep. If I'm lucky.

The other day Toby found a hastily scrawled 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper that I had sitting on the buffet. "What's this?" He asked, reading down the sloppy list. I pleaded with him to treat the parchment like a sacred scroll because That Paper was My List. I took precious time out of my 24 hours to design that list. And I look at that list every few days just to see what else I could add to it. It's usually, "Clean noodles out of carpet" or some other monotonous thing. I'm thinking about putting "Change baby's diaper" on there just so I could actually cross something off.

I always thought 24 hours was a lot of hours. Until I had 3 kids. It seems like once my feet hit the floor in the morning, everything starts going backwards. My daily motto is "running 90 mph backwards." I call this frustrating; my husband calls it talent. He claims he doesn't know anyone that can run 90 mph backwards. "Well, hi my name is Courtney, I'm your wife and I can run 90 mph backwards."

Just recently, I spent all of one entire Saturday cleaning, sweeping, mopping and organizing the basement. You read that right, all day. In the huge process there were a few highlights. Such as me finding a snake skin behind the dryer, me killing giant crickets and fast spiders that hid under heavy bins and boxes and me saving an entire freezer from defrosting when I found it had come unplugged. On the way to church the next morning, Toby was complementing my successes. You know, doing what the Proverbs 31 woman gets when she finishes a job... "her works shall praise her." In our case, my works give their voice to Toby and I might add he does a fine job of encouraging me in this way.

I hate to admit this but lately, my unfortunate habit has been to occasionally moan to my dear husband about not being able to get anything done. When I worked so productively in the basement I think he was either praising me or else saying "I told you so" since he always counteracts each, "I can't get anything done" with "You'll get it all done." I seem to have a practice of complaining every night about my inability to actually accomplish something so maybe it's not as occasionally, as I like to think it is.

I mean, seriously, I can't even just sit and eat a meal without getting distracted in some way or another. I asked someone once what it was like to actually sit down at the table and stay there until the meal was done. I think if I did that, I'd feel like a child feels when their mom says, "you sit in that chair and stay there." I'd feel grounded.

Back to the Praising Works conversation we were having the morning after my big day... "I know Honey, it's great isn't it?" I said to him, both of us enjoying our clean basement. Then I went on, "But, I still could only cross maybe one thing off The List though." As if that wasn't discouraging enough, I then remembered that only half of the basement was actually considered done so therefore, I couldn't even cross "basement" off. I should've written "Half of basement" when I made The List. Or even, "Plan to clean all of basement."

So, back to my problem. I have 24 hours to get done what is seeming to take me several weeks to get done. Sometimes I look at The List and wonder if maybe I should just not sleep at night so that I could actually accomplish something without a baby screaming, kids falling off the steps, a child spraying water all over the bathroom floor, answering a toddler's deep theological questions ("Does God make you die?") or stepping on a wet noodle.

But, when you're running 90 mph backwards, it's nice to get a little bit of a break once in awhile. One of the things I've learned about my full 24 hours is that slimy noodles can always wait until morning.


Hannah Michelle said...

Haha! Court, how you maintain such humor with all of that I don't know. But I do think you still manage to accomplish more between your 3 time stealer's than I do with just myself some days. (I only do laundry when my brother stands there looking at his overflowing hamper saying, "Sister...I reeeeeeeally need some clean clothes.")

Peter Pillman said...

Court, I am sorry to inform you that due to a choice of yours, your precious 5 hours of relaxation and sleep are frequently shortened by another activity that you scrunch into your previously busy waken hours. You somehow seem to tickle some plastics to append to your web-log some lengthy discourses. Not to mention the hours you spend jabbering with some Cheese-state homo sapiens. (including my sis, and her secretary)Perhaps taking these allowances into consideration you should decrease the before stated 5 hours of slumber to a professedly realistic 4.5 hours. Not to cause you any inconvenient loss of sopor, my I bring to your recollection that in only acquiring 4 hours of blissful incoherence, you join the good company of some great minds like Einstein. So, relax and enjoy those 3 time stealers, preparing 3 banquets, and the ensuing dishes, and the 8 times of lavation of your raiments.

(and in a spare minute why don't you ponder this verse: Ps. 127:2)

Coeur d'Court said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coeur d'Court said...

Thanks for the comment Michelle. What do you do with your time if you only do laundry when your brother asks you to? :) j/k

And Peter, you raise some good points. The whole time I was blogging last night that verse you mentioned was echoing in my head. I smiled when I saw your referance. :) I didn't know that about Einstein. He is my new hero now. As for "tickling some plastics" or talking to homo sapiens (including thyself), I am doing those tasks while multitasking on other projects. Such as feeding a baby, making a banquet, furnishing a neglected kitchen or laundering our attires. So often I am doing all of the above at once. To just sit and talk and do nothing else is unthinkable. 4.5 hours of sleep sounds depressing but perhaps more probable than I like to think. When I came up with the previously mentioned 5 hours, I had to wonder if a Pillman would question that number and refigure that sum for me. And you did! Thanks for the verse reminder though. I hope to put that into practice as soon as I can get my baby to sleep through the night. :)

BrittLeigh said...

How about a word from the wise....

"Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters
along the way." ~Douglas Pagels

Personal success is defined merely by one's state-of-mind.

Coeur d'Court said...

Wow Britt. I didn't know all that could come from you. One word: Wow.

Peter Pillman said...

Pardon me, Courtney, you need to hold as your hero Thomas Alva Edison. He usually got no more than 4-5 hours of sleep a night until his later years, when he started taking cat-naps. On the other hand perhaps you should continue to hold Einstein as your hero. He was noted for getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night in spite of his busy schedule!

Coeur d'Court said...

Hero or not, I guess I thought you meant that Einstein only got a few hours of sleep in your first comment. I'm finding that 4-5 hours of sleep is very managable -- so much so that I've wondered if I should just do without it altogether in order to get something more important done. And then I remember Ps. 127:2. :)