Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's The Constant Repetition of the Repeating That Gets So Repetitive

I don't think it's a huge secret that I was never a person who aspired to have children. I have always liked other people's children, and I have always thought kids were cute, but I never had some deep burning desire for my own. I don't remember wondering what my children would look like...I don't remember, even when Hubby and I were engaged, trying to picture what we would be like as parents. I did picture what we would be like when we bought our first house, or what it would be like when we took Fabulous Trips to Exotic Places. But kids? Not so much.

However, about three and a half years ago, we started Talking of Children. Or, I should say, Talking of Child. Just throwing the idea around. It wasn't so much that we needed something to "complete" us - it was more that if there was some really cool experience out there, we didn't want to miss out. Kind of like going to a great resort - if, at said resort, you were awakened every three hours by HIGH PITCHED SCREAMING and everyone walked around not in sarongs and swimsuits, but in spit-up stained t-shirts and pajama bottoms. I mean, who wouldn't want to go there?

As it turned out, I got pregnant so fast that I kind of felt like Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter when Doo looked at her and said, "Baby, I think we may have finally found something that you're good at." I got pregnant so quickly that I didn't have time to really even get used to the idea of wanting to be pregnant. But we were, as my mama would say, tickled to death - and because we hadn't spent the first five years of our marriage longing for a child, the whole thing was kind of a novelty: "OH, this is what the people speak of on the television. " "OH, this is about the stage Julia Roberts was in at the end of 'Notting Hill' when she and Hugh Grant are sitting in the park."

Needless to say, we were blown away by the arrival of our little one (whose daddy has nicknamed him "Boo"). I will never forget those first couple of weeks of his life, and I still contend that our four days in the hospital (yes, four days - when a baby is over 10 lbs., it is oftentimes wise for a mama to have a c-section) were the sweetest days of my whole life.

Boo was a great baby...there was only one completely sleepless night when he was around 4 months old, and he was not a screamer, by and large. He was always really easily consoled and, for the most part, perfectly content in any and all situations (which means that if I ever have another one, he / she will come equipped with head that spins around so fast that it pops off its axis and explodes, but the screaming. will. never. stop). So I haven't really known that feeling - at least not on a regular basis - of wanting to pull out my hair, of wanting to hop in the car and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway and check into a hotel, a la Marie Osmond. (And I am NOT, by the way, making fun of post-partum depression, because I know that it is real and painful and Tom Cruise needs to keep his mouth shut).

It's been surprising to me to discover just how deeply we both love Boo. You just don't know that level of love is there, and when you tap in to it - OH MY WORD - it changes your life. I am forever humbled by the gift of sharing in this little life, of having a chance to shape and mold and teach and train and squeeze his cheeks and shower him with hugs and kisses. It is, in short, the best.

So I say all of that as a preface to this confession: I just can't take all of the talking. I am grateful that Boo seems to have Strong Verbal Skills. I am grateful that he is happy child who seems to enjoy expressing himself verbally. I am beyond grateful that he is healthy. I love seeing his little empathetic heart start to show itself when he says, "Mama, you okay? You're okay, Mama!" But there are times - usually when we're in the car - when I am completely overcome with anxiety due to the following constant (as in not stopping, as in never ever ever ceasing) requests:

a) wanna go to Publix
b) wanna get a cheeseburger
c) wanna get 2 cheeseburgers
d) wanna go to Target
e) wanna go swing
f) wanna hear [insert name of Veggie Tales song] AGAIN
g) wanna get out
h) wanna go to Rosita (that's BooksAMillion in BooSpeak)
j) some combination of the above

Now I love my child. I do. I would throw myself in front of Any Fast Moving Object to save him from danger. I would donate many major organs and several of the minor ones to ensure his well-being. You can insert any cliche' about a parent loving a child into this sentence, and it would apply. I adore him.

I just don't know how to handle the repetition. I am thankful that God prepared me for this aspect of parenthood by providing me with a husband who enjoys singing short phrases of songs over and over and over. But the difference is that there's no urgency, no demand, no insistence in D.'s singing. It's just a song that he enjoys, and he feels compelled to share. That I can handle.

But this toddler repetition thing is a whole new ball game. I figure that I've either got to ascend to a whole new level of patience, learn to block it out, or employ the use of masking tape over mouth when we're in the car (and last time I checked, there are Large Government Agencies that sort of frown on that practice...though the fear of them doesn't discourage me as much as the knowledge that I'd just have to hear a muffled voice saying "NO WANT TAPE! NO WANT TAPE, MAMA! NO WANT TAPE! NO WANT TAPE, MAMA!").

I have a friend who often reminds me that parenthood (and marriage for that matter) is mountains and valleys. So if the repetition is a valley, then that encourages me - because it'll get better. Either I'll get better coping skills, or Boo will discover that saying something once is a fine, desirable option. But if the repetition is a mountain?

Well, I may just fling myself right off of it. :-)


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