Questions. So many. Floating through my mind constantly. Most unanswerable.
But tonight, the question that is weighing most heavily on my mind is this:
Why do my children think it is okay to talk to me while I’m vacuuming?
When I was a greener, more empathetic, less experienced parent, I would turn the vacuum off and acknowledge them as soon as I saw them approaching, or noticed their lips moving. After pushing the On-Off button on my Dyson several thousand times over the years, only to be met with questions like “where is my big ball?” and “can I have ice cream?” and statements such as “I think I’ll wear my red shirt tomorrow” and “it’s dark outside” I have learned that there is no scenario worthy of me halting my momentum, bending over and turning off the vacuum. Sure, their eyes may get big and their body language might indicate that something urgent is going down, but I have discovered that whatever it is that they need to tell me in that instant can wait until I have satisfactorily completed my vacuuming program…sun-room, kitchen, bathroom, back through the kitchen, under the desk, family room, office, entry-way, dining room…Don’t. Get. In. My. Way.
Sometimes they attempt to speak to me at normal “indoor” volume (which is a loud mumble) while I’m vacuuming…in a completely separate room…and expect me to notice and listen to Tuesday’s version of irrelevant dialogue over the hum of the motor. If Danny was mowing the lawn and I wanted to tell him something, would I stand on the other side of the yard mumbling? Would I think it appropriate to expect Danny to stop the lawnmower so I could tell him that I just clipped my toenails?
If they do get savvy to the volume phenomenon and raise their voices loud enough to catch my attention, I have learned to go ahead and make eye contact, lift my eyebrows, smile sweetly, maybe even nod…and just keep on vacuuming. This seems to satisfy them. They think I heard what they said and they think I’m going to fix whatever thing they were talking about.
And usually by the time I am done, they have moved on and forgotten whatever urgent thought they were thinking five minutes ago.
And my floor is clean for approximately the next 7 minutes.
And then, kinetic sand.