I believe it may be time to take a poll of stay at home parents.
The trouble with polls, is that I need to frame the question in a manner to leave no margin of error, to avoid false positives and true negatives, as I have always been of a scientific frame of mind.
It would probably go something like this:-
‘How do you rate your ability to pin point the location of the screamer within the confines of your own home, where 1 equals poorly or infrequently and 10 equals 100% accuracy, always?’
Truly scientific persons will tell me that it is always wrong to predict an outcome, that I should remain impartial, unbiased and objective.
The fact that I can even ask such a question is a measure of how far we have all come. This question presupposes that our children are not within sight. What does that mean? It means that for my boys at least, that they are not being carried, they are physically detatched from my personage. Yes, unlikely as it may seem, my body belongs to me once again. Less than a year ago, to be out of sight would be to provoke a massive meltdown. Out of visual contact equated to departed, or possibly worse, but I digress.
Up until yesterday, I would have subjectively granted myself a 10 because ‘always’ can be such a delightful word. 6 months ago, my accuracy took a great nose dive when the children discovered that it was possible to go upstairs alone, without me and survive the experience. Suddenly I have a whole new slew of locations to categorize. I have been up and down those stairs these six months, more times than in the previous 10 years. I am certain that I have beaten the land speed record on a daily basis whilst my children challenge the sound barrier.
Like most parents I am usually able to categorize the true nature of the scream; mild irritation, cross, pain, imminent death, which in turn controls my response, frequently automatic. It’s like the hot line to the fire department, no thought required, merely action.
Hence, I am now once again confident in announcing that my 100% accuracy rate has been recaptured, or so I thought.
I nip outside during electronics time when each child is happily engaged in their own personal obsession. Supper is well on the way but I need a few herbs to jazz up the taste buds. I hover with the kitchen shears in hand as I dither over Basil or Majoram. At first it is merely a squeak, a cross between a nose blow and a squeal of excitement, a common precuser to word production. The sound is familiar, the location is not. I twist round to peer back inside the gloom of house from the dazzling sunshine outside. Who is missing and why? What could possibly drag them away from electronics time, the highlight of the day? A voice drifts down from on high, “Hi……Mom!” I shade my eyes and look up to see my son hanging over the top of the guard rail with a huge wonky grin. “What it is?”
To be fair it's never been 'off limits,' merely 'off radar,' myself included.
“Balcony, it’s called a balcony.”
“Um……..its for…….standing and looking.”
“I am stand.”
“Good. Stay put!”
“I am look.”
“Fantastic. Stay there, don’t move a muscle.” I leg it upstairs into my bedroom and out through the doors onto the balcony to stand behind my son. “I am like here.”
I link my hands under his arms, rest my chin on his head and take a few breaths, listen, to see if my heart has started beating again, “I like it too.”
I stand on the balcony with my son, a part of the house that I had forgotten existed. I have stood here before, maybe twice for approximately 30 seconds, during how many years?
Time to scrub up the balcony and maybe dust off my radar.
Just in case you have been busy with your real life, I have three new posts up on Trusera that you may have time to cast an eye over. I'll name them so that you don't have to click over there unnecessarily:-
"Pica, more common than you think"
30 minutes ago