14 May 2014
She has always been impulsive, high speed and animated just like her Mumma. But lately these effervescent ways have bordered on hyperactive. Constant fidgeting, up and down at the dinner table and an inability to stand still and focus on one task at a time. At first we blamed tiredness from school and the need to let loose after a day of structure; a lot of brain work and not much physical activity. And although school and its new routine is certainly bringing its share of interesting behaviours, it was something much closer to home that was causing her erraticism. It was me.
It's no secret that I struggle to sit still and will find something, anything to do to keep me busy and moving. Idleness doesn't come easy to me and I often teeter on the neurotic edge of hyper efficiency. What with school schedules to adhere to, uniforms to be pressed and lunches to be packed I spiralled into a "doing" juggernaut - an efficiency spinning top. Ironically, I wax lyrical about a slow childhood yet have been creating a far from simple existence for myself.
When I truly scrutinised my behaviour I realised that Bijou was simply mirroring my patterns. Conversations with eyes darting from child to task and then child to the next task, and dishes packed up and in a sink full of soapy water while mouths are still chewing. I'd stepped on a "get it done" conveyor belt fuelled by fear of forgetting something, being late somewhere or not having something prepared. And sadly, I was dragging my girl along for the head spinning ride.
So I slowed down. I now linger at the dinner table. I put down things and look my people in the eyes when they're talking. Yes, the jobs are still there and yes, we've been late...and forgotten things. And life goes on. But in my stillness I'm seeing so much more. Where my thoughts once spun from the crumbs on the floor to the ironing pile to the note to be signed, they now seek out the crooked smiles, the tousled hair on pillows; the quiet, hidden things. In my constant haste I was missing so much of the little sparks of my babies.
So now each day I am consciously slowing my movements and we're seeing a dramatic change in her. I think we're all seeing a change in me too.