You know how, as moms, we get really good at blocking or tuning things out? We learn that we don't need to jump and run to every squeal or whine, to wait just a second to see if what sounds like the beginning of a sibling squabble will work itself out or if mom's intervention is needed, and, of course, those tantrums they insist on having sometimes. We learn to only listen for the REAL ones. And then, inevitably, it runs over into being able to "listen" and "talk" to our kids while they tell us about the big horse in their bedroom that is wearing a purple skirt while we are trying to get dinner in the oven so everyone can eat (and get in bed!) on time. We get really good offering a few "wow"'s, "really" 's, and "oh, yeah" 's while we flash a quick smile in between measuring ingredients - or scooping out soybutter for sandwiches :) I admit, I do these things daily.
As all things in parenting usually do, it caught up with me the other day at Wal-Mart. Anna Beth was sitting in big part of the buggy, singing away as she usually does, and Lynnsie was sitting in the seat facing me. We had come to Wal-Mart to get 7 things...a 15-minutes-max kind of trip. I found the first 6 items within 10 minutes of being in the store...25 minutes after arriving at the store, I was still looking for item #7. A Red Barron brand chicken alfredo dinner...it was that night's dinner and I was not leaving without it.
I walked around the frozen food section forEVER trying to find it and I just kept passing it up somehow. Meanwhile, Lynnsie starts saying, "Mommy." I say, "What, Lynnsie?" without ever looking away from the glass doors, my eyes scanning every product for the third time in hopes of finally finding our dinner. She says it again, a little louder, "Mommy!". I said, again, "What Lynnsie?"...still looking at the glass doors. Three more times she says this and gets a little louder and I answer in the same way, a little more irritation in my voice each time. Finally, she says, "Mommy, mommy!" and I stop, look at her and say "What, Lynnsie?" in my I-am-trying-to-be-patient-but-you-keep-saying-my-name-over-and-over-again-while-I-am-trying-to-find-our-dinner voice.
She's looking up at me. She smiles. She says, "I wanna a tiss." Lynnsie translation: "I want a kiss." She puckers up. My heart melts. My eyes fill with tears. I lean down and give her a "tiss". She smiles. She says, "Thanks." She starts waving at the others passing by. I look up and see the Red Barron Chicken Alfredo.
The point...I shouldn't practice my "tuning out" skills quite so often. I could've gotten that sweet little "tiss" a lot sooner.