When I was a kid, I vividly remember coming home from being out somewhere with my mother- probably from one of the endless trips to ballet lessons, flute lessons, voice lessons, Girl Scouts, drama club, gymnastics or visiting one of my friends- all of whom lived at least 45 minutes away. Bear in mind that I grew up in rural Driveforeversville, USA. My mother, without even taking off her coat, would immediately embark on a task, such as unloading the dishwasher or feeding the cat or heating up something on the stove. It's that last one I can recall so clearly- her small back in her bright red winter coat, stirring earnestly over the burners while I stood on the other side of the kitchen watching her and (obviously not doing much to assist, other than staying out of the way.)
For years, I never understood what would compel someone to behave that way- to be so frantic and consumed with chores that they couldn't even take time to get their outerwear off when coming inside. And then I became a mother. Tonight I caught myself opening the mail, unwrapping a smoothie carton to give to Botany, including precision straw work, unpacking her lunch bag and starting up the crockpot with tomorrow's dinner, before realising that I myself had failed to remove my own coat. Huh.
I'm sort of sick of blogging about how busy I am all the time, probably as much as you are tired of reading about it, but as a theme in my life, it is absolutely pervasive. It is definitely on the list of reasons (that I will soon share with you) as to why I am petrified- oops, I mean ambivalent, about having another kid. I often feel that if I am stretched any thinner, I will just become totally unglued. And then I worry that I am just a big, selfish whiner, and I should just get used to (and get over) the reality that parenting-at least in the early years- means No Time to Do Anything for Self, much less Remove Coat.
But more on that another time (if I ever finish writing the post.) In the meantime, I have discovered Twitter. Ah, Twitter. You know, I'd like to say that I was simply resisting it for ages for a number of reasons but the bottom line is that I just didn't get it. I mean, I knew roughly what it involved and I knew people that Tweeted or Twittered or whatever you call it, but frankly, I could not quite grasp what all the fuss was about. Or why anyone would actively want to do it.
And then it started to bug me that I didn't get it. I began to have this sneaking suspicion that everybody else in the entire Internetoverse had discovered something that I was too dense (or, erm, too lazy) to figure out. I found myself having entire conversations about it in my head- that is, my lack of Twittery- first, in the small spaces of the day when I was too tired to think about anything else, and then in the shower, driving to work, rocking Botany to sleep in the dark.
Finally it dawned on me that part of the problem was that before now, I wasn't really sure that anyone would be remotely interested in my micro-streams of consciousness. But then, I was thinking of the Real Me, not the Alter Ego that inhabits this blog and writes freely about all manner of things that people occasionally seem to find interesting. It also seemed a tidy solution for being able to spurt out those little clips that do occur to me but which I can't see a way to making into big long blog posts. So when I had the great epiphany to join the Twitter collective as Barren Mare*, it felt like I had solved some tremendous puzzle.
Which for everyone else is possibly like, "Yeah. Obviously. Duh".
Anyway, should you happen feel compelled to follow whatever it I have to say on a (hopefully more frequent) sound bite basis, the linky thing for doing so is now on the blog sidebar. Or you can just read the most recent entries when you visit here, thus throwing a few pence toward some ad revenue into my begging hat.
*I had actually considered at one point changing the name of the blog. But then, you know, it might be relevant again depending on how Project Second goes. And also, it seems a bit like bad luck. You know, like changing the name of a boat spells certain doom.