This past week has been going on for years.
There has been a lot of screaming from LP and a lot of insomnia from me (I’m not sure if there is a direct relationship or if those are two things that just happen to be going on simultaneously). A fairly disastrous combination. She is tired and wants me to do everything for her; I am tired and want her to please just go play for a while. She’s at the end of her rope and so am I. Our playful spirit has not been present as we retract to just plain coping, coping, coping.
I can see the factors that add up to this moment. The transition from being away to back home is always difficult for LP and we have a house guest for a week (a dear friend we haven’t seen who is lovely in just about every way and has spoiled us rotten with his cooking while we treat him to hours of screaming) which shakes things up. And a growth spurt. And a number of little things that have kept our regular routine from being that comfort that I’ve witnessed it be for LP.
So I’ve been battening down the hatches. Looking for ways to slow down our day, do less. So much less that I’m climbing the walls a bit. But it seems to be helping. Slowly. Very, very slowly.
This afternoon, I had a big feeling of dread. I could see she was feeling tender and thought I needed to come up with something really great to offer to do when all I really wanted to work on a gardening project. The side of our house has gone wild with grass and poppies and a huge thorny blackberry plant that produces no berries. Since we have so little gardening space, I want to reclaim it. I had been hesitating because I love the poppies; I find them such a cheerful flower. So the current batch is past flowering and I realized it was the right moment to collect seeds from the pods and then plant poppies at will.
Since I really had no energy for anything else, I told LP that we were going to do a gardening project expecting it would probably last all of 10 minutes, at best. As it turned out, seed collecting was the perfect thing for us. We sat together on the path, picking and emptying pods. And talking. There was no screaming. Not a single one. When she was ready to move on, she did. No fuss. I sat and continued my seed collecting and then started pulling them out. LP came and went, moving between her own play and being with me. For over an hour.
I needed that.
And by bathtime tonight, I had a little playful spirit back. Not 100% but good enough.