“Don’t touch that!”
“Will you keep quiet for a minute?”
The parents with hyperactive kids cannot help asking such questions repeatedly. As long as the kids are awake they will be always after something – usually something that pesters or increases the work load of the mothers.
They start some kind of a game for which they scatter a whole sack of ‘what-they-call’ toys. After two minutes they lose interest in the game and switch over to a new one, with new ‘toys’, in another part of the house, orphaning the first set of toys.
It will be hardly ten minutes before you see them engaged in drawing or craft, preparing for a new collection of mess.
The games (most of them without any prescribed set of rules) always go beyond the expected levels. The game with building blocks may need a bucket of water – for an innovative game which they only know (may be they are building an underwater colony). The tent game will often end up in pulling down a whole shelf of books.
Anyway, you cannot relax as long as your kids are at play because you could never predict what sort of transformation a game might undergo the next minute.
We worry and whine incessantly over these little issues. But will we be happy otherwise – if the house is shrouded in pin-drop silence and if things always stay in their place as if in a museum? No. I have that realization each time when one of the kids falls ill.
By the grace of God it happened very rarely all these years. When one kid is inactive the other too naturally withdraws. The sight of the toy-bags stowed away is traumatic. I feel the toys long for the kids’ touch – let it be loving or fatal. I long to see my little ones explore the cupboards for cookies. I ache to hear them shout and scream playfully. When they are away or silent, I feel deprived; I don’t have anything to do or anyone to shout at. This peace, this tranquillity is heart-rending.
My home sleeps.
Well, these are the moments we discover the real meaning of life and the futility of perfection. A house becomes a home only when there are kids to wake it up from sleep!