There are the voices that say "You need to get started on this project" or "The house really needs to be cleaned" or "Don't forget to get the jeans out of the laundry for Punkin so she has something to wear to school."
I hear those kind of voices all the time. They're not voices in the "spooky ooky" sense, oh no. These voices are just a running monologue of things that need to get done.
There are also the other voices I hear -- these aren't spooky ooky either, but I hear them coming from all corners of the house, just the same. If Buddy spits up I hear: "Hon! Little help here!" or "Baby Boy (or Big Boy) bleh..." or "HE PUKED! HE PUKED!"
If I'm out of eyesight for more than 30 seconds I hear: "MOM! MOM!"
If I'm in the bathroom (with the doors locked), I hear: "MY IN, MOM!"
If I'm trying to take a nap, or (God forbid!) trying to sleep a little longer in the morning on the weekends, I hear: "Bwah! Bwah!" or "Mommy UP!" (That's when I hear another voice begging "No, please, just please let me sleep a little longer..." but that's usually just me silently pleading with the littles.)
If I leave the house, alone -- without any other family member at all, I hear: "Don't forget to do "x", but you need to be home by "this time." You don't have much time. Hurry up!" Sometimes, I tell that voice to go soak it's head, not often enough, however.
I may have found a way though, to get a few things done, remain in eyesight and have some time to myself all at once. (It only took me nearly seven years to figure out, too!) The answer? Baby gates. Simple, huh? It's not so much the fact that we use them, as it is finding a "new" place for them! The new place? Across the entrance to the kitchen.
We have three floors/three flights of stairs in our home. Thus, when it came time topurchase baby gates for Punkin, we went "cheapy" and didn't opt for the kind of gates you can walk through at the touch of a button. No sirree... we didn't need no stinkin' expensive fancy-schmancy gates! We'd be fine with the cheapy ones that don't have "doors".
What I didn't think of, though, was the fact that we might have other kids. Other kids who would be older the next time we needed the gates. Other kids who aren't tall enough to "hurdle" the gates like we adults can.
This weekend, Sweet Pea made dust out of her leftover breakfast cereal, then scattered it all over the kitchen table and floor. Buddy likes to crawl under the kitchen table, and I kept putting him back in the livingroom when he started getting to close to the mess. (Oh, sure, I could have just dampened his clothes and had him "sweep" for me, but I'm sure there are some child labor laws involved in that or something.) Buddy later pulled one of our kitchen counter stools down onto the floor. He was fine, just hurt his toes a bit, but it was enough for me. The gate to the kitchen went up.
The voices were back, and they were NOT happy. "Mommy OUT!" -- this from our 2-1/2 year old. Translation: "Mother, please either take the gate down so that I may get to you, or come to this side of the gate."
Buddy immediately crawled to the gate, stood up and tried to shake the gate back and forth.
Punkin wanted to know "Mom, how am *I* going to get over the gate?!"
Heh. That's when it hit me. She isn't going to hurdle herself over the gate without the aid of a kitchen chair... which she can't get to because of the gate.
In fact, none of them can get to me... hmmmm... Let's think about this, now... they can SEE me, they can TALK TO me, but they can't GET me. Unlike a locked bathroom door, there is nothing to bang on until I come out, I can still see what they are doing, and they don't get the feeling that I'm hiding. (Whether I do actually lock myself in the bathroom to hide from the kids for a couple of minutes on occasion (when I know they are safe and not in any danger, of course) is completely irrelevant).
Cool. All I needed was a cheapy baby gate. Oh sure, they're smart kids. It won't take them long to find a way around, over, under or through the gate. Until then, though, I've just built myself a bit of breathing room from the loudest and most insistent of the voices.