… forget technicolour, I see the world in aspievision…

Could I freeze time for just a moment?

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Last night I returned home from work with renewed vigour to “interact” with my partner and my baby after failing abysmally on the previous night… I managed about an hour and a half before I slowly withdrew behind my laptop screen, as far as you can with the TV on in the front room for our constantly cooing baby who tirelessly presents me with her toys for me to “play” with, while music plays in the kitchen for my partner who continuously chats to me about every aspect of what he’s doing, his day and how to deal with the ever changing needs of our developing child! Periodically he’ll become aware that I’m trying to exclude this droning from my environment by the look of strained concentration on my face as I lean ever further closer to the screen! He swears under his breath at himself before he apologises and alleges that he didn’t mean to disturb me. “It’s okay” or similar appeasing rejoinder trips of my tongue on autopilot while my brain screams “REALLY? Then why do it? Not just every night, but several times a night?”

I already know the answer to this. He needs to connect with me, share his day and feel as though we are navigating the stages of our child’s development in partnership. He worries that we will lose the closeness he felt to me before I became pregnant. How do I explain that back then I could get close to him because I had downtime? Not just from him but from everything! Four days a week he worked till 11 o’clock in the evening, my son had not started his GCSE’s and there was no baby to look after. Now I work five days a week and he works three weekends a month so I jump straight from full-time work for five days to full-time mum for two days in a never-ending loop, meanwhile my son needs constant forms completing, interviews or information evenings attending, diary organising or help with revision (which simply does not happen without someone doing it with him so he stays on task) and well I don’t think I need to list the numerous perpetual requirements of a one year old!

I know these nightly withdrawals aren’t the answer as the effort it takes to ignore the constant stimuli surrounding me is, in itself, exhausting! My partner goes out on a semi-regular basis to have a change of scenery and respite from the house and suggests I do the same, however even the idea of “going out” right now is truly overwhelming, why would I want to swap one set of sensory overload for another?

What I need is a stop watch that freezes time as seen in science fiction programs, you press a button and not only do the people stop moving and talking, but the traffic noise from the road outside halts, the low level hum of electrics around the house ceases, if you step outside the door the breeze would have stopped blowing and the birds would no longer be singing. For just a short while the scientific principles of energy are paused as kinetic, sound, electrical, chemical and heat all stop mid transformation…. And then, after you’ve had a moment to truly take an uninterrupted deep breath, you press the button and it all starts again…

… In lieu of being able to defy the laws of science I will again return home tonight with renewed vigour to “interact” with my loved ones…


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