Despite my frequent assertion that parenting is the most intellectually challenging task I've ever taken on, I have to admit that it's not all philosophy and brain games. During one of my going-back-to-school episodes (one of my pre-med incarnations), a fellow mom and I got together to study for an Anatomy & Physiology test. I've never been the studying-for-grades type, so the afternoon quickly meandered from studying to chatting about school and lives and kids. It was one of the most humorous conversations I've had since becoming a mother.
I don't care how equal a child-raising partnership is, parenting requires so much time and effort that necessity insists each individual parent play to their skills and pick up the slack of their partner's weaknesses. So, despite all my feminist thinking, my husband and I have gravitated into rather cliche roles. I do most of the domestic stuff - to the point that we ultimately decided it would work best for everyone for me to stay home and take care of the house and kids. That this has actually been a very healthy and stabilizing choice for me brings some chagrin, but has been a welcome bonus.
The downside is that the majority of my day is spent in absolutely exhausting, mind-numbing kid-land. Now, I know that life is what you make it, and I've gone through periods of librarying and zooing and children's museuming until I thought my head would explode, but while that provides wonderful entertainment and distraction from "real" life, it does little for Me.
Anyway, I still remember fondly discussing the little mental games we played with ourselves through the course of mundane days to keep our brains occupied lest we lose our minds altogether in the bubbling miasma of toys and diapers and spit-up and poop.
I was reminded of this today as I realized that the folded dishcloths and towels in my kitchen linens drawer have been arranged into a rather elaborate parquet pattern. I wasn't really meaning to, but hey - it all has to fit in there somewhere, right? Often what looks like OCD is really just a mind rebelling against smothering atrophy.