Just as the sun rises every morning and sets each night, so it goes with the rest of life. Cycles are eternal, and make up just about everything, from the phases of the moon to the behavior of society as a whole. But just as these macro-level cycles are unchanging, so are the cycles that make up my singular life. I'm referring to the cycles of motherhood.
It doesn't matter how many times I shout, "Jarod, don't turn on that T.V.!" because I very well know that he's going to do it again for the 100th time for the day, despite any punishment I may have given him. It doesn't matter how many time outs I give my older two children, because they're going to keep on arguing, keep on whining, and keep on tattling. It also doesn't matter how often I pick up the cat food so my 1-year old Caleb doesn't make a huge mess, because as soon as those bowls go on top of the counter, that's when my cats decide that they're finally ready to eat. And, just as all cycles repeat themselves, once Caleb spots the bowls in his territory, he makes a beeline for them at supersonic speed. I'm getting really sick of stepping on pieces of dry cat food all day long, no matter how frequently I sweep the floors that day.
Doing dishes is another unwanted cycle that I wish would somehow end. After finally catching up with the dishes that some had been waiting around all week for me to get to, I have to cook dinner (seriously, again?!), and something always comes up that prevents me from washing them again for another week. It's like there's an alarm system in my children, where each time I pick up my soapy scrub brush to tackle a dish, I have to suddenly throw it down to stop a fight or pick up a crying baby...or relieve myself, which I suddenly remember I've been putting off for hours now. And then, by that time, I've lost that small window of opportunity.
I'm stuck in a relatively new cycle where I'm tired by 10:00 p.m., but I can't bear the thought of giving up my free time to waste away in bed...sleeping. Who does that? I'm so used to waiting up for my husband to come home at night around 11:15 p.m. that I've forgotten that I really need to go to sleep instead, because he in fact comes home much later than that now, and my children wake up MUCH earlier than he ever will (which, of course, means that I'm the one waking up).
Newton's Law of Motion says that an object in motion stays in motion, unless an external, unbalanced force acts on it. Cycles are pretty much the same. It takes a significant step in stopping one, or altering it in any way. Next year, I'll have two children in school, one in Kindergarten, and the other in all-day first grade. My two year old will then be three, and my baby will be entering the terrible twos. I'm not sure if the school thing will be enough of an unbalanced force to break this cycle, or if two years old supersedes everything else. I'm have a feeling two is more powerful than...well, the at the rate things are going...everything else.