I'm not a great stay-at-home parent. Of course, I've never been in a position to be at-home by choice, only between jobs or during snow days. Since I'd rather be anywhere else under those circumstances, I find it difficult to stay in the moment with the kids.
And I have no patience for the constant random noise. Giggling, great. Chatting with each other, terrific. Playing clapping games, even better. I enjoy having conversations with my girls and hearing them have conversations themselves or with their toys or imaginary friends. Silver Ann, the Other Ann, and Ann Who Lives at Ann's House got quite a workout from Lizzy today and that was fun to listen to.
But I cannot stand the baby talk and whining. Lizzy has more than adequate speech skills for her age (in spite of the Elmer Fudd lack-of-the-letter-R) and she can darn well use them. When she literally says, "Cookie, wahhhhh" it makes me want to scream. (For the record, I don't; I just inform her that I cannot understand baby talk).
And I have even less patience for Abby trying to get my attention with random statements that she knows are nonsense (No, I do not have Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's phone number and are we going to have to have the fantasy vs. reality discussion again, kid?) and loud math homework. I know her teacher doesn't let her yell out the numbers she's adding together or make loud shrieks with no words at all, so why must she do it here? Or the answer to every question asked in the household, whether it's addressed to her or no. That answer is either "chicken" or "eyeballs". God only knows why.
Since I am actively looking for a job, I can't give them my full attention 24/7. I imagine that's what they want, and why they persist in the random behaviors that they know irritate me. Any attention is better than none at all, of course. It would be nice, though, if they actually understood me - instead of just claiming to - when I tell them they need to play with x, y, or z for twenty minutes while I take another pass at my local craigslistings.