Fact #1: The attention span of a one-year old is approximately two minutes.
Which leads to…
Fact #2: Mothers of one-year olds do not have more than two consecutive minutes to think during their child’s waking hours.
The biggest miracle to me about motherhood, aside from the miracle of growing a human being, is a mother’s ability to adapt…to lack of sleep, to a house once decorated with soothing muted tones now full of loud primary colored toys, to a trail of constant messes, to being spit, peed, and pooped on, and to doing most of life in two-minute intervals.
Before I had Jackson, I could barely function without eight to nine consecutive hours of sleep. I was most productive when I had large blocks of time, doing one project from start to finish, rather than a little here and there. In college, I didn’t write a single report or study for a test more than one day in advance. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA in 3.5 years while working 25 hours a week. I say this not to brag, but to make the point that my mind functioned well that way. While other people need repeat exposure to learn or memorize something, I just need a big block of time to quietly focus. I often skipped classes that taught straight from the textbook since I couldn’t focus very well in a large distracted environment. I did better reading and studying the text on my own in my quiet apartment.
My life doesn’t lend to these habits anymore. Now, I work in spurts, never knowing when my spurt of free time will be over, when Jackson will wake up, throw a tantrum, wander off, or climb in my lap and give me a big mouth-wide-open kiss. Nothing is too important for that last one. Nothing.
I haven’t figured out how to perfectly balance being a wife, homemaker, mother, blogger, writer, friend, and MOPS volunteer…but I’m amazed how well I’ve actually adapted to all of these new or changing roles in the last year. It turns out, I can get a lot done two minutes at a time.
Put on a pot of coffee while Jackson plays with the rice maker at my feet.
Change a dirty diaper
Pour cup of coffee while Jackson pulls each piece of the salad spinner out of the cabinet.
Find Jackson putting my wallet into the recycling bin. Recover wallet and other miscellaneous items Jackson thinks we should give to the city to “repurpose.”
Make a quick two-minute snack while Jackson sits in his high chair.
Sing along to a slow, batteries-are-about-to-die (thank you Jesus) version of “Have you ever seen a Tigger bounce this way and that way” from Jackson’s songbook for the 14th time today.
Drink two sips of coffee and check email, marking ones that need a response while Jackson makes a loop with his push toy around the living room, kitchen, and dining room.
“Look” for Jackson who has magically disappeared by covering his forehead and one eye. “Oh there he is!”
Edit pictures for a blog post while Jackson pulls all the books out of their canvas box.
Wash dishes with Jackson sitting in front of me splashing in the sink. Dry his tears because all the dishes are clean and play time in the sink is over.
Microwave cold coffee and change a load of laundry with Jackson’s “help.”
I wouldn’t trade a single two-minute interval. I’d rather adapt, adjust, and embrace what life is right now.
Right now, I have two minutes to make a snack that will give me fuel to keep up with a busy toddler.
Rachel’s Warm Stuffed Dates
Roasted Almonds (I love the oil roasted, unsalted ones from Sunflower Market)
Turn oven to Broil.
Cut a slit down the side of the date and pop the pit out.
Generously stuff dates with roasted almonds and reseal the slit (dates are sticky, so it just sticks back together)
Broil for 1 minute, flip them and broil for 30-60 more seconds.
Let cool slightly and enjoy crunchy savory almonds wrapped in ooey gooey rich dates.
Perfect for a healthy dessert, an energizing snack, or an elegant party appetizer.
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The Title: Warm Stuffed Dates: Two-Minutes, Two Ingredients
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