I'm an information junkie. When one my kids gets sick, I have dozens of questions for the pediatrician. Before I book a hotel, I know the ratings, price and square footage of every room within a 15-mile radius of my destination. I watch the same TV series over and over again, comforted by my awareness of what lies ahead. What can I say? I need to be in the know.
Except, that is, when it comes to some of the shenanigans going on in my home. As a matter of survival, there are times I have to turn a blind eye, remain blissfully ignorant of the cause of my kids' umpteenth argument in the last five minutes. Yes, in earlier days of motherhood I wanted to know what every sound of ripping paper or the refrigerator door opening signified. Now I'm content to remain happily in the dark. Here are 5 things I don't want to know, for the sake of my sanity.
1. Why my kids are fighting again. When my son was an infant, I felt an instinctual need to protect him from my darling but overly enthusiastic older child, who sometimes expressed her love for him by parking her truck on his head or showing Mommy how she carried "her baby" around the room. Now that my son is bigger and often the culprit in their daily battles, I try to stay out of it where I can. Your brother took the random plastic spoon you found under the couch, when you had lifelong plans to play with it? Your sister doesn't want you sitting on her stomach? Sorry, kids. Mommy's in a deep state of Zen that involves staring at the ceiling until you've moved on to the next grievance. Namaste.
2. What my son is doing in the kitchen. I hear the clanking of pots and pans from the living room where (ironically) I'm attempting to clean. I hear the refrigerator door, opening and closing. Opening and closing. Opening and closing. I suspect when I get there, every inch of the floor will be covered in pots and Tupperware. The yogurts inside the refrigerator will be stacked to form a tower worthy of housing Rapunzel. Six different string cheeses will be packed in six different paper bags. But until I see it, I can blissfully pretend the chaos doesn't exist. And try to remember where I hid the good chocolate.
3. What my daughter is doing with my magazine collection, a jar of buttons, and ten rolls of tape. When my budding artist is seized with a flash of inspiration, there's no stopping her. I'm not exactly sure how she plans on turning a magazine article about the vacancy in the Supreme Court and a pile of buttons into her magnum opus, but, hey, if Duchamp could transform a urinal into an acclaimed work of art, then I don't see why she can't make this happen. I can't explain the stack of construction paper, five spools of thread, and pile of old bibs she's been gathering, or why she's been cutting paper for an hour. But the truth is, I don't want to know. I'll wait for the grand unveiling and remind myself that confetti and piles of orange thread are the price of art.
4. Why the sink is running. In my son's defense, I did tell him to wash his hands after using the potty. Unfortunately, the water running often means a host of other aquatic pleasures, generally involving washing every item around the sink, from the soap dispenser to the toothpaste to my contact lens case. But if I close my eyes and breathe, I can pretend he's just washing his hands, at least for a few blissful moments of denial.
5. Why it's so quiet in my son's room. My son's been in his room for half an hour. I can hear the sounds of quiet busyness, as he's engrossed in some all-consuming activity I don't even want to imagine. If I were to envision the scene, it would involve every book he owns on the floor, along with the contents of all his toy baskets, a dozen Play-doh jars, and 50 miniature trucks he's liberated from their plastic prison. All of which is a small price to pay for a solid half hour of quiet on the couch, no one asking for water or begging me to turn my "grown-up" show to something with monkeys or giddy couture-clad monsters.
In a perfect world, this anarchy would be channeled into some Pinterest-inspired craft or overpriced tumbling class. In my world, I've discovered that I can't run around my home trying to intercept each mess or constantly play referee. Sometimes kids need to argue, or turn the recycling into found art, or bathe a doll in the sink because a toy garbage truck dumped pretend refuse on it. And sometimes, during these moments of contained chaos, I need to take a step back. Sometimes, the less I know, the better.