It suddenly dawned on me this afternoon as I walked home from work that I can attribute at least 50% of the stress in my life to one cause... and no it isn't my mother-in-law!
Let me explain it to you... We live with my husbands mother, in her house. The living room, her bedroom, the bathroom and kitchen are on the 1st floor, and our room (and another room, used for storage) is on the second floor.
When we are at home, Aiden and I spend a huge percentage of our time (at least 80%) upstairs in our room.
I can't relax when we are downstairs, and I realized one of the reasons why... it is because the table (dining table) is a low table, about 30cm off the ground. Typical japanese style, we eat (and do many other things) sitting on the floor around this low table.
It is the perfect height for Aiden to reach everything on it. Which means that when I set the table for dinner, he can reach (and grab) all the dangerous things... chopsticks, knives, glasses of tea, bottles of sauce, plates of food; everything. When my mother-in-law sits down to write a letter or read the newspaper, Aiden can reach the pens, pencils and paper. I can't take my eyes off him for fear that he will upset a plate of food, draw on MILs precious letter... or worse, stab a cat (or himself) with a chopstick or knife!
What can I possibly do? I know he will outgrow this stage in a few months or so... but until then? I always feel so rude getting up and leaving soon after we finish dinner, but I can't just sit down and relax after eating. I have to follow Aiden around making sure to clear a path in front of him. I can't believe that this huge stress of mine is something that people back in NZ just don't have to worry about (unless they are living hippy style without a dining table and chairs).
Phew! Kind of glad I found the (one of the sources) source of my stress, but now what????