I've mentioned before that I'm introverted, though to meet me you might not suspect it. I enjoy people, especially my favorite people, immensely. If any of my friends should wonder whether you're one of those people I enjoy, rest assured that it's much too exhausting for me to be friends with those whom the friendly juju does not flow. If we talk, even if we're too busy to do it often, it's because I like you quite a bit (not that it really matters, but just for this blog's sake I thought I'd clarify.)
What does drain me quite a bit is pointless, repetitive conversion, such as one you might have in the car with a bored, outgoing 5yo and basically any upset 3yo. These draining occasions happen during times when I'm already feeling my patience waning. A wail starts softly and crescendos from the back seat into a tea kettle shriek of unintelligible words strung together like a thousand screaming hamsters on a clothesline, and is punctuated by the repetitive cadence of another persistently questioning voice that doesn't bother waiting around for an answer before firing off another round of inquiries.
This causes brain overload. Too much to process, too little time to retreat and think it over, to much unreasonable feedback= completely shredded nerves. Toss in a baby's cries hitting the primal "RESPOND!!" button built into all mothers, and you have an introverts' nightmare. The next cashier or pushy random grandmother type to attempt small talk is met with a crazy eyed glare that would rival anything Jack Nicholson ever dredged up.
These are the days when life simply gets ahead of my mind and spirits' ability to process things, and I just can't seem to stay on top of all the minutia that composes the day of a mom. Living in the concrete world has always been a tad tricky for me (an intuitive type), and it's sometimes especially difficult with lack of adults to process with, or room to unwind myself. These are the days when I simply put myself on autopilot and fake it until I can get myself back on track.
I'm sure there are other introverted parents who can relate.
[/narcissistic, self disclosing ramble]