May 5, 2010

The One Where It All Got Away from Me...

I was totally gonna write a fantastic post during naptime today. As usual, however, my family picked up on my me-time vibes, and everyone knows that when dogs and small children pick up on me-time vibes they feel compelled to squish the living daylights out of any and all opportunity for said me-time.

As with most everything in my life, I have mixed feelings about me-time. I really, really want to be fully engaged with my kids and to make the most of their small years. Partly because they go so fast and I don't want to miss it. Also because it gives them way fewer opportunities to burn the house down.

And can only do so many eat-clean-diaper-play-nurse-nap-tidy-diaper-eat cycles before one wants to poke one's eyeballs out. And I enjoy Target as much as most anyone, but when errands are the height of excitement in one's week, one begins to lose perspective on the world and starts melting down over things like losing receipts, dogs bolting out the door on a merry chase, and so on. And then one ends up giving the Cat Daddy a 15 minute play-by-play on a 10 minute breakfast, and how exciting are repeated spoonfuls of Cheerios, really??

Part of the trick for me is discerning what qualifies as me-time. I usually get to shower by myself, but about 61% of the time the kids are going through the bathroom drawers and trying to run the hair dryer while I do this. Does that count? I jog 3 times per week, which helps keep my spirits up a whole lot, and I often get some time to think or pray or whatever. But about 90% of the time I'm either pushing a kid or two in the jogging stroller or watching them from the treadmill in the (fabulous) parent-kid room at the base gym. Does that count?

I think the determining factor is actually pretty subjective. If I feel refreshed, then I tend to think that me-time has been accomplished. Otherwise, no dice.

Take today, for example. The plan was to put the kids down for naptime and have some peace & quiet to look up how to do a crescent-chicken-thing on the pizza stone, and blog about how many nice people I've been getting to hang out with lately. Doesn't that sound nice?

The reality of life intervened, however. In the course of connecting with one friend, another friend dropped by with some books I had ordered. Normally pleasant and easily manageable happenings.

But not today.

In a rapid course of events, the doorbell rang, the dogs barked, and His Highness came barrelling out of his room where he should've been well on his way to dreamland. I opened the door to find my friend, and the dogs AND His Highness all pushed their way out and down the street faster than a speeding bullet. And then the Littler One started crying. So I had to hang up the phone.

Then I grabbed the Littler One and surveyed the situation where half my family was gallivanting along my street. I called for His Highness and had only slightly more success than when I called for Max & Zoe. Finally the neighbor-friend convinced His Highness that the dogs would follow him inside. Eventually. The dogs are so squirrelly that I usually just wait until they run off some energy and come home again.

So we chatted for a while until Zoe came running up. Then Zoe ran back out again. Then we saw Random Neighbor driving around and trying to capture the dogs (in a good way), so we thought maybe we should go outside and encourage them to come in. So finally the dogs were in. Then His Highness went a little nuts. I surmise that this is because he knew he was supposed to be napping, and wasn't, so why not run around like a crazy person and yell and scream and hit?

Now, amid this, there was much rejoicing around the peeing aspect of the potty-training, because His Highness is a certified Master Pee-er, which he ably demonstrated by peeing in the potty and then deciding to run around in nothing but his shirt. Which seems a little odd perhaps, but at this stage of the game, I'm perfectly fine with it.

He is not yet a Master Pooper, however. This, too, he demonstrated by pooping on the floor. You might think, "Um, maybe if you put some underwear on the kid he wouldn't poop on the floor." To which I would answer that, while disgusting, pooping on the floor is less gross than pooping in underwear. Trust me on this.

Unfortunately for His Highness, he just kept unraveling from there. He is currently sequestered to his room until 2012, with a slight chance of early release for dinner, but an almost certain ticket directly to bath & bed after that.

The Littler One really wants me to engage with him, and the Cat Daddy really wanted to borrow my lappy to check his stuff, but I kind of went over my limit for exasperation and tomfoolery, so I sit here stubbornly, nursing the Littler One (which is really what he wanted anyway) and typing one-handed in between steps of making the chicken-ring-thing, of which I finally found an illustration so I'm fairly confident the filling will remain contained.

Did I get any me-time? Well, I don't feel so much refreshed, so I'm leaning toward no. But I got a lot done today. I gave a quick little briefing for my moms' group, worked out at the gym, shopped for groceries, and made lunch before commencing with the afternoon's festivities. And I'm dangerously close to finishing this post. For that I feel glad and relieved.

And I did put the kibosh on the Littler One hanging out in the big oven. Even though it wasn't hot, it just didn't seem like a good idea...


jacs said...

LOL. Oh no! What a day, indeed!! You are my second friend to report on pooping children today...only her's did it in the backyard. For some reason, the idea of scooping up not only my dog's poop, but also my own child's...really REALLY makes me want to gag. And yet, I could handle it in the house. Strange.

I hope your day got better and more settled. I have the exact same feelings about me-time. They are soooo welcomed but make me feel quite guilty...then I too resort to trying to get it in while I'm with the girls. It's crazy, isn't it? :)

P.S. What are we wearing to the next gathering? I shall not be left out again! lol.

prochaskas said...

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Smiller said...

Um, in case you needed outside verification: you did not get me-time.

I'll help you with an example:

Me-time: sitting on your back porch reading a good book and sipping a Coke float

Not me-time: sitting on the back porch, supervising children, removing good book from Littler one's mouth while fending off dogs and His Highness from the drink.

See the difference? In scenario one you end the experience relaxed, in scenario two you end the experience screaming like a banshee (well, maybe that's just me).