It was that time, that sleepy time after lunch (at least for adults and students and occasionally toddlers) when I would begin my quest for the ever-illusive one hour (or fifteen minutes) of time to myself. Parents with more than one child know the skill, finesse, and sheer luck it takes for both kids to be sleeping or occupied at the exact same time so as to give the parent a small, but sanity saving break. A. was conked out in my room and I put E. in his room along with two toys for what we are now calling "quiet time" since a nap is not on his personal agenda anymore even though it's always on mine.
Dave recently taught me how to prioritize my to-do list by figuring out what needs to get done and putting that at the top of my list. He read about it in Dave Ramsey's book EntreLeadership. He declared that he had never felt so productive at work before. I decided to give it a try and number one on my list was: Make Muffins. E. was going to be the special helper at school the next day and would get to be line leader and to ring a bell. I, as the parent of the kid with the distinguished new title, had to provide the snack.
At this point I was feeling like maybe I could just ring the bell and E. could make something delicious for a bunch of toddlers who would probably declare they didn't like brown foods. What I really wanted to be doing was writing or knitting or sewing or reading or say, anything relaxing that did not have to get done. But I was committed to trying the reordered to-do list.
About half way through muffin making, A. started to cry. Mothers have been known to accomplish greater feats one handed than cooking, so, undeterred, I picked him up and continued to spoon batter into tins.
It was working, but holding him was seriously hampering my speed. I thought that maybe if I nursed him on my bed during the ten minutes the muffins were in the oven, he'd fall asleep and then I could finish the task faster. Just as I lay down, E. started yelling "MOMMY MOMMY," so I hauled myself back up, went to his room, opened the door, and commenced my lecture about how if he went potty he should just knock to let me know instead of yelling. Then I looked down at his potty. It was empty.
"You didn't go potty," I said dumbly, wondering why I was summoned with such vehemence.
"I flipped," he said. I didn't even want to know the gymnastics he was performing on his bed so I shut the door and went back to nurse A. If I didn't see it, it wasn't happening, right? I now had about eight minutes until the timer would go off for the muffins.
About two minutes later, I heard, "Knock. Knock. Knock. Mommy, I went potty." Apparently just mentioning the potty sparked an idea for E. "Stupid, stupid," I said to myself smacking my forehead. "Don't ever mention the potty again until you've checked it contents." And then while I was reprimanding myself, I went ahead and added that if you're pressed for time, don't choose to make mini muffins as they (who knew?) took twice as long to make.
As soon as I could, I emptied the potty, retrieved the muffins, and went to nurse A. some more during the next ten minute interval. Mercifully, he fell asleep.
Then the muffins were all cooling on wire racks and I felt a blooming sense of accomplishment. I did what had to get done and now I could relax. I flung myself down onto the couch and cracked open my book.
A. started to cry.
It was just not my day to strike gold. I would just have to hold on to the hope for tomorrow. . . when I didn't have to make muffins.