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Finding the time to sit on my fanny

Submitted by on Friday, 2 October 2009 2 Comments

swimmingWhen I promised the guys we’d go to the pool every afternoon as soon as they finished homework – offer void and prohibited if Big Guy had acted up in school – I also told them that I’d get in only every other day.

Armed with a Blackberry and a notepad, I knew I could get a lot done in that hour. There also were reams of new insurance documents I still need to familiarize myself with, piles of papers that needed dealt with. I would use the time productively!

The guys being the guys, though, they quickly whined me out of their end of the bargain. “Please mommy! Can’t you play?” And I usually did, particularly if there were more parents in the pool than in the lounge chairs that day.

This week, though, I snapped. Didn’t even put on my bathing suit and wore pants so they couldn’t coerce me into danging my feet in the water as a prelude to soaking me from head to foot.

“You’re not swimming?” Big Guy asked, and I swear he started trying to make his lip quiver.

“Nope. Not today, babes.”

“But the other mommies and daddies …”

Oh, he’s good. But I stayed strong. Actually, I stayed 10 steps in front of him so I couldn’t hear the continued pleas.

I’m not a helicopter. I firmly believe the guys can make it just fine in most settings even if I’m more than nine inches away. I’m happy to let them play behind the house until dark most nights while I clean up the kitchen and pack lunch.

There are times, though, when I go through bouts of guilt-stricken pangs at not playing with them more. Never mind that the past two weekends have been devoted to kiddie fun. This is a “what have you done for me lately” crowd.

So I forced myself into the pool every day, inwardly groaning at having to be “on” for another hour.

That’s the one problem my new telecommuting life has not solved. If anything, it’s intensified it. Used to be, I had the morning mindless rituals of make-up and big-girl clothing to force my brain to shut down for a few minutes. I had the solitary drive between day care and the office – a whole 10 minutes – to decompress.

Now, I have a two-minute commute between preschool and the house. It wasn’t adding up.

I pulled out my notepad and tried to form a thought, but it was stuck somewhere between the dwindling caffeine buzz and the rising drowsiness. I threw the pad back into the bag and fished out a magazine I’d started reading two weeks earlier while I waited at a doctor’s office.

This time, I finished it. And then I lounged back in the chair, closed my eyes and thought of nothing. Absolutely nothing, for a glorious half hour as the guys splashed happily, surviving quite nicely without the mama shark to chase them.

Next time, I think I’ll take a novel. Anyone know if Tom Clancy’s written anything since 2003?

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Aaron Brock said:

    Read a novel? Not “hot, flat and crowded” or “the biology of belief”? Sounds like an excellent idea.

  • Debra said:

    Or maybe just finish the book I started on vacation three years ago. Not that there’s any hurry on that one – it’s the James Carville-Mary Matalin book, and I don’t think there’s a surprise ending there.