Lately my days have been going by so fast that I have absolutely no idea where my time goes. It's like my days have a gigantic hole in their pocket and time just mysteriously seeps out. This is true while I'm sitting in my desk at the office (What? It's three o'clock and I've spent all day at my desk, how come my to-do list is only 1/4 of the way done and I can only account for 3 billable hours...ok, who stole my billable hours?!). It is equally true on the days I work from my mom's basement.
I come by with the kids, sneak down to the basement to work, and before I know it, it's 5:30 p.m., time to whisk the kids home to prepare dinner. I always look forward to my days at home and imagine that I will have so much extra time (saved from not commuting as much) to spend with my two handsome boys. Lately, I've been feeling as if I don't see enough of them and it's starting to get me down. A lot. But somehow, by the time I pack them into the car, drive 40 minutes home, prepare dinner, and we finally eat together as a familt at 8 p.m., it's time for them to go to bed already and I've spent my entire evening doing chores, dinner, and catching up that I've hardly spent any time with them. Well, not quality time anyway.
I keep wringing my hands in frustration. This "working from home" business was supposed to give me more time with my kids. So far, it just gives me more time to do chores and run a household. But when I'm actually at home, as opposed to at the office all day, I can't escape the chores. I have no excuse for not doing them. Instead of making my kids pull the least dirty clothing from the dirty laundry basket as I might have done a time or two out of desperation before I worked from home, I now feel compelled to actually do the laundry so that my kids don't smell or look like that dirty kid from Peanuts.
Today, I let the kids stay up 30 minutes late so that we could read stories and play ball out in the yard. I enjoyed them so much! Jacob has become so great at inventing games and creating complex make-believe plots. He wore two gold stickers with the letter "J" on his forehead all day today, proclaiming that he was the newest Power Ranger.
I know for a fact that I put a lot of responsibility on Jacob, purely out of necessity due to my lack of time. We have such high expectations for him every morning and every night as we rely on him to help us get out the door or ready for the next day. Sometimes I feel bad about that and hope that I'm not forcing him to grow up too soon. He's only four but we expect him to help pack the diaper bag, help make his own breakfast, etc. He even washed all the silverware in the sink after dinner tonight (no dishwasher) AFTER clearing the table. I swear that kid is four going on seven. And then, just in time to remind me that he has no problem being a kid, he will do something like bend over, place his hand on each butt cheek, and pretend to talk out of his butt.
As we played ball outside, Ryan showed off his kicking skills and was content to run around the periphery of my ballgame with Jacob. As long as we included him occassionally by chasing and throwing the ball at him, he was a happy camper. He joined us in a game of catch, proving his hand-eye coordination to be far better than I could ever hope mine to be!
We also played with some toy animals. Ryan only knows two animal sounds: the panting that a dog makes and roaring. He thinks everything roars and it absolutely cracks me up, especially when he will pick up a giraffe or cat or horse and "RAAAAAAWR!" His roars aren't normal roars either, they are old smoker, hacking up a lung type of roars. Also, he just got into this lovely habit of giggling uncontrollably after he farts. When he sees that we are giggling back at him, he purposefully tries to fart some more. Unfortunately, this happens at the dinner table. Ahh... such a boy! I love that kid so incredibly much.
So, tonight, while BBQing a coconut spiced marinated pork loin (thanks Bobby Flay!), I "made" some special time with my two little men. That time, of course, had to be taken away from other necessary things. Poor sticky, smelly Ryan got a baby wipe "sponge" bath two minutes before bed. Jacob had to sleep on his mattress without bedsheet (but with the plastic protective sheet) because I never found the time to do laundry...yes, he peed the bed, again!
Someday, I will have all the time in the world to do laundry and make beds. If my kids ever look back on their childhood and wonder why they had to learn the laundry "smell" test at age four or wonder why they so frequently got to camp on the floor because mommy never had time to wash their pee-covered bedsheets, I'll just lay it out in black and white: "Kids, I had to chose which way I was going to permanently damage you which would necessitate your years and years of therapy. The choice was to ruin you from never giving you attention, or ruin you from forcing you to live unsanitary lives. Clearly, I chose the latter and, yes, you are welcome."
Maybe I should start setting up some funds now. You know, to pay for therapy for their future hoarding habits and sofa cushion eating disorders.