Earlier this week, I was reading Blogging Dangerously’s Busted post. In it, Kit recounts speaking with a guy who told his version of “cheating on his wife.” He would go into a hotel room and emerge, 8 hours later, with rumpled clothing. The twist was that nobody would accompany him. He would have “cheated” by getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
That got me to thinking. So much of parenting involves being interrupted. It starts at the beginning of the day when my alarm goes off. And by “my alarm”, I mean NHL. He wakes up at 6:30am rain or shine, weekday or weekend. Even if we get him playing by himself in the living room, he is sure to be followed by his brother soon enough. During the day, conversations need to be paused to answer questions and activities halted for potty runs.
Later on, when I’m cooking dinner, I need to multitask by breaking up fights while keeping the food from burning. Then comes serving. You would think that this would entail giving everyone their food and sitting down to eat, right? Wrong. First, you need to give the kids their food. Then, I serve my wife. As I’m getting ready to plate my food, I’ll often have to field complaints about what I made for dinner. If there aren’t any complaints, then one or more of my kids is likely finished and wants more. So I give them more. Around this time, they realize that they don’t have any water to drink. So I need to fill up their water bottles. Finally, I get to sit down to eat just in time to hear cries for dessert.
All the interruptions are worth it, though. I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything, certainly not for hours to focus on one task without being pulled off to another one. Nowadays, my most treasured uninterrupted times don’t involve TV programs meant for adults, meals cooked or even blog posts read. They’re the times that I sit down with my kids and play. We are rarely interrupted and have a blast whether we’re building train tracks, watching cartoons or reading stories.
Still, I’ll admit that Kit’s friend’s story does sound tempting. Of course, if I did that, I wouldn’t be alone. I would first make sure that the kids were safely dropped off at a relative’s house (perhaps her parents). Then my wife and I would check into a hotel room. While there, we would enjoy eight straight hours of that blissful in-bed activity known as slumber. We might even engage in one or two quickie… naps.