Monday, January 31, 2011

Shhh ... Don't Tell the Kids

Two Sunday's ago we had a doozy of a night.  It was bouncy, boisterous and bonkers!  We had enjoyed a relatively relaxing afternoon which meant the kids were cooped up and just barely containing themselves and their endless energy.  We finished our traditional dinner of shakes and popcorn just in time to catch the last quarter of the Steeler's and Jet's game.  Brett settled into the couch.  Aaron perched on the edge of the couch and the girls orbited the couch.

Within moments, Brett had turned up the volume in order to hear over the squealing giggles of the girls who had decided that the family room floor, three feet from the TV, was the perfect place to wrestle.  Thus began the internal battle for Aaron:  watch the game or tussle with the girls?  Watch?  Or, tussle?  Watch? .... Or, tussle?  Hmmm ... tussle!  He headed into the fray and Brett turned the TV up a notch.

Soon the tussle evolved into "Keep Away".  Aaron had a little rubber football and the girls pried, tickled, pounced, and wrenched.  They strategized how to disarm Aaron (not literally ... but close!) and how to thwart his attempts to wriggle away.  There was a lot of shouting (happy shouting, but shouting, nonetheless), bursts of laughter and plenty of thuds and thumps.  Brett just clicked the volume button.

And where was I, you ask?  Good question - but you have to keep this little secret to yourself.

I was washing dishes.  Happily.  In my (relatively) quiet kitchen.  Alone.  :)

As I stood there sudsing up the cups and bowls, I was so grateful that I had a job that kept me busy somewhere away from all the chaos!  At one point, Brett came upstairs to check on me and I assured him (with a big smile on my face!) I was just fine doing the dishes.  My hands were toasty warm.  And my ears weren't in need of ear-plugs.  He was probably hoping I needed some help so that he could take a break from being the WWF referee ... no dice!

A few minutes later, Brett found me out in the garage sharpening pencils.  Happily.  Quietly.  Singly.

Now he was on to me!  Little jobs that keep me busy, productive, purposeful ... and alone.  The trick to being a sane Mommy?  For 20 minutes of the 960 minutes they are awake each day, I look for jobs that they want no part of or that they can't really participate in ... and enjoy them!

Here are a few other of my favorite, solitary tasks:

Wiping out the refrigerator,
Shoveling snow,
Sweeping the porch,
Vacuuming the house, (the added bonus of not being able to hear them trying to get your attention!)
Raking leaves,
Purging the kids' stuff, (they don't want to be around much when Mommy gets organizing ... they might get put to work!)
Folding laundry,
Tidying the basement, and
Washing windows.

And you Dads have a few of these, too!  Brett's favorites would be mowing the lawn and weed eating (see vacuuming perk above), scooping dog dirt (too smelly), roasting coffee beans (too stinky, smoky and noisy) and working on the swamp cooler (too high).  I know Daddy's desperate for a little alone time when he's up on the roof!

I'm certain that you have your own "Daddy's/Mommy's busy" tasks that actually give you a break from the kids.  Send them along ... and you can be sure that I won't tell the kids.

It will be our little secret! :)


  1. aaaah, yes, there is nothing like a quiet time doing the dishes. when you kids were little I would bask in the warm pool of dishes and take my time...

  2. how did you manage to be Allison? :) But yes ... I learned this from you!

  3. What a great idea!!! Be productive and have me time! Your site looks FABULOUS! I'm checking you out from SITS!


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