“Mom, I’m having a hard time with this question.”
“I’m going to the bathroom, you’ll have to wait.”
“But mooooom, I need help.”
“And I need to poop. We all have needs. Mine is a bit more urgent.”
“Mom,” the voice is now IN the bathroom, “I really need your help.”
Frustrated sounds as he reluctantly heads back to his desk, which sits right beside mine.
I attempt to guide him to answer the question posed himself, using his own knowledge, and turn back to my own laptop.
Tiny hands pull my chair and spin it away from the computer as I type.
“Hey, I was typing, you little nerd.”
I pick him up and place him on my lap, keying in formulas and counting the minutes to the babysitter’s arrival. Not that she would be able to take him off my hands at this very moment, as he slides into position to nurse.
I set him down after a while, answer some emails, and rub my eyes as I stare at the empty coffee cup. The kitchen is directly behind my desk, so I take the quick stroll to my “break room” to grab a cup.
Tiny person is sitting in front of the kitchen cabinet, taking everything out. He likes this sorting game, and while he nearly always puts everything back, in a surprisingly neat fashion, it’s probably best he wasn’t doing it with cleaners.
I distract him with excited cries of, “Look at the squirrel” and watch him abandon his post in the kitchen and head for the sliding glass door to watch the backyard wildlife.
“Mom, do you know the answer to this one?”
I shake my head, sitting back behind my desk. “I didn’t read the story, so I don’t. You’ll have to re-read the passage if you can’t remember.”
He sighs, and I hear the familiar ding of a right answer as he clicks.
He usually knows the answer. It’s only too hard when it takes him more than five seconds to figure it out.
The little one is playing quietly in the dog bed.
The quiet is troublesome, and I see he’s spraying himself with the puppy’s Flea and Tick repellent. It’s made of natural oils, but I’m pretty sure those aren’t good for the eyes, so before that can happen, I walk over to retrieve the bottle.
I head back to the kitchen to get a snack, something to distract him from the apparently horrid loss of the spray I took away.
Back at the laptop, I resume work.
The pungent aroma of essential oils wafts by as the little guy runs by with his toy plane.
My coffee cup is still empty.
Lunch time sneaks up quickly. I slap something together for the bigger kid – leftovers if last night’s dinner wasn’t a struggle, a sandwich if there is homemade bread available, or a quick run to the store if neither is an option.
My hair is in a messy mass atop my head, my shirt stained with mushed banana and the smell of Pirate’s Booty. Thank goodness there is bread in the house and I don’t have to venture out.
The tiny one cries and I look at the clock.
His cries fade to uncontrollable giggles as he runs for the bedroom and climbs on the bed, waiting for me to join him. I crawl next to him, snuggles and nursing ending in nap time if all goes well.
I send the older one to the backyard to do his Superman swings on the hammock, an activity that manages to burn energy and soothe him at the same time.
I contemplate installing a swing inside the house so weather never interferes with the blessing that is Superman swings. I remind myself to research this.
The quiet clink of dishes in the kitchen being unloaded and loaded in the dishwasher soothes me, and I find myself feeling very grateful for babysitters who enjoy cleaning.
They even fold laundry. And put it away.
I haven’t asked if they do windows just yet.
The afternoon is winding down. I head back to the kitchen and chop veggies, season meats, and make sure everything is prepped so dinner can be assembled at whatever ETA the hubby provides in our usual text routine at this time of day.
Instant messages pop up, as it always seems that the home office has questions as I’m wrapping things up and starting the household duties of the evening.
The babysitter leaves.
I juggle IMs, pots and pans, and tired kids.
Dinner is served, and I sit, realizing my ravenous hunger comes from a lunch of leftover banana, and a bowl of chips and salsa.
I check the laptop after eating, editing spreadsheets so the next morning is a bit calmer.
Or so I hope.
My coffee cup still sits on my desk.
In bed, the kids fall asleep only an hour after bedtime began, relatively faster than most nights.
I get a text.
Some of us meeting up at 11 tomorrow. Coming?
Happy to be remembered, I reluctantly reply.
I’m sorry, but I’m working.
The silent phone vibrates in my hand, and I let out a sigh as I read the response.
But you work from home, right?