Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free Time

It’s the second week of back to school and I’m sure you all are dying to know what I’m doing with all my free time*

*free time=2.25 hours X 3 days = 6.75 non-consecutive hours.

So here goes. I head home from preschool drop-off where I exercise, then I shower, dress and makeup, do my hair. As soon as I look fabulous, I head to the mall to meet a girlfriend for some Starbucks and shopping (unless I have a mani/pedi scheduled). I arrive back at preschool in a timely manner so I can bond with other parents and listen attentively to what the preschool teacher has to say about the day’s class.

Oh, wait no, that’s just my fantasy.

Here goes, for real. I head home from preschool drop off and crack open a Diet Coke, to hopefully perk my eyelids up from their current position dragging on the floor. I wouldn’t be so tired, except I was awakened multiple times during the night to deal with “scary fings.” As soon as the bubbly begins to arouse my brain, I have to decide whether to toss the uneaten toast I only made because the boy was “REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, Super-ally-duper hungry”. Or should I meanly save it for his lunch and say “You DEMANDED I make this, now you WILL eat it.”

I realize that I may or may not have eaten breakfast, standing up, and I am in fact, Super-ally-duper hungry. I eat the cold toast. Very unsatisfying. I make some fresh toast, dripping with melty peanut-butter. Cannot exercise while eating toast. Can only log onto computer and check e-mail/facebook. Fortunately, there is a clock near the computer, slowly counting down my precious 2.25 hours before I have to leave, so reluctantly I break the grip of the internet, and force myself to look at my to-do list.

Oooh, I have to make a call to the insurance company. This I can do and still play Bejeweled Blitz. Sadly, regardless of who I call or how long I’m on hold, I will only get to talk to an actual person when I’ve just begun the best game of my life. So after my conversation, (which may or may not have solved the problem, I’ll have to wait and see), I have to play a few more games to try and relive the moment that was cruelly snatched from me.

Now that I have less than 1.25 hours, exercise is clearly out of the picture. So is the mall. No reason now to bother looking fabulous. I am, however, appropriately attired for cleaning the house. Maybe a good day to mop. That’s almost exercise. First I’ll have to sweep, especially the crunchy areas around the children’s chairs. And then there’s the confetti of “art projects” (and supplies) bursting forth from the art table. Should I try to match the caps to the markers? Or do I just sweep it all up? Too many large papers to sweep. Probably should put some in the recycling. Can an art project composed of cotton balls, glitter glue, toothpicks and staples go in the recycling? Are any of these precious creations worthy of a spot on the refrigerator? Is there a spot on the refrigerator?

I realize that the refrigerator is a time capsule dating back to spring. I discard the obsolete dentist appointment reminders, memo about the end-of-school picnic, old party invitations and thank you cards. Take down a drawing so old, I can no longer recognize the “bird” that it claims to be. I must have been impressed by it at one time. Also get rid of last year’s mini-calendar from the real-estate agent, and 2 expired coupons for free kids burgers.

Finally heading to get the mop bucket, I notice that I should have left 5 minutes ago. Rush out the door, hit the preschool parking lot running, to arrive breathless at the classroom door just in time to hear my little boy shout, “Mommy!” as he runs to give me a big hug and kiss.

And that’s what I’ve been doing with all my “free time.”


  1. I always love reading your posts, Maria. Every sentence had me cracking up! You have such a wonderful sense of humor. You would make a great newspaper columnist. So many young moms (and those of us who've been there) would delight in reading your words about the frustrations and joys of parenting. Hope you keep them coming!

  2. Hilarious!!!!! And, OMG, you just described my mornings perfectly (except, I always seem to end up on the couch watching some horrid talk show, no matter what delusions of grandeur I had when I initially walked in the door after preschool drop-off).

  3. Have you been spying on me?! Finally Proof to my husband that it's not must me who only has the "illusion" of free time. Only I only have 2.75 hours a week of that. Thanks for sharing.


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