If you call my house between the hours of 4 pm and 7 pm on a weekday, I won't answer the phone. No matter who you are, you will get our answering machine unless my son happens to accidentally pick up the phone. If I did answer, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want to hear what I'd have to say. That is, if you could hear me at all over the volume in the house.
During these hours, I'm trying to take care of the kids and make dinner. Doesn't sound too bad, right? I work from home, so I don't have to commute anywhere. I'm off work at 4 and am immediately in "mommy mode." Well, just because I'm already in my slippers doesn't mean this is a party.
Here's an example of what happened on a recent evening.
----begin excerpt of my evening----
I take a deep breath and convince myself I'm ready for this. The boxing trainer in my corner tells me I can do this. I already know what I'm making for dinner. I move my daughter's high chair and some of her toys into the kitchen and put her in it. My son is engrossed in building with Lego's...piece of cake!
...as visions of supermoms dance in my head...
Look at dinner recipe and get out first two ingredients for dinner from pantry.
Pick up toy that fell off high chair tray and give it back to baby.
Get skillet out of cabinet.
Pick up other pans that fell out while getting skillet out of cabinet.
Drop everything to investigate scream coming from living room.
Begin breathing again after realizing it was son's reaction to the Lego tower toppling. Back to kitchen.
Pick up toy and return it to high chair tray. Marvel at my daughter's smile.
Pick up recipe again to see what else I need. Get remaining ingredients from pantry and fridge.
Respond to request for a snack. Go into living room to discuss it further. No snacks...dinner is in a few minutes (if I can ever get it going). Back to kitchen.
Forgot what I was making...look at recipe again.
Pick up toy.
Defrost chicken and start chopping ingredients.
Cell phone rings. Answer it and tell hubby to hurry home. While on this call, I hear another crash from the living room. Hang up phone and go to living room. Kiss boo-boo and make sure he's okay from his fall off the couch. Back to kitchen.
Can't remember what I was doing. Read recipe again. Daughter is getting fussy in the high chair.
Look at the clock and realize the baby is hungry. Give her a teething ring from the fridge to hold her over until dinner is ready.
Read recipe again and start combining ingredients. Say a quick prayer that I'll hear the garage door open soon.
No, sorry...still no snacks. Wait for dinner.
Back over to crying baby. Decide it's over and start making a bottle.
While the bottle is in the microwave, cover up dinner ingredients so the cats don't get into them. Realize the cats haven't been fed. Run over to feed them.
Make bottle. Move high chair so it's closer to the counter. Hold bottle in her mouth with one hand and attempt to stir dinner with the other.
Read recipe again and realize I forgot something. Attempt to open the pantry door with my toe while stirring with one hand and holding bottle with another. FAIL.
Put the bottle down for just a second while I keep the pot from boiling over and add the missing ingredient. Baby seems okay so I go check on my son in the living room. He asks to watch a tv show, so I fumble with the remote to turn it on, praying that dinner doesn't overflow and the baby doesn't cry.
Back into the kitchen to finish the bottle. Limp dinner along while she finishes eating, only to realize I didn't preheat the oven for the bread. Ugh. Preheat the oven and turn the pot down to low so it won't overcook (I hope).
Sorry honey, I can't fast forward through the commercials. No, no snacks. I promise dinner will be ready soon (cross fingers and hope that's correct).
----end excerpt because it all went blurry from here----
These events cover roughly 4:30 pm to 4:45 pm. Yep, that was only FIFTEEN MINUTES.
Bet you'll be checking the clock before you call me next time won't ya?