Fifteen minutes

After I cook dinner, play with Sophie, attempt to get her to help me tidy up the toys, try to convince her that she doesn’t hate the bath (this is the second time she has passed through a bath-hating phase; the phase will pass), tried to get her to brush her teeth just a little bit, pajama’d her and read to her and lullaby’d her to sleep, then I have to go do the dinner dishes. And then I finish tidying up, taking out the trash, bringing in the laundry from the line, whatever it is that needs to be done. Then I grade papers and write lectures.

Lately I’ve been trying to take fifteen minutes when I’m not doing something for someone else, just fifteen minutes when I’m doing something for myself. It’s sad that I only get fifteen minutes of my own undivided attention. Lately, though, instead of yoga or a look at the moon, my fifteen-minutes to myself ends up meaning fifteen minutes of surfing the net, which really isn’t rejuvenating enough.

Then, lately, when I think I have graded all I can stand and really need to get to sleep, this is what happens: it turns out that the cat has vomited on my quilt. Some of the vomit has slid off the bed, onto the rug, and thus onto my bare foot when I walk into my bedroom in the dark.

Then, when I go to wash the now-stinky quilt, I discover that an army of ants has invaded the catfood that we keep above the washing-machine.

These are the times when I really miss Ben.

I can take care of it, of course. I have spare quilts, I have anti-ant strategies, I have far too much experience dealing with both cat-vomit and ant-invasions. I even have the capability to laugh at it, usually, and to realize that all this household nastiness is really only costing me fifteen minutes of sleep, and that’s not that bad.

But I would love having someone else around to laugh at it with me, too, and to maybe help out a little with the seemingly-endless tasks of home care — but mostly, to help me laugh.

One more month before I go to Europe.

I’ve already told Ben that he gets to take Sophie for the first four weekends in June. I need to go off to Paris without a baby, off to the Scottish countryside without a baby, off on my own for a lot longer than 15 minutes, for once.

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