The other day I was wondering what I do
with the twelve-plus hours a day that I am awake. I couldn't
pinpoint even one activity that consistently happens every day.
Cooking? No, I can't honestly say that I cook every day. Oh yes,
we eat, but many days we have pieced together meals that require
little preparation. Laundry? I wish it happened daily - even
weekly would mean that my daughter might have matching socks
some days. Office work? Take one look at the piles on my desk
and you'll know the answer to that one. Time with my husband? I
wish. Reading to my children? I am getting better at that one.
Cleaning my house? No, I pay a teenager to do that. Errands? I
hate them - we go out one day a week, two is the maximum.
Other than reading to my children, I
couldn't think of any one thing that I engaged in on a regular
basis - so where was my time going? That's when I saw it. The
banana in my dishwasher. Half-peeled, sitting in the silverware
tray. What is that doing there? I thought as I pulled it out,
wondering whether to toss it in the trash or save it for banana
bread. Then, my two-year-old son walked over and said,
"That's mine," and took it from my hand.
"Did you put it in the
dishwasher?" I asked him.
"Yes," he replied.
"Why?" I asked (silly question).
"It's yucky," he assured me.
Next, he reached into the dishwasher and
grabbed a wooden spoon that was still covered with
chocolate-zucchini cake batter and started banging it against a
kitchen chair, sending cake batter splattering all over the
walls. "Ahhh!" I exclaimed as I grabbed it from his
hand. "Messy, very messy," I instructed him. He simply
smiled a very accomplished smile at me and moved into the living
room where he had a small saucepan sitting on top of the
"I cook corn," he exclaimed,
"look Mom." At that, he lifted the pan lid to reveal a
steamy pot of corn - disguised as an empty pan, of course.
"Want some?" he added.
I sank into the couch. How did he get the
humidifier out here from the bedroom? Did he spill water all the
way down the hall? A quick glance confirmed my fear and I jumped
up to amend the situation.
"Look Timothy, there is water spilled
in the hall. Can you help me clean it up?"
"Okay, Mom." he replied.
Thirty minutes later, after a cooperative
mopping of the hall and a session of throwing all the towels
(some clean and some dirty) down the laundry chute, I was
finally back in the kitchen trying to remember where I had left
off. Let's see, I was out here doing something - ah yes - I was
loading the dishwasher and wondering what I do with my time
every day. Now I know - I live vicariously through the life of
little children, and what a wonderful day it can be when I
embrace it as such.