My children are psychic. And by psychic, I mean that they have the uncanny ability to sense when something is going on that doesn’t involve them, and a specific knack for interruption that is driven entirely by a fear of missing out (FOMO, for the uninitiated). It’s like my children are already teenagers that are constantly worried that an awesome party is going on somewhere that they haven’t heard about. As such, I have compiled a list of the top ten things children can sense intrinsically are going on without them that they simply must interrupt.
1. Eating Candy: I have a ridiculous sweet tooth, and like the vast majority of children, so do my kids. There is one particular cabinet in my house, high beyond the line of vision of my children (even when they’re standing on the counter – don’t judge!), where I have a small bounty stashed away just for me. Without fail, anytime I manage to sneak a couple of gummy coke bottles or Twizzlers from said stash, my three-year-old, Inspector Sweets, materializes out of thin air, sniffing around and prying open my hands. “What’s going on over here? What are you eating? What do you have there? I smell something sweet!” He is truly talented and will make a fabulous detective someday, assuming the case involves something missing that is composed entirely of sugar.
2. Working: My children will be playing with each other quietly and contentedly in the living room, when I decide to seize the brief moment of peace to sneak into the kitchen and answer some emails or finish up a last bit of work. Literally the moment I sit down at my laptop, before even the familiar clink of the keys start going, the children have slunk up beside me. “What are you doing, Mom?” “Do you have any games on there?” “Show me pictures of Super Heroes!” “I want Gabba!” I think when my laptop opens, there is a small alarm that goes off at a pitch that is too high for my adult ears to hear.
3. Making Telephone Calls: As if I didn’t hate talking on the phone enough, my children see the phone go to my ear, and all of the sudden everything needs to be addressed “right now!” Sorry cable TV company, my son has to use the potty immediately. What’s that you said, appliance repair service? I can’t hear you over my toddler shouting for “baba, now!” The bright side of this phenomenon is that any telemarketer who calls my house quickly gets off with me after they can hear my children’s urgent shouts of, “MOMMYY!” in the background.
4. Showering: I have never been much of a naked person. I didn’t grow up in one of those houses where everyone walked around naked all the time (I have only brothers). But parenthood has taught me to become very comfortable with being naked in front of others. Even if I manage to get into the shower at some point in the day, I have an audience. Nowadays there is always at least one little person standing in the bathroom with me talking to me while I wash. I suppose it is a small price to pay to squeeze in a shower once every week, errr, day.
5. Game of Thrones: It’s Sunday night, and the kids have finally gone down to bed after a busy weekend. The bottle of wine is opened and the glasses are poured, and the new episode of Game of Thrones we’ve been waiting breathlessly all week to see is ten minutes in and smack in the middle of a hot and heavy nudie scene or epic bloody battle. Without fail, we hear the pitter patter of small feet on steps and a head pops around the corner as we scramble to turn the TV off before any lasting damage is done. This may happen from one to four times over the course of a one hour show, which as a result may take my husband and me two hours to watch to completion.
6. Working Out: I am trying to work out because I grew two human beings in my stomach and stretched it to the brink of its elasticity (TWICE). Yes, I am trying to work out because you two little joys rendered my abs unrecognizable. PLEASE STOP SITTING ON ME WHILE I AM TRYING TO DO SIT UPS. I am just trying to work out! Sigh.
7. Sexy Time: Ok let’s face it – with running around all day after children, the sleep deprivation, the extra weight you’ve been desperately trying to take off since said kids were born, and the general lack of sexiness that things like potty training, teething, and cleaning up child vomit inject into an otherwise healthy marriage, you may not be as up for it as you were in your younger and more carefree days. So it’s quite amazing that even as rarely as it might be happening these days, it always is on the nights where the kids wake up with teething pains, nightmares, urgent potty needs, etc. My husband has taken to referring to our sons as the world’s cutest cock blocks.
8. Marital Conversations: There is marriage, and then there is the business of marriage, which involves all the discussions that we adults have to have in order to make sure food is kept on the table, a roof is over our heads, and the electricity stays on. But adult-talk be damned! Any time my husband and I try to speak to each other in front of the kids about anything that does not interest my sons, we are pestered, interrupted, yelled at, and harassed until conversation inevitably falls back to superheroes or who is the best character in Star Wars. You know, the important stuff.
9. Weekend Sleeping: If it is Monday through Friday, you can find me sometime after 8 am, dragging my preschooler out of bed, propping him up at the breakfast table, forcing a toothbrush in his mouth and clothes onto his back before we are rushing out the door to school. But what happens on Saturday and Sunday mornings, when his father and I are free to sleep in as late as our children? 6 am wake up time like clockwork. It’s confounding.
10. Bathroom Trips: I have put on the TV, and I sneak towards the bathroom door to the familiar refrain of the theme song from “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” Within 5 seconds of closing the bathroom door behind me, there comes a series of incessant knocking. “Mommmy! What are you doing in there? What’s going on??” Seriously? Seriously????? Obviously, I am throwing a party for one on the toilet, where I am watching endless superhero videos on YouTube, eating candy, working out, and talking to their Dad on the phone without them. Of course! Because what else could I possibly be doing?