There’s not much I won’t do to get a break. I’ll volunteer to walk the trash cans up the driveway and take 30 minutes doing it. I’ll say to the grocery store bagger, “Where’s the fire? Slow down,” and slip him a piece of gum while winking and tell him, “If you slow this down by 10 minutes, there’s more where this came from. I even have watermelon flavor.”
Here are some of the things I’ve done to force the universe to give me a few minutes to catch my breath:
1. Ask my OB for an extra day in the hospital after delivery. Because let’s face it, home will never be this quiet again.
2. Ask to stay for jury duty after being dismissed. FYI, “swapping” with someone else who made the cut isn’t allowed.
3. Make a dentist appointment for a cleaning I don’t need so I can be incapacitated for 30 minutes.
4. Make a dentist appointment for a cleaning my kids don’t need so they can be incapacitated for 30 minutes.
5. Volunteer to take a phone survey so I can leave the room for “quiet.”
6. Go to the grocery store for detergent. No one else in the house would ever know if we were even out.
7. “Forget” to pick the cat up from the vet until right before bath time.
8. Attend an HOA meeting—next to sleeping, this is pretty much a snooze fest.
9. Go to confession so I can stop at Taco Bell to eat a few crunchy tacos in the parking lot.
10. Schedule parent-teacher conferences just to sit alone with another person who doesn’t have to be touching me constantly.
11. Make polite chit-chat with the door-to-door solicitor until they close my door in my face.
12. Pretend to be asleep in the morning until my husband gets up and gets the baby because 10 minutes lying in bed is like taking a month off.
13. Schedule an appointment with my accountant to talk about tax prep—in August. Then do the same thing in March—twice.
14. Enroll my kids in non-parent required gymnastics so I can sit on the bench and zone out until I drool.
15. Announce that I will be going to fold laundry in another room—inviting anyone who wishes to help me. Then, sit in the bathroom with a package of Chips Ahoy! I smuggled into the room wrapped in a load of clothes.
16. Let my kids play with the iPad for an hour so I can remember what it’s like to drink a warm cup of coffee without having to scrape the coagulated layer of cream-skin off the top.
17. Take my kids to the rec center child care room for $3, so I can sit in the lobby and watch people exercise while drinking a crappy cup of free coffee.
18. Hire a sitter so I can run errands I don’t even have—using that hour to go back to Taco Bell and eat more crunchy tacos on the parking lot.
19. Play hide-and-seek with my kids and hide while they’re also hiding. This not only prolongs the game but adds an interesting element of confusion that requires the toddler mind to take many minutes to process what might be going on before they find something else to do.
20. Let my kids play in the tub for up to 45 minutes. Hey, if they love bath time, why ruin a good thing for all involved.
I just want some space in a world where there is no such thing. I want to step outside my role as mom, even it’s just for a few breaths. I know, I know, enjoy this time, it goes so fast. You know what also goes fast? The grocery store bagger by my house who can’t be bought with gum. Not even watermelon flavor.