Work has been crushing down on me lately, making each hour of my workday extra-precious. So it was a real kick in the gut when our babysitter called on Friday to say she was sick. Thankfully Fridays are the day both of our 3-year-old twins, John and Daphne, are at preschool until 1 p.m., so I had half the day to work. But after that I was on full-time mom-mode as my husband, Jack, was out of town on business.
It’s hard to break away from my desk on any Friday, but last week was especially hairy: I was staring down the deadline for the bi-annual Shape shoe review, due on Monday. (And, yes, even though I’d been working on the review all week—tabulating results, amassing great tester quotes, and gathering tech info—the Word doc was a blank slate as of noon Friday when our babysitter dropped the bomb on me. Uh-oh!) As I dashed off to pick up John and Daphne, I debated: I could either make a half-assed attempt at working by planting the twins in front of the boob-tube, or I could embrace my mommy-ness. I decided the kids and I both deserved my full attention being devoted to them, and I told myself I wouldn’t even attempt to work that afternoon.
As the sun glinted off our minivan’s windshield, I told myself it was a lovely day, I had two fun-loving 3-year-olds, and I was going to enjoy our afternoon together. We headed to my health club, a place John and Daphne had never been before. I toyed with dropping them off in the gym’s fun childcare (big sis, Phoebe, has loved it the few times she’s gone!) and swimming laps solo, but that ran counter to my new carpe diem (carpe afternoon?) dictate. Plus, Daphne won me over on the way in, exclaiming, “I love the gym! I love the gym!” even though, to her, it probably just looked like a cinderblock fortress. If she could be so blindly enthusiastic, I could, too!
Instead we headed to the kiddie pool, where Daphne continued to pile it on, shouting delightedly, “I love swimming! I love swimming!” Sure, John whined and barely stuck his foot in the water, but we all had a blast, playing with little floating sea creature plush toys. The twins seemed to comprehend it was a special outing, and they were relatively controlled. (Translation: My blood pressure didn’t spike, and they didn’t tumble headfirst into the deep end.) Before I knew it, it was time to get dressed (I had to bribe them with the promise of a cookie from the café and return visits to the pool, an especially effective bargaining chip with Daphne a.k.a. the preschool Dara Torres!) and go pick up Phoebe from school.
While I’m not cut out to be a full-time mom, Friday made me realize I wish I had more latitude in my schedule for an occasional afternoon off with my kiddies. Maybe I’m the one who needs an occasional “sick day”!