Friday, December 18, 2009

Sure I'll Feed the Fish

Everywhere I am, I am distracted.

What with all the blogs to view, websites to visit, YouTube’s to watch, emails to answer, friends waiting on Face book for me to click on a fish, a crown or a Chinese New Year’s astrology symbol, I may finally catch up on the things people have wanted me to see, read, speak out for or against about, and to know…for the calendar year 1997.

Then, we add in the actual mail,the 42 meals a day I make, 11x3 squares+snacks for 9, the one hour a day I’m supposed to exercise, the 2100 calories I’m supposed to consume in a pyramid fashion with only 15% coming from fats, the 20 minutes of quality time per kid and the drop everything and read hour, actual homework and 20 minutes a day we’re supposed to have the kids practice their musical instruments and the meditation/creative freeform thinking time advocated by most leading experts to prevent brain burn out and mental exhaustion, and I don’t know why I haven’t had a nervous collapse.

Yesterday, I signed six papers, read for 15 minutes with each child under the age of nine, supervised my two teens with an age appropriate parent/child bonding activity of cards and made time for my husband. My to-do list had five phone calls and three bills that also need my attention, a few loads of laundry and a basics grocery shop of the non negotiables, Milk, bread, diapers, chocolate, fruit and diet soda and had topped out at 18. I'm supposed to limit it to ten.

So when my beloved spouse asked me to be sure to feed the koi in the pool on a daily basis, I balked.

The problem is, last year, two weeks post-partum, I ran a Fall Festival at my school, complete with an inflatable maze and roughly 600 people in attendance. It was a blast. However, having successfully run a fund-raiser fourteen days after having a baby, I now have outed myself to my children. I can be organized. I can manage a large scale event. I can even, be on time.

As a result, when I say, “I don’t know if we can fit that into the schedule.” In response to a request for Karate or basketball or music lessons, there now exists a healthy level of skepticism. They’re not going to accept “We’re too busy to do that right now.” Not without a fight anyway.

As a result, I began a search for the Mommy Kryptonite excuse. It had to be plausible enough for use to opt out of future obligations. The first few I tried where shot down hard.

“We can’t add gymnastics on Fridays because I’ve been asked to head up the peace negotiations for the Middle East and that will take at least three weeks worth of preparation. We’d miss a third of the classes.”

"Mom," my six year old looked at me with a mixed expression of benevolence and incredulity, "We can have a carpool."

“I’m not going to the park because I have strict instructions from my doctor not to venture outdoors in temperatures below 65 degrees.” My smart toddlers looked at me, and parroted my own words. "Wear a coat."

“With the economy tanking, we’re saving all our pennies so we can buy a gallon of gas.” Here, my teens took me to task, noting that since August, the price of gasoline has dropped by more than a dollar, and that we'd save a lot more money if I stopped using the speed pass to get myself a diet coke and a twix bar every time we tanked up. Ouch.

And then I thought of it, the kid silver bullet.

We can’t do it because, “Daddy said no.” It worked every time.

So I guess I'm feeding the fish regularly until further notice.


Karen said...

Koi might make a delicious meal of fresh sushi. Instead of feeding the fish, let them feed you!

MightyMom said...

here's a hint. adding tap water to the pool will kill the fish. quietly and quickly and with little mess......

I should know, I've killed many a fish before we finally gave up the koi pool.......thereby marking THAT one thing permanently off my todo list!

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!