Monday, April 25, 2011

Play Dates

To my delight, a neighbor kid came over and asked if Agent M could play today. With a deadline looming over my head like a rain cloud and my own homework piling up, I almost gleefully shoved Agent M out the door the moment he was done with his homework. Setting down at my computer, thoughts of getting caught up began to dance through my head, visions of going to bed at a decent hour filled me with joy, and...


I jumped, as Agent M yelled through our kitchen window. Getting up and walking to the window, I found out he wanted to go play at the friend's house. I know the friend's parents, have seen inside their house many times - yes, yes, make sure his mom is okay with playing hostess, go play, and remember to be polite.

Since I was in the kitchen, I got a glass of water and prepared myself for plunking out words as quickly as I could before he was sent home. I asked myself if I should start making dinner yet, but seeing that is was still early, I figured it'd be best to get work done first. After all, it wouldn't take much time - I just had to sit down and focus.

You'd think after 6 years, I would understand that as a parent, nothing about being able to sit down and focus is simple.

I get three sentences out. A small, but determined, pounding on the door breaks my typing. I had not locked the door, but Agent M is feeling a sudden need to knock before entering. Now, they want to play at our house. No, with boxes of my art supplies making a slight maze out of our living room, and the disaster area that is Agent M's room, and the work I am trying to get done, today is not a good day for them to be here. Go play on the grass, I tell them. Neighbor boy says the grass makes him itchy when it's windy out. They suggest playing in Agent M's room, neighbor boy going so far as to offer to help Agent M clean it up when I counter that it is too messy for guests. I suggest they ride their bikes. I am temporarily awesome...then remember the two flats Agent M has. Determined in my own way, I grab the bike pump from the closet and drag his bike to the front steps. Five minutes later, the tires are full, the seat height adjusted, and they are off to get the neighbor kid's bike.

I, again, sit down. Pausing for a moment and listening, it seems safe to try to work. Forget finishing a project - I just want to finish a paragraph of writing. Instead of going to bed early, I can live with just being up late.

The door knob rattles.


I run to the door, fearing some sort of accident in the 4.8 seconds I had to myself. A training wheel fell off of Agent M's bike. Neighbor boy tells me they don't want to ride bikes anymore anyways. Dragging his bike, Agent M comes over and tells me he wants to get a few toys. Fine, I pull the bike back inside. He goes in his room and says he doesn't know what to take. Given our apartment living, we don't have many "outside" toys. Spying a chalk set, I hand it to him and try to send him on his way. He wants more toys. I grab a nearby tow truck, that still has a toy boat attached from the last time he played wit hit, and shoo him back out side.

Twenty minutes of solitude later, I have been more productive than I was in the entire day. The front door bursts open. He's appearently remembered that he does not need to knock before entering his own home.


Through gritted teeth, I politely tell him to go. get. them. then. Take the whole box of the them. Go play. Don't lose any.

At this point, as I sit down again, I feel a twitch beginning to develop. I close out a project, get things opened to begin the next project.

The door knob rattles, and before he can even step inside, I am opening the door. Agent M has the box of toy cars in hand. They're done and going to go play at the neighbor boy's house again. I gladly tell them that I will put the toys away for them, take the box, the chalk set, and the toy tow truck in one swoop and send them off with a smile, telling Agent M to be home by 6pm. That should give me 15 mins.

I sit down. Again. I get a call from my doctor's office to reschedule an appointment. Once I am finally off the phone, I open up a few internet tabs for a research project and notice the time. It's 5:57pm.

The door bursts open again. Agent M is home on time, and hungry.

As I look in the pantry and try to figure out what I'll make, I wonder...maybe it would have been easier if they had just played over here. At least then I wouldn't have had to get up so much and maybe the room would have been cleaner afterwards.

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