Apparently life is one big multitask. Right now I’m struggling through pages of a grammar workbook with my kindergartener as I write my weekly blog. And we are both eating lunch as we work.
Before kids I used to multitask as well. I would do two school projects at once. I would cycle for exercise while listening to the class lecture I recorded earlier that day. But who knew I was training for the years ahead, when I would absolutely have no choice but to juggle more than one activity at a time if I had any hope at all of getting it all done.
It’s obvious that the rest of the world is struggling along with me. I’ve seen makeup being applied by women flying down the freeway. I’ve watched as men devour their Big Macs in traffic. Commuter cyclists smoke cigarettes, pedestrians talk on the phone, and waitresses check their Facebook page in between orders. And worst of all, people text ALL THE TIME as they are driving. It’s obvious from behind, by the tell tale bobbing of the head as it goes from looking ahead to looking down, and back again. OMG!
Parenting takes multitasking to a whole new level. I’m horrified when I find myself trimming my nails while I’m on the toilet. I catch up on headline news while I feed the baby his bottle. I’m making my obligatory call to my parents as I walk through town with the stroller.
It gets worse. Much worse. I finish my sandwich as I change a diaper. I drive the minivan while I’m picking up scraps of paper and food from the floor. I make love as I review my to do list in my head.
The boys have jumped on the bandwagon as well, and I’m not sure I’m happy with it. They play Minecraft on my iPad as we commute to their next activity. They watch Sponge Bob as they eat breakfast. They play Lego as I dress them (and I finish my sandwich as I’m dressing them, while calculating how many calories I’ve eaten that day.)
So much of the day is spent pleading with my boys to try to focus on a single activity (like homework.) I’m afraid that I’m sending them mixed messages when they see me folding laundry while watching TV and talking on the speakerphone with a friend. I myself have got to take the time to teach them to choose a task and stick with it. That’s if I can find the time. Actually, since it’s my own children, I must find the time. I’ll do it today. As soon as I finish my sandwich.