Yesterday was a little hectic. You know what I mean? You are trying to get some chore done and the child keeps bugging you for your attention and you know it’s going to take a little (or a lot) longer depending on how much time you have to spend to avoid the meltdown if you do not attend to the various whims and requests of the child.
My son is my first priority. Everything, including a longtime career, are second fiddle to him and his needs. But yesterday, was a little different. After a morning appointment to the hyperbaric oxygen chamber to check it out (another post at some point here) I had to sit down for work. The little prince had to wait. He had to amuse himself. He had to forego many of the fun things we do together. And so did I.
My husband and I practice law together. He is now in trial. He asked me if I could “help out a little.” Hmmm. I knew this could not bode well for my time management, but that too, is my “job.” I agreed (really – had no choice). What did he have in mind? Oh, nothing much. He just wanted me to prepare all his jury instructions. The judge needed them in less than 24 hours. He hadn’t started yet, he informed me at 1:00 p.m. He only needed them by 7 a.m. when he left the house the next morning for Court.
Yeah. I finished at 9:40 p.m. 84 pages of jury instructions with tables.
Here’s how that went in terms of my son.
First, he was with his behavioral therapist from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Ahh, some time to work on them without interruption! Wait – no. Hubs, the larger version of my son, wanted to tell me about the events of his day. Like discussing how our process server was threatened with having his a** kicked when he served a subpoena on a Teamster. Ok – discussed. Back to work.
Next, the tutor pops her head around the corner and I hear the dreaded (dreaded just for today because I was trying to get something done) words, “He’s on a break!” She did not have to sound quite so perky and exuberant… The break was 3 to 3:30.
Within seconds of the break, it starts. The ploys for attention. “Mommy, put batteries in it!” my son says to me dragging out an old batman ride-on motorcycle that has been at the office since he was about 1.5. He’s too big for it now that he’s finally interested in playing on it. “I don’t have batteries for that.” I responded. “It has a charger and I don’t know where the cord is. Play something else,” I was trying to type. (I always lose the cords to chargers or some goofy part of some toy – and there is usually a meltdown involved). Luckily, no meltdown today. He found something else to amuse himself.
The way my desk is set up, I have a credenza behind it where I work on law related matters. My computer for that purpose is set up there. My own personal laptop, that I use for blogging usually rests on my desk, opposite the credenza. Yesterday, I had no time to set up my personal computer to check on bloggy-land with appointments and actual legal work to do. So it was empty, except for papers, a phone, some odds and ends and a Diet Pepsi.
While my back was turned to my desk, working on the instructions, my son had quietly snuck in and was doing, who knows what, on my desk. Suddenly, I heard a sound. Yes. The Diet Pepsi was knocked over my desk top, rolled across the desk to the carpet and under my chair. I couldn’t even find the bottle at first.
“I’m sorry, Mommy!” yells the little guy.
“Go to your room!” I said. “Mommy will clean it up. It’s okay. It was just an accident.”
“Sorry mommy! Cookies! Kisses!!”
The tutor, who had not left the building, brought in a roll of paper towels. I took them from her and started to clean while she led my son into the playroom. (Thanks Cara!)
I love a good diet pepsi stain. So dark. It adds depth and character to a carpet that had only one, lonely old apple juice stain…
Again, back to work. Like clockwork, the little guy wanders back in. How can I resist his charms? I mean, look – I’m just not that popular with anyone else! “Mommy,” he begins. He grabs my hand. “Hold my hand,” he starts. I know he’s trying to drag me somewhere. “Come in the classroom,” he orders. (His playroom at the office- calls it his classroom). “Mommy can’t come in right now. I have to work.” He looks disappointed.
I hate that feeling. I’d much rather play with him than do jury instructions but I had no choice. He was breaking my heart. It’s not like he has siblings or friends in our office.
“Wanna stamp,” he says. Throughout the office, we have little stamps for exhibits, copies, confidential items, and dates. Jessica often lets the little guy stamp while she works next to him. However, mommy only has one stamp in her office. It’s the WTF stamp. Yes, you read that right. I often get such crap in the mail from opposing counsel that I bought a stamp that says, “WTF”. What can I say? It was funny and eases the pain of having to read really lousy arguments.
I didn’t think of it as something the little guy would get his hands on but he has a radar for that kind of thing. It’s self inking and he loves to press it and see the ink go on the paper. (He has stamped a few items he should not have with that stamp. Oh well.) I gave him some old paper and he sat down below me and began to use the stamp. He was quiet. I was happy.
Just before his tutor came back in, he kept talking under his breath. “Wanna use the whiff.” “Use the whiff.” he was saying. “What? What is he talking about?” I thought.
I finally figured it out. He thought the initials on the stamp were W-I-F even though its quite clearly a “T”. Maybe he placed the closest looking vowel in so he could sound it out. He can read really well. I think this one just stumped him so he was sounding it out as “whiff”. Phew! That’s good! “You play with the whiff stamp, baby! Stamp away!” I said.
I love that boy. His innocence is so refreshing! And he’s really good at making me laugh in the middle of a tough project.