There are days where I swear (and I know I'm right about this) that my kids are conspiring against me. They wander off to their respective rooms or sometimes even team up and find something nice and quiet to entertain themselves with. I'll wait a few minutes just to make sure the coast is clear before doing something crazy, like pulling out a book or turning on one of the 50 shows on my DVR that I keep telling myself I'll eventually find the time to watch. They see me, I know they do, getting comfortable on the couch, convincing myself that it's really happening this time. I'm really going to get that 30 minutes to myself today. Then...they strike.
It's not always an obvious attack. I swear the military could make great use of their tactics. Carter will come in the living room with his keyboard and pound on the keys until I realize that I've read the same paragraph on my Kindle at least 4 times and I couldn't begin to tell you what it was about. Natalie will be fiercely independent all day long, and the second I've turned Dexter on, she's two inches from my nose telling me "Oh Mommy, I wub you so much!" and showering me with kisses and big bear hugs. Jake will catch me sneaking off to bed a little early and race to "steal my spot", then proceed to jump on the bed until everyone has to go to bed and it's too late for me to do anything but sleep anyway.
Recently, Jake has been developing his "false sense of privacy attack". My in-laws live very close to us and the kids often spend the night there on the nights before Bob and I both have to work the next day. This is a huge lifesaver for us because we don't have to drag the kids out of bed and drop them off at 6 in the morning. Those are the nights where I can usually plan on having just a few silent moments and they are the only times where it's calm enough for Bob and I to catch up on each other's weeks...among other things. One night, not too long ago, we had decided to go to bed early and had just gotten undressed when the door came flying open and Jake comes stomping in, announcing that he had changed his mind and was staying home instead. Oh, and, by the way, it's gross that we were both going to sleep in our underwear. This is happening more and more these days and is contributing to my escalating paranoia that I'm never truly going to be alone. It's not usually safe until about midnight or so, and even then I feel like we need to turn out all the lights and board up the windows. You never know when he'll decide to come home. I'm telling you, he's a master at sneak attacks.
The most impressive part of all of this, is that they manage to make me feel guilty for wanting to do anything for myself in the first place. It doesn't matter that I've spent the entire day playing hide and seek with them, included them in anything and everything right down to meal preparation, and sang cheesy songs with them until my eyeballs were ready to burst. Every second of every day is dedicated to them in some way whether it be Carter's therapy time, or spontaneous dance parties to cheer up a grouchy Natalie. I feel terrible for asking the kids to go upstairs or kicking them out the door to play outside because the show I'm watching is inappropriate for them. It's like I might as well be saying "Go away"...and only jerks tell their kids to go away. In my head, my mind is screaming, "MOMMY JUST NEEDS A MINUTE!!!" but I smile and compliment Carter's incredibly loud keyboard efforts. I put the Kindle down and watch Jake "rocket ship" off of the swings for the 50 billionth time, and I switch the TV back over to Mickey Mouse and snuggle with Natalie because the day is coming where she wont want to snuggle anymore. I may have only seen a couple episodes of True Blood this season but, hey, I guess that's what DVR's are for.