So yesterday I attempted to work from home. For most people, this is a dream come true; what's not to like about setting your own schedule, working in your pjs or birthday suit or whatever works for you, hell, you can even drink and who's to know any better? But it's not all it's cracked up to be for some people, namely those who have small children at home. Like me.
Yesterday, while the 5-year-old was in school, and my hubby was sleeping (he works nights), it was me against the 14-month-old and 3-year-old. They teamed up to make the most noise possible, the biggest messes possible, and get into as many forbidden things as possible. No amount of television, snacks, or bribes were going to work; they were hell-bent on complete and total destruction. It was incredibly fun, if you call wanting to shoot yourself in the face "fun". Here are some highlights from my day:
- The baby, Brandon, got a hold of Dad's cell phone while Connor (you guessed it - the 3-year-old) looked on and didn't say anything. While the ensuing quiet SHOULD have clued me in (it's not like I'm new to this mom thing), I only became aware that he had the phone when I heard someone saying "Hello?" through the speakerphone. I shot off my ass faster than you can say "oh shit" and darted towards the phone, yelling something along the lines of "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, my son got a hold of the phone". I was so distressed that I didn't even recognize the voice as that of my mother.
- Connor pulled his penis out of the top of his pants and was wagging it at Brandon. (For those of you who have known him all his life, it's not exactly new for him to pull out his weenie, but wagging it at the baby is a little much.)
- Connor left the bathroom door open, the toilet lid up, and his pee in the bowl. Brandon wandered in and found the toilet. 'Nuff said.
- Brandon fell into a couple of diaper cakes that I had made and stupidly had sitting on the floor of my home office, waiting to have the gift tags attached. Fortunately, I make them sturdy enough that they survived his clumsy tumble, but the sound of the cellophane crumpling and the sight of his little body slamming into them and potentially destroying hours of work was enough to shave several hours off my life.
- I was late picking up my son from kindergarten due to all the chaos. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal as several parents and kids hang out on the playground outside of the classroom for 10 or 15 minutes after school so it's not as noticeable if a kid hasn't been claimed. However, it was the last day of school before a 3-day weekend, and the parents and kids had cleared out. So of course, the one time I am late, everyone is gone and my son is the lone ranger, the forgotten, running around the playground by himself. It felt really good.
All this happened in between the near-constant screaming (I HATE screaming), miscellaneous minor injuries, constant questions and interruptions, diaper changes/butt wipings, fights, and keeping random disgusting items (like shoes and old pieces of food) out of Brandon's mouth. And all after only getting about 6 hours of broken sleep, thanks to Connor waking up at 3 a.m. from a bad dream or whatever little 3-year-olds have happen in their sleep.
The end result: It took me about 4 hours to do work that should have taken about a half an hour, my blood pressure hung out at around 190/120, my husband got some pretty crappy sleep (not good in his line of work), and I lost not only some of my hearing but also some pieces from the remaining shreds of sanity that I possess. It was definitely a "good thing they are cute" day. And I will definitely think twice about when and where to work.
For those of you who work at home with small kids, do you have any tips? Besides hiring a babysitter or daycare....