I set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes.
Twenty minutes, so I could just check my email and write a post about biscotti or torrone or gnocchi or something before the day gets too far under way.
Twenty minutes, before it would be time to get the kids cleaned and dressed and ready to go see Santa later this morning where I work.
Twenty. Lousy. Minutes.
Twenty minutes of "uninterrupted" time.
Because, unless I’m the only human in the house, I have no "uninterrupted" time.
I put "uninterrupted" in quotes like that because it’s not a real word, a real concept. It’s all theoretical.
But I persist.
I get my laptop and my wireless card and my recipe notes and my cold coffee and sit on the couch and go into one of my email accounts.
And Bill decides he’s going to fix the storm door NOW, rather than after we get home.
And Julia comes upstairs FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN I AM SITTING QUIETLY TRYING TO DO SOMETHING OF MY OWN. I already cooked them all breakfast. I was already up at 3:30 with Julia and then Alex joined us at 4:21 and so it’s already been a long day of needs and wants.
And now Julia has to go potty.
And Bill is taking the window part out of the storm door.
And Julia "I’m DONE!" needs me to turn the water on so she can wash her hands because she’s too short, even on a stool, to reach the faucet.
And where does Bill decide to bring the window that he’s fixing the frame of for the storm door?
Right into the living room where I am!!
So he can TALK TO ME ABOUT WHAT HE’S DOING AS HE’S DOING IT.
And then Julia wants to show me the two "Little People" that are playing together – apparently Mary and one of the Wise Men like to wrestle. Hmm. I’m just going to ignore that.
And then "AHA!" Bill has been successful in some fashion.
He needs to TELL ME!
So he does. "The screen was bent and you know there was no way it was going to be fixed and the directions weren’t quiet accurate for this door, they weren’t matching up, and screen screen screen fix and bent and there was just no way" he is shaking his head "just no way" and I am staring at him without changing expression as he becomes more emphatic at the just no wayness about the screen or something – and to be honest, I wasn’t listening, I was just wondering how long he would continue to talk and talk and tell me about the door and the screen and didn’t I say I just wanted twenty minutes, TWENTY STINKING MINUTES, just to do what I wanted to do????
He reiterated – "There was NO WAY that screen something something something."
And he looked at me with that expectant expression, waiting for me to be equally up in arms about the screen and its issues.
And I just burst out laughing.
And he thought it was because of the screen.
And then Julia came over and watched me type and hollered "RED LIGHT!" at me so my fingers would stop, but I RAN that red light and kept typing, because these are MY TWENTY MINUTES even though the timer went off two minutes ago but I figure I used up time helping Julia with the faucet and Bill with the listening.
And then Bill is bringing the window back to put it in the door thing, and while he’s gathering his stuff for that, Alex comes up "Mommy? C’n I have some juice? Where’s Mommy? Mommy – c’n I have some juice?" And Julia is making a stuffed animal bunny hop on my head, and Bill is talking again but I think it’s to himself this time.
And now, my twenty minutes are long gone.
I wonder if they were ever here.