I’m delusional about free time.
Every time I get some, I imagine that I’m going to be able to complete every little unfinished chore on my list, which, given the size of said list, leaves the realm of “optimistic” and enters the kingdom of “fool’s paradise.”
Claudia was up during one of those hours I’ve spent my life avoiding — 6? C’mon, now! — and let me know that she’d rather nosh and play with a pumpkin than, you know, go back to sleep, or play quietly on her own in this baby death trap we’re renting, what with its uncovered outlets and ungated stairs.
So I’m blessed with an hour or so of unplanned time and of course, I think I can finish every single thing that still needs doing.
I start straightening up with an eye to Fern’s playdate later today — you know how 4-year olds can express their disapproval of your clutter.
Then I head for the garbage bag, neglected since last Thursday. You may have heard we have mandatory recycling and composting here in San Francisco, so what’s left in the actual garbage is the refuse alloys — plastic wrap, cheese baked on to parchment paper, foil-lined Tetrapaks — that won’t go into just one bin. The traditional “trash can,” therefore, sits unemptied all week and frequently stinks to high heaven.
Rush about, rush about, rush about the house. And I’m inefficient — if I had a GPS on my ass the trail I’m leaving would look like dried rice noodles.
Then I think — gee, I should write something. Neglected blog, article due next week, an unrequited letter: my correspondence has fallen into disrepair, and here’s an unallotted hour to catch up.
As if to underscore my lameness, Gary Vaynerchuk comes on the radio right then. He’s the guy who made a million dollars on his book about his funny wine blog, and, to paraphrase, he was telling me, “Damn, girl! Get up early and write that blog! You’ll be rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Oh, and buy my book.”
So I sit down, throw the baby some Cheerios — she’s still bright-eyed-ly learning about clapping and how gravity affects cereal — and start to write.
But then the smile hits. Claudia in her high chair at her purported breakfast starts to smile at me. And she chats. And she utters a word that one could, with a few hours and some serious audio-processing software, take to mean “daddy.”
And who can keep at any task, no matter how important or neglected or critical to my social media footprint (ha!) when there’s a smiling baby staring at him?
There’s no way I’m getting anything practical done this morning — I’ve got too much baby to play with.