Working in public school and having a Mother who is an LDTC, I do not take this phrase lightly. Which means, I am also not kidding when I suggest that I have acquired parenthood induced ADD, as was proven today.
My Mother-in-law was kind enough to offer to watch my little human for a little while today so that I could take a few hours to work on the curriculum that is due….in 8 days. Yes. Eight days. So, I kissed my little, sweaty-headed baby goodbye and ran out the door into the oppressive heat to work diligently in the place where all stay-at-home mothers, retired police officers, bored teenagers and pastors meeting couples for pre-marital counseling seem to congregate: Panera.
I brought my laptop. I got a tall, green iced tea. Sat in a sunny booth. Opened the document. And that’s where it all began.
A troupe of senior citizens waltzed through the door, laughing about their earnings at AC. They wore bright colors and Darth Vader glasses, tripping a little over canes and walkers. Peach lipstick rubbed on their collars, across their teeth. Asking the girl behind the counter what exactly is in the Napa Chicken Salad sandwich, hun? I can’t seem to be able to read it from so far away.
Then the gentleman at the table next to me, in coke-bottle lenses, plaid pants and an actual, vintage Stones tee-not the fake looking ones that just look vintage-proceeded to read a foreign newspaper, all the while trying to inconspicuously move his chair every time he, for lack of a more appropriate word for an uncouth behavior, farted.
No one else seemed to notice, particularly the middle-aged man behind me who was on hold with a conference call and decided to while away his time by humming, “Time after Time”, while using straws for drumsticks. Straws that were left on the table before he actually sat down. Unwrapped.
And all I could think about while trying to write week number six of ten lesson plans was that I really should offer that man some sanitizer and perhaps offer a brief lecture on picking things up that other people have had in their mouths, unless you’re looking for Herpes.
What has happened to me? I used to be able to tune everything out. I mean, everything. My mom would complain that I was ignoring her when she called me for dinner when I actually, never heard her. I could be alone in my own thoughts in a crowded mall, amusement park, a classroom. Now, little Jimmy so much as sneezes across the length of a football field and I’m already running with the tissues.
I think parenthood does something super-human to your senses. That’s how you wake up 5 seconds before your kid does. How you can anticipate a projectile spit-up by choosing a color coordinated burp cloth. It works great for all that stuff. But how do you shut it off for a while? Like, for example, when you have a deadline to meet and people who don’t really have any idea what kind of heightened senses you’re contending with are expecting it to be early?
I was able to get a few lessons done, but not without wasting a remarkable amount of time staring at a petite, blonde woman’s coffee cup teetering way too close to the edge of the table.
Sigh. It’s so hard to be gifted.