Five minutes later, we're headed back into his room. I squint into the light on his bookcase and throw the hail mary: "You could climb into bed and read with your flashlight," I suggest. Miraculously he takes the pass and heads for the end zone. I have bought myself 15 minutes.
Flash forward. The boy is at school. I say to myself, foolishly, "This might be a good time to set up the router that has languished beside the desktop for weeks." Flash forward again. I have five minutes until I absolutely HAVE to be at the school door to get my son, and the tech support guy on the other end of the line is still speaking as though I have to check the manual to find the Start menu. God bless these people; after all, they spend 90% of their time with the people who just want it to work, dammit, and they must habitually drift into micro-step speak, even with their dogs: "Roll over, boy. Now click 'OK'."
Naptime, and I'm ready for one myself, but I waste five minutes on a cigarette (they always taste terrible when I'm sick) and end up still awake and alert enough to answer the phone. My boss. Another in a long string of multi-part projects with "short fuses" and "quick turnarounds," as he would put it. As it turns out, I have, according to the budget, 37 hours of work to do. By Thursday . . . morning. I yell and scream; to his credit, my boss takes it like a man, but he doesn't really back down on the deadline. Sure, I can give him half on Thursday and half on Friday. Of course, driving to work (67 miles, each way) on both days will eat away almost all of my non-childcare-related waking hours, so it ain't really a compromise. After I hang up, I stop myself from calling his boss to ask why it is that however much we fall behind in the delivery schedule comes out of my time in the end. Yep, that'd make me a prick. Officially.