As a mother of four children, at any given time there are a multitude of electronic units recharging themselves in my house.
Between BlackBerries, hand held gaming units, video cameras, digital cameras, toothbrushes, and the occasional ill-advised noisy toy, our outlets are jam packed with cords leading to devices we had no idea we needed before we acquired them. Sort of like children, I suppose.
But who can live without a BlackBerry? Not this Mom. And my dentist tells me I have to use an electric toothbrush. And my own common sense tells me for my own mental health and their social status the children need to have hand held gaming units.
And I really should be camera-ready to take photos of them doing things like school plays, getting awards, and picking their nose, lest they think I'm not paying attention while I'm on the last remaining battery bars of my BlackBerry.
But those are some of the things that are easy to recharge. Things like my own mental and physical energy are somewhat harder to energize. It's hard for me, for instance, to find the energy to play Hot Wheels when I've got a mountain of work to do, 27 phone calls to return (and the portable phone's battery is dead), a flashing light on my BlackBerry which begs me to respond and a fabulous chick lit book waiting to be read.
My mind just can't stay on the instructions for the Thunder Mountain Express Ramp I'm supposed to be building. Likewise when I sit down to do some homework with my younger kids at the end of a long day, I honestly have to use every resource available to pull up the patience and focus required to get through the eight times tables or quiz someone on the capital cities of each province and territory... which have changed since I was a child.
There are things that I have infinite energy for -- like spending time with girlfriends, the anticipation of a pedicure, reading a great book, catching up on Twitter, or simply gazing at a picture of Daniel Craig.
Conversely, there are many things that I just can never have enough energy for, like:
• Knowing the evolved state of any frigging Pokemon, its special powers, and whether I should like it or not.
• Transforming a Transformer, in front of person (child) you're not supposed to swear in front of.
• Freakin Moonsand. If you have had this substance in your house, and are still living with the aftermath that exists between your toes and your kitchen tile, you know what I mean.
• Cutting the sandwiches in the "right" way and putting them on the "right" plate or else they just don't taste the same.
• Scraping tomato sauce off of pizza for that very precious child down the block who always seems to be at your house on pizza night.
• Rewinding that Star Wars VCR tape to just the right spot for that very special battle. Or, in my husband's case, where Princess Leia is wearing the slave outfit. Never gets old, apparently.
While I don't have the time (or frankly and ironically, the energy) to find a way to automatically charge up for these activities, what I can do is avoid having to do them by simply stating that I'm busy recharging the camera for that next special child event. Or shopping for a new power cord.
Follow Kathy Buckworth on Twitter: www.twitter.com/KathyBuckworth