Two hours every day

Every day one or the other kid wakes up between 5:45 and 6:15 am, and whatever parent that got to sleep in the morning before gets up to... well, not necessarily to take care of them, especially in the case of the four-year-old Eee, but more to be adjacent and make sure they don't injure themselves. The other, lucky parent gets to sleep in until 7:15 on weekdays or whenever they actually wake up on the weekends. If Add (almost two) wakes up first I try to just sit on the couch with her and read books together for as long as possible; if we put the TV on (besides the fact that I'm trying to not just plop her in front of the TV all of the time, because sadly that happens too much for my comfort during the day while I'm working) that tends to wake her sister up. Eventually they're both up and we begin the morning dance of toast, yogurt, Dora the Explorer or Peppa Pig or whatever, maybe a bath to both clean and distract them. When it's time for the other parent to wake the first one brings them a cup of coffee and usually both kids run screeching in as well. Then we're all up and everything starts really moving.

The day ends at about 8 pm - dinner is at 6:15 or so, Add gets into the bath at 6:45, then the parents trade off as one puts her to bed at around 7:05 and Eee gets into the tub. Eee doesn't like going to bed and is also painfully clever at trying to come up with reasons NOT to go to bed but she is generally all set at around 8. Then we usually collapse into our bed in exhaustion. At some point we have to get up and get the apartment back in order, which takes about 45 minutes if we divide and conquer. Let's say the bedtime hygeine routine takes about 15 minutes all told. So between the kids going to bed and us going to bed (hopefully, if we're actually good) at 11 we have two hours to ourselves.

Every night I kind of have to think, well, how will I spend my hours? I could very easily just mess around reading twitter or what have you; I can try out some Pervert Linux Shit (two hours is not a lot of time for someone who doesn't actually know anything to get Spotify running in the CLI); I can knit, if I have a project going, which also means I can listen to audiobooks or podcasts. A few weeks back I agreed to write 100 postcards for a city council candidate for my area, which I'm very happy to do but a) it turns out writing anything 100 times is pretty hard, and b) I can't do anything else while writing cards. But it's so easy to just let the time slip away and go to bed feeling dissatisfied.

This is also something that is Wrong With Me, specifically - I should just let myself dick around, because I need to rest. I need to let my mind be selfish for a little while. But it's very difficult to do, because, well. The two hours are what I have. I have two hours.