Slice of Life 30: Two hour window

It is virtually impossible to do anything when you’re “on vacation” and have three little ones at home. Despite the years of experience that have taught me this lesson—when was the last time my time was truly mine, I wonder, longingly—I always go into spring break looking forward to all the things I can “get done.”  Who was I kidding?

Clearly, myself.  

After a harried morning in which I played pretend between loads of still unfinished laundry, picked up my 7-year-old from soccer camp, and tortured myself by taking all three of them out to lunch in a public restaurant, we arrived home shortly after 1 p.m. My oldest ran into the garage to take some practice swings off his batting tee, while the two others begrudgingly walked upstairs after I told them—well, mostly my 4-year-old—to take a nap. My 4-year-old is a monster if he goes without a nap, and after two napless days, it hasn’t been pretty.

I can usually cajole him into a nap by letting him snuggle up next to me in bed.  I was distracted for about 10 minutes or so trying to clean a few things up downstairs, and so by the time I went to find him for his nap, I was sure he was hiding from me.

But when I went upstairs, this is what I saw instead:

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My 4-year-old fast asleep with his big brother on his Lightning McQueen sheets. And with that, all the frustrations and impatience I felt earlier in the day melted away.

I ended up with about a two-hour window of time for myself. My oldest, without his younger brothers to annoy him (or to annoy), played with his toys and then practiced piano, a miracle by itself. It felt like Christmas.

So what did I do? I graded papers.

Ah, spring break.

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slice of life

This post is part of the “Slice of Life” series, organized by the teachers at Two Writing Teachers, whose goal is to give teachers a place to write and reflect. This March, more than 250 teachers have committed to daily writing. If you’d like to read more “slices” (from other teachers and even some students), visit

3 thoughts on “Slice of Life 30: Two hour window

  1. Loved the pictures of the boys. I also finally learned a few years back to grade papers before break or after but never during. Otherwise, any respite is overshadowed by this albatross. Don’t know if you can manage it in the future, but something to think about.


    • Yes, it is quite the albatross. I generally try to not to have too much grading to do over breaks, but the last few weeks have just gotten away from me and I couldn’t help it. I appreciate the advice.



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