Multi-tasking — up to a point

I’ve never been the best proofreader in the world, but I suspect you all have noticed a higher than average number of mistakes than I usually make.  It’s the problem of a very specific type of multi-tasking I’m doing:  childcare while typing.

Since my kids are older, camp costs are high, and my paying work load fairly low (just for now, I hope), I made the decision to keep the kids at home for the summer rather than shipping them off to camp.  Since they are older, I don’t need to supervise them every minute and we are making fairly good headway with this summer’s capitalism experiment (although I’ve discovered that my son is a more ardent capitalist than my daughter).

The problem is (a) the well-meant interruptions and (b) the background noise.  Right now, for example, my daughter is singing aimlessly in the background as she folds her laundry and packs for our imminent vacation.  I really can’t take her to task, because she’s doing nothing wrong, but her audible presence nevertheless eats away at a corner of my brain.

Most of my days are like this now:  the kids are being good, but their mere presence in the house distracts me, and does so in a way a colleague working in my space never would.  In an office, I’m able to tune out all but the most extreme interruptions.  At home, though, since they were newborns, my brain has learned to track the children — to be aware of them — and I can’t seem to turn that off at will.  And so I make silly little mistakes that are irksome, although (thank goodness) not harmful.

Tomorrow we leave for a week and a half vacation, where the kids will get all of my attention — whether they or I like it or not.  It should be fun and I plan on having intermittent computer access.  In addition — and this is something for all of you to look forward to — DQ will do more blogging.  I can’t help but notice that, whenever he posts, he galvanizes all of you intellectually, which makes for some very exciting and stimulating conversations.

Because I don’t know whether I’ll have access to a computer on the Fourth, let me take a minute now to wish all of you a very happy Fourth of July.  It’s a holiday well worth celebrating.