Being a 39-year-old woman, I have honed the art of multi-tasking. Just yesterday I put lunch (if you can call boiling noodles to go with the leftover sauce Paul made –thanks Paul! –making lunch) on the stove, kept an eye on it, prepared my Godly Play lesson, and participated in a deep discussion at the same time without flinching. The pasta did not burn or boil over, I was ready for Godly Play, and I was fully engaged in the conversation.
I sometimes read a book or read blogs while we are watching a movie, particularly if I have seen it before. This used to drive Troy crazy, and he would pepper me with random pop quizzes, to see if I knew what was going on. I always did and eventually he stopped.
Troy, on the other hand, in the way of many males, cannot do more than one thing at once. Sometimes he’ll ask me a question, but remains intent on what he is doing. So I will answer said question, and get no response. Answer again, and he says “What?” Excuse me, but if YOU ask a question, shouldn’t you listen for the answer? He finally told me to just ignore the questions, because he is usually just verbalizing them to get them out there (he is an external processor). Oke doke!
I have to admit, sometimes my multi-tasking gets me in trouble, like when I flooded our apartment in Barcelona because I left the water running in the kitchen laundry tub. Oops!
As I write this, I am listening to an instrumental jazz album entitled +3 by Miles Davis. Listening to wordless music while typing is the closest I get to multi-tasking. At this point, our dog is either hanging out with Heather in our room while Heather talks on the phone or (equally probable) swallowing her third snot-filled tissue in 45 seconds. The point is: I don’t know what she’s up to because I do not have the capacity to do more than one or two things at once.
This drives Heather crazy when she needs to tell me something important. I’m sitting there typing and Heather says, “After you see Kelly this morning, could you visit the Vodaphone office and see if we can change the bank they bill us at?” I’m quiet while she’s speaking, so she figures I heard her. What she doesn’t know is that what I actually heard was, “Can you give the dog an enema today?”
Now, I learned a long time ago: “Don’t argue with Heather’s instructions, no matter how crazy they seem.” So, I just mutter “Uh huh” and go on with my day, hoping to delay the inevitable.
Later she asks, “So, did you visit the Vodaphone office?”
“You didn’t hear a word I said, did you?”
I smile guiltily and say, “Sorry. I’ll remember to do it tomorrow.” And then sigh in relief that she was not asking me to do that nasty thing with the dog after all.