Color me over-extended

First off, I did indeed go to my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday, in case you wondered. Let it not be said that I am not a woman of my word. Normally, Nan at the scale would say something along the lines of, "You're not too far off; you're doing fine." On Saturday she busted out with, "You're up quite a bit." Well, see, I know because . . . I own a scale.

The meeting topic was highly relevant for me: emotional eating. For the past few days, I have been repeating the mantra from the meeting: "if hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer." Sometimes food tells me that it is the answer if I just ask the right question. Nonetheless, I recommitted myself to the program and so far this week has gone pretty well. I think part of my problem is that I am trying to do too much every day. By late afternoon, I am feeling pretty brittle and it doesn't take much to break me. Over-scheduled and over-extended, that's me.

On Monday nights, we have swim class. I am not one of those moms who puts her kid in every activity. She likes swim class and I feel like it's one of those skills that's as necessary as it is fun. Getting her to swim class on time involves packing a bag with her swimsuit and towel, putting dinner on the table, and then getting out the door with her by 6:05 p.m. It's harder than it sounds, in as much as there is laundry to be put away and dogs and cats needing to be fed (well, just one cat - but she is moderately Rubenesque).

On Tuesdays, I go to step aerobics. Sure, I could live without going to aerobics and indeed I do take the instructor's name in vain the whole time I am there, but when I leave, I am so physically exhausted that whatever I was fretting about on the way to class simply dissipates into thin air. Getting there on time is, again, a challenge. The class starts at 5:25 and is 20 minutes away. I try to get dinner on the table before I go but some weeks it's more like my husband and daughter are catching a sandwich in mid-air as I am flying down the driveway.

On Wednesdays, I take Gretchen to obedience class. She has progressed into the Novice class, which starts at 5:00. If you thought I had a hard time getting out the door for aerobics, you should see me on Wednesdays. My husband gets home at 4:40, the exact time I have to leave for class. The class is, again, an activity that is not required, but I am determined to compete in Obedience and possibly Agility and Gretchen is coming along whether she likes it or not. I should add that she's actually doing quite well in class. She no longer needs a training collar and has started going off-leash work.

On Thursday nights, P works his second job. I try to get caught up with housework on Thursdays so that I don't have to do it on the weekend. Nothing ruins a Saturday like a load of laundry. I don't get as much done as I'd like because, as you may have guessed, my daughter requires a high degree of interaction. She is not the do-a-puzzle-quietly-in-her-room type.

Things do settle down by Friday night and even though weekends are also heavily scheduled, they are less stressful. I think I just need to make sure I stop signing us up for obedience classes and swim classes in the same session. I'm also anxious for school to end, because right now our schedules are tied to that. I have to get to work by 7 in order to pick the kid up at 3:30. And getting to work at 7 is a fantastic feat, let me tell you - particularly since my friends at the highway department decided to rip apart the bridge that I need to cross in order to get to work.

Anyway, enough with the whining. Yes, I am insanely busy (and I didn't even mention the mucho hours I spend every week as a rescue volunteer), but please know that I did take time out to enjoy a tea party with my curly girly yesterday. We drank tea and spoke very formally about how pajama day at school had been such a meaningful experience for her, as well as covering other sundry topics.

"Excuse me, Miss Hostess," I said, "My tea cup has teeth marks on it, kinda like a dog has been chewing on it."

She frowned, irritated that I'd bring up such an unseemly topic during such a refined affair.

"I notice you have a contusion on your forehead. How did you get that?" I asked.

A raised her hand to her head. "I falled at the back door," she replied.

"Now, this is just my personal opinion, but I really think you should consider falling down much less frequently." I took another sip of my air tea.

She nodded and raised her chin. "I will consider it."