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Multi-tasking Isn’t for Teenagers

April 15, 2013

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I frequently read articles on things like getting organized, squeezing more time out your day, time management, and the like.  A common piece of advice (in all its variations) has to do with filling small snippets of time when you are waiting with simple tasks.

For example, when you’re waiting in the doctor’s office you might catch up on correspondence or write thank-you notes.  Depending on the doctor, you might be able to write to everyone you’ve ever known, or write that novel you’ve always wanted to write. 🙂

I recently discovered one of those “snippets” of wasted time in my own life, and in my own kitchen.

I have two coffee makers.  One is a regular coffee maker that I use to make a full pot when my husband is home or when I’m not the only person drinking coffee.  The other is my Keurig one-cup coffee maker.  I use this when Tim is out of town and I don’t need a whole pot.  Don’t get me wrong; I’ll drink the whole pot if it’s there.  We bought the Keurig partially in hopes it would help me cut back on my caffeine intake.

When I use the regular coffee maker I can program it the night before to be ready when I wake up. That’s handy.  Especially on mornings when I can barely pry my eyes open, let alone make coffee.

The Keurig, on the other hand, cannot be pre-programmed.  When I turn it on, I have to wait for it to heat up. Then I pop in a new K-cup and press the button to choose what size cup I’m brewing.  (Always big.)

This process seems like it takes forever when I’ve just crawled out of bed, but it really is just a few minutes.  However, in my groggy impatience for caffeine, I’ve busied myself while waiting and have discovered a time-saving nugget.  In the time it takes the Keurig to heat up, I can unload the top rack of the dishwasher.  Then, in the time it takes for a cup of coffee to brew, I can unload the bottom rack (or most of it).

That’s a major accomplishment for me given that it’s a pre-morning-coffee activity, and a chore no one likes, to boot.

I discovered something else that day.

Most mornings I wake up my two teenagers, Courtney and Christopher, on my way to the kitchen.  I’m probably not the most cheerful alarm before I’ve had my coffee; but hey, I figure if they want cheery they are plenty old enough to get themselves up in the mornings. Until they do, they’ll have to settle for their not-yet-caffeinated mother.

The morning I discovered the unload-the-dishwasher-in-the-time-it-takes-to-make-a-cup-of-coffee miracle was no different.  I flipped on lights and issued the “time-to-get-up” commands on my way toward caffeine.

As I made my way back down the hallway with my coffee to see if the kids were in fact rising to shine, I learned something about teenagers and multi-tasking.

In the same amount of time that it takes to make a cup of coffee/unload the dishwasher, teenagers can’t get out of bed.  In order to get out of bed they’d need to actually wake up and open their eyes, at least a little.

Apparently that is a little too much for a teenager to handle, at least in my house.  They can wake up, or they can open their eyes, but they can’t handle both. Not at the same time, anyway.

That explains the stumbling around on the way to the bathroom. They are either awake with their eyes not yet open; or their eyes are open, but they aren’t really awake.

It also explains why a teenager can keep repeating “I’m up,” but is still lying in bed with eyes sealed shut.

A sleeping teenager transitioning to a “fully awake” state of being can only handle so much brain stimulation.

My husband likes to help them transition with a glass of cold water. 🙂

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6 Comments
  1. Kensi Kempf permalink

    Funny that you posted about waking the children up. I was just remembering how you use to wake us up so calmly and in the kitchen would be a parfait or grapefruit with eggs and bacon. Lol

    • Haha, I’m so glad you have good waking up memories. I guess things have changed a little bit. Lol

  2. treymc44 permalink

    Ha ha, this is Hilarious I can picture them laying there until the third or fourth time of you coming back in to wakes them up! Lol can’t really say anything though, I’m like that most of the time. Lol

  3. Lol this post cracked me up…if your teens turn out witty, we’ll know who they got it from 🙂

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