Sunday, November 04, 2007 2:16 PM

Because I asked.

Readers of yesterday's note will see that Saturday mornings are Pancake Days. This is how great the weekend is: Friday nights, I help get the kids ready for bed, and go to yoga. And Paul puts them to bed all by himself, and by the time I get home, all peaceful and relaxed, they're asleep. Know why Paul does this? Because I asked.

Saturday mornings I get to sleep in; the kids all get dressed without me. Paul herds them all downstairs, has them help set the table, and makes a double-batch of pancakes. When the smell begins to waft up the stairs to the bedroom, the kids run in to tell me breakfast is ready. Why does this happen? Because I asked.

Sunday nights are the sacred Art Night - once all the kids are in bed, Paul takes their monitors and I barricade myself in my studio (we've nicknamed it the Tower because it's the attic). Cries for water, a flashlight battery that needs to be changed, getting up for one last pee - not my problem. I get an evening of uninterrupted painting. And why has this been a tradition since Sophie was born? Because I asked.

Life is too short not to ask for the things you need. Nobody's a mind-reader. We've learned that with three kids 4 and under, and with free time at a minimum, we ask for the things we really need - time to paint. A little rest. A yoga class. And then we make them happen, together.

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