Some of you are thinking that I’m crazy. This can’t possibly be what it’s like. However, there are some parents out there who are reading this and thinking “That’s how I feel every day!” Let me break it down in hopes of making the example more accessible. Watching the show is keeping track of general life—what’s going on in the world, how your extended family or friends or church is doing—that sort of thing. The music represents the various mental challenges that your kids throw at you during the day. It isn't constant, there are breaks, and sometimes they do things for which you already feel equipped. Sometimes they do things that are so foreign it messes up your whole day. The tennis balls represent the attention and physical effort you have to expend while watching kids. Finally, the reason you are doing this on a day when you have other things planned is two-fold: children slow down the progress of almost every other endeavor even—and sometimes especially—if it isn't directly about them; and parents, as much as we love and claim we are willing to sacrifice for our kids, often hold on to the idea that our life is still (selfishly) our own. This overtly causes frustration and subvertly may cause us to feel that our kids are getting in the way of us leading our own lives.
Now, the immediate area where I know this example breaks down is with the concept of the treats. The treats are meant to show how the love and adorableness of children can make the challenge of raising them worthwhile. A simple treat does not completely represent how profound that can be. It is really one of the main things I think keeps many parents sane. When you are in the trenches, you cling to it because you know it’s true, even when it doesn't feel true.