How to tell I'm on deadline: Question: Mom, can I have cookies for dinner?
Answer: You can have whatever you can reach all by yourself.
Question: Mom, can I feed the dog cookies too?
Answer: The dog can have whatever you can reach too.
Question: Mom, I--
Answer: Anything. Anything that involves you not saying "mom" again for fifteen more minutes, you can have. Just please SHHH unless there's blood and guts, and lots of it.
Question, whispered very quietly: Mom-- oops, sorry, Jill? The toilet's overflowing. I know you said not to bother you unless there was blood and guts flowing, but what about poop flowing down the hallway? Does that count?