Monday, June 30, 2008

"Now that you're home all day, don't you get bored?"

Typical day:

7:10 a.m.: Boy wakes up. We greet the day with playtime and (most likely) the first of the day's "dirties." This production is usually quite voluminous and aromatic, and therefore very impressive.

7:35: We've now cycled from the activity mat to the Exer-saucer, where I am treated to, once again, the sounds that a cat, a dog, a cow and a duck make, plus their names in English and Spanish, as well as Baby Einstein's take on appropriate musical tunes for each animal, which include three classical pieces and, inexplicably, one bad rendition of "Old McDonald Had a Farm."

7:50: The Exer-saucer has now grown tiresome, so we move to a towel on the floor, where we play peek-a-boo, doodlebug (in which boy practices his rolling skills), and usually spit up a little (boy, not me). This starts the day's laundry pile, which will grow to remarkable proportions over the next 12 hours.

8:15: Boy begins to whine, signalling that he's tired and starting to think about a morning nap (yes, already). To buy some time, I employ the trustworthy swing, where he relaxes for 15 minutes while I run to the restroom if I'm lucky. (Hey, even mommies need to pee.)

8:45: Boy winds down for his nap while nursing. Since we have not yet sleep-trained our daytime naps, this means I'm lying down with him -- something I don't mind, since if I'm sleepy as well, it's the perfect chance to catch a nap myself.

10:00: Naptime's over! Recharged, boy signals his readiness to attack the day properly by vacillating between maniacal giggling because he's happy to be playing, and whining because he's already seen everything interesting in the house. I keep him occupied in a Pack-n-Play while I put on something presentable and make sure a comb's been dragged through my hair, which has air-dried from last night's shower and is therefore presenting a style I call "homeless chic."

10:20: We head out to one of our usual haunts to pass some time and give boy a chance to see something besides our living room. This means we're at Randall's, Super-Target or Panera Bread. I take the opportunity to pick up a few things for tonight's dinner, which only has a 50% chance of actually being cooked.

11:45: We're back home, and boy is usually protesting vociferously while I unload groceries from the car, since it's been two hours since he woke up and he's really ready for another nap. When reminded that mommy has not yet eaten anything herself and would love to inhale a bowl of cereal at least, boy responds with a screech that I can only interpret as a strong statement of apathy to this fact.

Noon: Hands and faces washed after our outing, boy and I lie down for another nap. Only this time I'm too keyed up, sweaty from running around, and mentally awake to sleep, so I surf the net on my iPhone or make to-do lists while boy snoozes. The to-do lists are usually overly optimistic representations of what I want to accomplish when boy awakens, but hey -- I'm nothing if not a positive thinker.

1:30: If boy has not been awakened before now by phone calls, UPS men, lawn services or the neighbor's dog, he's up now and ready to play again. Since he's still bored with what's in the living room, we move our operations upstairs to his nursery, where I have to do a lot of initial work to prove to him that no, it's not yet bedtime and there's no need to protest being put in his crib. See? See the monkey? See your mobile? Let's sing your ABCs -- again!! A, B, C, D, E, F, G, how-I-wish-you'd-let-me-pee ...

1:45: If it's a solid-food day (currently three times a week), we head back downstairs to the kitchen where rice cereal or fruit is prepared for consumption. Whether I get the temperature and consistency just right or not will dictate how much of this food I will be wearing at the end of our feeding session. Feeding boy is a two-handed job at this point, so there's not yet any hope of eating my own lunch yet.

2:15: Swabbed down from his lunch and temporarily sated, boy revisits his Exer-saucer while I grab a bite. Typical fare consists of Laughing Cow cheese and crackers, plus some goldfish and maybe a Reese's mini-peanut butter cup. And a swig out of a cold can of Caffeine-free Coke, which I am destined to never once finish. Phone calls are returned, e-mail checked, laundry folded, dishes put away from last-night's dishwasher-unload, and the husband called, as long as boy is playing happily. Which means I usually get one and a half items on the preceding list actually done.

2:50: Eye-rubbing commences, signalling the onset of nap #3. I have to decide whether I lie down with boy again or play bad-mommy and let him fall asleep in his swing. The state of the house usually makes this call for me.

4:00: Boy's up again and willing to play, though not nearly as cheerful as he was in the morning. We sing songs, practice our sign language and start dinner if he's willing to sit in one place for 10 minutes at a time. Which is rare. (We eat a LOT of Subway these days.)

5:30: Boy's starting to enter "night-mode", which means he's wondering when I'll get off my butt and start his bath and the rest of his bedtime routine. Daddy's on the way home, so we stall by walking down the street to check the mail.

6:10: Dad's home! Boy perks up to play for a few minutes. While dad blows bubbles on boy's tummy to the tune of delighted shrieks, I clear out the kitchen sink to fit boy's bathtub into it.

6:30: The excitement over seeing Dad is wearing off in the face of boy's sleepiness, so we start our bath. Once bathtime's over, we read a book ("Ten Little Ladybugs" by Melanie Gerth, which presents the opportunity to count in English, Vietnamese and Farsi, plus name animal names in Farsi as well), sing two prayers, and then it's another chance to nurse and relax for bedtime.

7:10: In the crib for the night (boy, not me). Current mode is to cry for 30 minutes, then fall asleep. While boy sleeps (and before the first feeding), I take the opportunity to shower, eat, talk to my husband, return phone calls, fold more laundry, sort mail, make the bed and check e-mail.

10:30: Husband's in bed and I'm still online, drinking in quiet time. I know I should go to sleep, but a silent house has its own siren call to this mommy.

11:20: Boy awakens for first feeding. He's back asleep without a peep by 11:40.

1 a.m.: I finally turn in.

2:15: Boy awakens, but it's not yet time to eat, so he settles back down in 10 minutes. I, who have sat up in bed to watch him on our video monitor, try to do the same.

3:15: Boy awakens and is fed and changed. We're both back in respective beds by 3:40. He might squawk again before morning, but he settles once more within 10 minutes (while I too try to re-enter a sleep "mode" for another couple hours).

6 a.m.: Dad leaves for work, and brings boy down to me for morning snuggle time and another hour of sleep before we do it all over again.

It's not all fun, but it's mostly fun, and it's not easy, but it's SO worth it.

1 comment:

Munchiki's Mom said...

well said... i'll try and do an account for our day as well! these days are much more demanding than a 12 hour work day!