I am tired. ALL. THE. TIME. At first, I thought I was just being lazy. Granted, I also have a very easygoing child who sleeps through the night just about every night, and when he does wake up, I just sing to him a little and dance in a circle, put him down, and he’s out again. So what fills up my day? I’m glad you asked. Because here it is:
0730: My alarm goes off. I like to get up a little bit before Jonathan so I can shake off the cobwebs before chasing him around all day. I check my e-mail, check Facebook really quick, get his sippy cup of milk ready, turn on the TV, and open the shades. I want to note that I do not always get up at 0730. Lately, my alarm goes off and interrupts really good dreams, so I end up drifting off again for another 15 minutes or so, and then I fully wake up and panic because I think I’ve slept until 1000 and Jonathan’s been screaming for me, but I somehow slept through it. Most mornings start off with that panicky feeling, so not the best way to wake up.
0800-0815: I go and get Jonathan out of bed. He’s usually already awake, but I like to give the terrorist time to poop before I go and get him. Of course, this is in vain because he likes a clean canvas, but he’s happy, so I don’t rush to get him. I get to his room, and happily say, “Good morning, baby!” with a huge smile. Then starts a game called “keep away.” I go to grab him; he flops down on the mattress and scoots to the other side of his crib. He stands up. I go to pick him up. He sits down and laughs at me maniacally. This usually lasts for five minutes before I’m able to get a firm hold on him, and pull him out of his crib. I put him on the floor to change his diaper and change him into his clothes for the day, and that’s when the kicking starts. Diaper changes are now an Olympic event. I take off his diaper, and he immediately grabs for his crotch. Since this one usually isn’t a poopy diaper, I resign myself to the fact that he’s a boy, and he’s going to grab hold of anything hanging loose within his reach. I manage to get the diaper off, and then he grabs for that, sticking his hand flat in the middle of the diaper where all of his nighttime urine is hanging out and bulging out of the diaper. Of course. So I grab a wipe to wipe his hands down even though I’m going to have to wash them anyway, and the kicking starts again. This is hilarious to him, so he laughs maniacally. I can’t help it, so I laugh, too. I finally get his clothes and diaper on him, and as I’m folding up the diaper to throw it away, he runs down the hallway into either his bathroom or our bathroom to start pulling things out of the cabinet underneath the sink. I run after him, and go to pick him up. He flops down on the floor. This happens for another five minutes before I’m able to get positive control, and off we go downstairs.
0830: We sit on the couch, and watch Disney, Jr. while Jonathan starts in on his milk. He sits quietly just watching TV and drinking his milk for about five minutes. On days that I have errands to run, this is the time frame that I try to get them done, but when I don’t have any errands to run, he’s going again. He stands on the couch, his toes digging into my thigh, to spy on all the neighbors. There’s not much to see. The kids are usually already in school, so it’s just a bunch of the soldiers going to work after PT. I put him on the floor so he can start playing. He proceeds to drop his sippy cup, which is supposed to be spillproof, but he throws it with such force that it knocks the valve loose, and now there’s a puddle of milk on the floor. I clean it up, and put his sippy cup back on the table. If I’m lucky, this only happens once during this waking period. Jonathan goes to his green tub o’ stuffed animals, and, one by one, throws every stuffed animal out so he can sit in the tub.
Now he’s bored with that, so he gets out of the tub, and goes to his bucket of shape blocks, takes the lid off, and violently shakes it until there are blocks all over the room, and under all the couches. But wait! His Baby Einstein turtle catches his eye! So he brings it to me, so I can turn it on. Another noisy toy catches his eye! He brings that to me, so I can turn that on, too! My ears are assaulted with the sounds of five different toys, but I grew up with a Korean mom, and have an extraordinary talent to block out white noise, so that’s what I do while watching the Hot Dog Dance for what feels like the millionth time since giving birth. This happens until it’s time for him to eat with me repeating, “Drink your milk, baby,” over and over until it’s all gone.
1015-1020: Hallelujah, it’s time to eat! I ask Jonathan, “Are you hungry?” and he claps his hand over his open mouth. I pick him up (with no trouble this time), and put him in his high chair. I give him some Fruit and Veggie bites, and he proceeds to shovel as many into his mouth as he can like I have never fed him in his short life. In the meantime, I make him some oatmeal, and dig out a fruit cup. He’s done with his bites, and is now whining because I’m apparently not moving fast enough, and God forbid if I try to make myself something to eat at the same time. I feed him, which generally goes pretty well because he likes food. I take him out of his high chair to go read him one of his naptime books. I grab the book, and sit on the couch with him to read the book, and it’s time to get active again. Since he didn’t see anything interesting before, it’s now time to spy on the neighbors again, but nothing’s really happening. But wait! There is a dead fly on the windowsill, and he must have it! Mommy’s mean, and doesn’t let him pick up the dead fly since he’s just going to eat it. This entire time, I’m reading the book, and trying to put it in his line of sight. I’m done with the book, so now he’s interested in it. He grabs the book, and bends it backwards as far as it will go before I get worried he’s going to rip the poor book apart, so I take it from him, and take him upstairs to change his diaper and get him down for his nap. I go through another wrestling match to change his diaper, another chase around the entire upstairs to pick him up, and we say ni-ni to all of his Mickey Mouse decals on his bedroom walls. “Ni-ni, Goofy. Ni-ni, Pluto. Ni-ni, little Mickey. Quack-quack, Donald. Hot Dog, big Mickey!” to which he proceeds to bounce up and down in my arms while “singing” the Hot Dog Dance, which sounds like a series of grunts. I say, “Okay, baby, it’s time to take a nap. I love you, and I’ll see you when you wake up. Sleep good.” I set him in his crib, and leave the room. He’s usually asleep within 15 minutes.
1100-1245: We both nap. There is a reason I am napping at this time, and you’ll know why later.
1245: My alarm goes off, and, once again, I’m in the middle of a good dream, so I drift in and out of consciousness for another 10 minutes before finally dragging myself out of bed. I get Jonathan’s milk ready, put away his first naptime book, and tidy up a little bit so he can commence mass destruction when he wakes up.
1300: The same diaper wrestling happens, only this time, he’s got a poopy diaper. He grabs his crotch, and now there’s poop all over his hands as well as his legs because he’s been kicking. Awesome. I clean him up, throw away the diaper, clean him with soap, and down we go to repeat the morning’s shenanigans. Only this time, he’ll start crying at least once because I leave the room to go to the bathroom or get myself a snack because I still haven’t eaten.
1500ish: My husband is out of town, so on the weekdays, this is usually the time he’s ready to jump on Skype to see Jonathan. I put Jonathan in his high chair, and let Paul “watch” him while I make his lunch. I love that he interacts with Paul during these Skype sessions. He plays peek-a-boo, shows Paul how big he is and how strong he is, and laughs when Paul does silly things. I feed him his lunch, usually a half sandwich and pureed vegetables because who has time to make this stuff on their own when their husband isn’t around. We end the Skype session around 1545-1550, and it’s time for another book and nap, so off we go.
1600-1730: At this point we are 50/50 on whether or not he actually sleeps during this naptime because he thinks the beginning of it is a great time to poop. If he doesn’t, he falls asleep within 15 minutes, but if he does, it’s an hour and a half of jumping in his crib, tossing himself around his crib, chewing on the side rails of his crib because mean Mommy put up a teething rail cover on the rail that is going to be used again after we convert this crib. When this happens, I finally get tired of hearing him in there talking to himself with no sign of tiredness at around 1730, so I go get him. In the meantime, this is the time I have to get phone calls made, lists made, clean the house, balance the checkbook, pay bills, get dinner prep ready, that kind of thing. Jonathan will not tolerate me leaving his playroom to clean the house while he is awake, and I know he wouldn’t tolerate me wearing him because he wants to run, and he’d just try to grab everything off of every shelf we walked by anyway. Of course, I don’t have more than 2 hours to get all this done, so pretty much nothing gets done before it’s time to get him up again. If I’m lucky, I can prep some dinner before he wakes up, but I’m usually not that lucky. All I can say is thank God for frozen Bertolli meals and the meals I made and froze for him before Paul left for TDY because otherwise I don’t know what he’d be eating.
1800: Assuming he slept the whole two hours, this is the time I get him up for another round of shenanigans. We usually call my parents so they can talk to Jonathan during this time and when I don’t have anything to cook. Thankfully, he is usually okay with me leaving the room for a while during this time period, so I can cook if I need to, under the condition that I regularly play peek-a-boo with him around the corner. If I’m lucky, we have a home-cooked meal ready to go by 1930, and then it’s chow time.
1930: It’s time for dinner, so we sit down, and I alternate feeding Jonathan and feeding myself. He’s at his silliest during this time, and also starting to get tired, so he plays peek-a-boo, and then tries to grab my hair or my ear or anything else within reach. We finally finish dinner, and I head back into the playroom to clean up the mess. I get everything put away, turn off the TV, close the blinds, turn off the light, and get his bedtime books ready.
2000: It’s bathtime. He pulls everything out from underneath the sink and grabs trash out of the trash can while I start to run his bath. Thankfully, this doesn’t take too long because I like to undress him while the bath is running. Luckily, he gets to be Nakey Baby, so he doesn’t fight me with taking off his clothes. He runs down the hallway butt naked, but right into the bathroom because there are toys in that bathtub that he hasn’t seen since the night before, and he misses them. I wrestle with him to brush his teeth, and get him in the bathtub. I wash his hair, scrub him down, rinse him off, and then ahhhhh. 15 whole minutes to read while he’s playing in the tub. I read while he splashes merrily away, punctuated by commands like, “No, baby, don’t chew on the faucet,” and, “Don’t try to climb on the side of the tub, you’re going to fall and hurt yourself,” and then it’s time to get him out. This kid loves his bathtime. I drain all the water, and it’s like the morning revisted with trying to get him out of the tub, except now he’s slippery. I manage to get him out and dry him off, and take him in his room to lotion him up, put on a fresh diaper, and put on his pajamas, all while he’s kicking away. It’s a fight to brush his hair, which, if he’d stay still, would only take 5 seconds, but he’s fighting me tooth and nail because he wants to chew on his brush. I finish and put everything away, turn off his bedroom light, and we go downstairs to read his bedtime books. This is probably the most peaceful moment of the day. He sits quietly, turning the pages for me until we’re done. I take him upstairs to put him to bed, but now he thinks it’s a good time to play “flip me upside down,” so he repeatedly throws himself backwards in my arms so I’ll hold him upside down. We do this for a couple of minutes, say ni-ni to all his Mickey decals again, and I say, “Okay, baby, sweet dreams and sleep tight. I’ll see you in the morning. Good night, I love you,” and I walk out of the room. He plays by himself for about 15 minutes, and it’s off to dreamland he goes.
2100-0100: I come downstairs, do all the dishes, wipe down his high chair and tray, and once again get on Facebook to catch up because right now, it’s my only connection to the outside world. This takes me at least 45 minutes because I missed everything all day while I was chasing my terrorist around the house. Now I can maybe watch the TV shows I DVRed because I can’t watch them while he’s awake since most aren’t exactly appropriate for kids. And let’s be honest, I wouldn’t be able to hear them above all of his toys anyway. I look at the time, and it’s already 1 in the morning, and I think, “Oh, shit. I need to get to sleep.” I actually count the hours I get to sleep every night, and I’m averaging about 6 hours a night right now. Which is why I end up taking a nap almost every morning.
I’ll end this by saying that I can’t wait until Paul gets home. He cuts some time off of the daily routine, and I get to sleep in a little on the weekends, which I think is what heaven is like right now. So next time you hear someone say something idiotic like, “Oh, a stay at home mom just sits at home all day,” you go ahead and tell them to fuck right off. Because I do this day in and day out, and I am exhausted 90% of the time now. And that’s with a kid that sleeps through the night. Not all of us are that lucky!