Today: An Overview



How Today Was SUPPOSED to Go

6:30: Boys wake up, happy and smiling

8:00: Loud One wakes up (surely she will sleep late because she’s been up until 9:30ish the past two nights)

Side note: Some of my oldest and dearest friends were visiting this past weekend and relentlessly mocked me for my kids’ early bedtimes. It’s true, my kids are usually asleep between 6:30 and 7:00pm, while their kids fall into the 9-10 pm range. Within our group, we decided it’s a working parent vs. stay-at-home differential. They actually want to see their kids after work. Imagine that.

My habits were created when the Loud One was just a baby and she finally started sleeping on a schedule. As a first-time, stay-at-home mom, who was struggling a little bit with loneliness and exhaustion, I would try to rush through the day a bit by putting her down for naps as soon as she showed the first sign of being tired. (Remember the book About a Boy by Nick Hornby and the subsequent Hugh Grant movie? He talked about breaking down the day into “units” … the more units an activity took, the better? It was a little like that. Walk to Washington Square Park… four units. Starbucks? Two units. Tummy time? One unit. And so on. And so on.)

This usually meant that instead of squeezing in a third nap, I would just put her down for the night at 6:00pm. I was DONE by then. I needed a break that would last longer than it took to wash bottles and do a load of laundry. Little did I know, I was setting up a pattern that would last all throughout my kids’ childhood years. Sure, I sometimes always curse the early wake-ups, but I love having hours of peace and quiet at night. You know, to watch crap on TV.

7:30-8:30: Do the whole morning routine for camp – eat breakfast; get everyone dressed; pack extra clothes, bathing suits and a million towels; sunscreen; make lunches/snacks – with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts.

8:40: Bring LO and the Nibbit to swim camp. In the car, discuss how I will see them both before pick-up because today is Observation Day. Confirm that I will be there for both of them. Goodbye my dears! Love you!

9:00: Bring HD to his camp. Goodbye my baby! Love you!

9:05-9:25: Rush back to observe Nibbit at swim camp. Marvel at the progress he’s made in only three short weeks. Look at him not drown!

9:45-10:45: Take a spin class. Dominate spin class.

10:45-11:30: Go home: shower, respond pleasantly to various emails and check several To Dos off of my list… the perfect picture of efficiency!

11:45-12:15: Observe LO at swim camp. Be amazed at her technique. Wow, what a belly flop dive!

12:30-3:00: Everybody’s home for lunch and quiet play. Write a genius blog post that will surely flow out effortlessly.

3:00: Meet friends at the beach for fun, dinner & ice cream… the perfect ending to the perfect summer day!


How Today Went, In Reality

5:40: The Nibbit wakes, needs help wiping his ass

6:00: HD dude wakes up. Crying. He wants Amanda. And Lightning McQueen. In that order.

7:30: LO wakes up (not bad, but she’ll be struggling by 5pm for sure).

Everybody’s cranky. Everybody wants something different for breakfast; everyone wants something we do not have in the house. “I want a muffin! Can I have Frosted Flakes? I do want a smoothie but not THAT kind.”

The Loud One wants to know why she wasn’t allowed to sleep at Aunt Lori’s house…  again. I tell her because, for better or worse, we’re her family and she has to come home once a while. She grimaces and says something to the effect of, “Well, I like it better with them.” I take the high road and ignore her instead of saying something like, “That’s so weird… I like it better with them, too!”

Miraculously, in between the whining, complaining and crying, the backpacks get packed. (Thanks to no one but ME, I might add.)

8:40: Bring LO and the Nibbit to camp. Bye guys! [If they could slam the minivan’s door, they would.]

9:00: Bring HD to camp. Bye HD! “I want ‘Manda to pick me up!”

9:05: Now. At this point, instead of rushing straight back to watch the Nibbit as I’m supposed to do, I just leisurely drive to spin class thinking, “Wow, I have a lot of extra time… I think I’ll stare at Facebook for the next 25 minutes before going in.” YUP, I totally flat-out FORGOT to go to Observation Day.

9:45-10:45: Take spin class. Now some might say that I dominated that spin class but those would be people who weren’t there. And don’t know what a spin class is. And also, they’re blind. What I did could best be described as gasped my way through it and rejoiced when it was over. Thank God that room is dark.

10:45-11:30: Go to bagel shop and grocery store to buy supplies for our beach outing. Also buy an enormous chocolate chip muffin, because well, I did that spin class and earned it.

(Didn’t shower. Didn’t respond to emails. Didn’t cross anything off To Do list. Was not picture of efficiency.)

11:45-12:15: I get home. I unpack the groceries. I check Facebook again because, you know, someone may have posted a really cute picture of their kid in the past hour and I do not want to be last to check that out. You know what I do NOT do? Observe LO at swim camp.


At about 12:15, something in my brain clicks that I A) am not where I am supposed to be, B) have really screwed up this whole morning, and C) am probably going to pay for it.

(FYI, Amanda did pick HD up at noon… at least I got one thing right.)

12:15: Race to the YMCA only to be told that I JUST missed them. Remind myself that it’s probably better that I missed both because if I had remembered one and not the other, that would just be asking for trouble. And meltdowns. And accusations of extreme favoritism.

12:30: The Nibbit comes out, crying because he’s hit his head on the brick wall. And also because, “Why didn’t you watch me??? You said you would watch me and YOU DID NOT WATCH ME!!”

12:35: The Loud One comes out pouting, “I couldn’t even focus on swimming, because I just kept looking and looking and looking for you.”

12:40: I apologize profusely and try to offer up something better than “I forgot” without completely lying, which is hard because I just forgot. “I lost track of time,” doesn’t mean anything to them and they are pissed off.

12:45-3:00: We’re home. Everybody’s cranky. I’m wondering if the beach outing is a good idea. All they want to do is play Rats on Jet Skis on the iPads. I let them because I feel guilty and because I’m trying to conserve their energy for the beach.

3:00-3:30: With a lot of moaning and groaning, we manage to get out the door with everyone bathing-suited and sunblocked (again). With the promise of bagels for dinner AND ice cream at the beach, everyone perks up. We pack the trunk with what looks like a week’s worth of stuff and we’re off.

Now, it’s a bit anticlimactic to end this by saying that we had a great, non-drama-filled, time at the beach but it’s true. Swimming, snail-digging, habitat-for-snails-building, bagels for dinner and ice cream = successful outing.

I don’t know why I’m surprised… I just got finished telling you last week that ICE CREAM FIXES EVERYTHING.

So that was today.

Happy 5th of July.

Hope your holiday weekend is full of fun and sparklers and parades and fireworks and ice cream. (But not because you need it, if you know what I mean.)

This is the picture I took at Observation Day at swim camp. Last week. When I remembered to go.

This is the picture I took at Observation Day at swim camp. Last week. When I remembered to go.


One response »

  1. so many things to comment on. I’ll start with I’m so glad when I hear other first time (or third time) stay at home moms say they struggled with loneliness and exhaustion. And any way you need to get through that is ok in my book. Can’t stand all the observation days myself. Don’t they know we observe our children all the time and actually need those few moments to recharge or get something done. Last, I hate spin class. Barely limp through every time and will totally recommend my instructor turn the lights down. Great idea. Really last–I believe not only ice cream but the beach fixes anything.

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