Tag Archives: Glimpse at My Day

A Glimpse At My Day – Part III

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When, I sat down to finish the masterful trilogy about my day, I realized that Part I started at 6:30pm and took us through the night and Part II picked up the following morning and finished at 5:30pm, so I thought, “Huh, I guess I don’t really need a Part III.” And then I laughed. Out loud. HARD. One of those ironic laughs that really means, “Oh, that’s SO not funny because it’s so NOT TRUE.” (C’mon, you know the laugh I mean… it’s also the one I use when my daughter says, “Mommy, I’m ALWAYS going to tell you everything! Because you’ll always be my BEST FRIEND!”)

Anyway, I laughed like that because anyone who has kids, watches a TV shows with kids, has visited a house with kids, or lives next door to a house with kids, knows that the sixty minutes between 5:30 and 6:30 is usually jam-packed with enough activity to fill an entire blog, nevermind one post.

It’s the hour sometimes referred to as the “Witching Hour,” because as my good friend Wiki* just told me “The witching hour is the time of day when supernatural creatures such as witches and demons are thought to appear and be at their most powerful, and their black magic at its most effective.”

Hmmm, a few, quick, simple edits…

“The witching BITCHING hour is the time of day when … demons KIDS are thought to appear HANG ON MY EVERY LIMB and be at their most powerful LOUDEST, and their black magic WHINING & COMPLAINING at its most effective ANNOYING.”

Yes. That seems right.

In our house, the Bitching Hour can be summarized in two simple words: Wrestle. Baby. “Wrestle Baby” is a game – and by “game,” I mean “physically wild and violent activity” – that our two older kids started playing when the second one was old enough to hold his hands up to protect his eyes.

It begins with the oh-so-benign question, “May I be excused [from the dinner table]?” As soon as permission has been granted, someone screams, “WRESTLE BABY!” and to quote Max (or Maurice Sendak), “Let the wild rumpus begin!”

We had to decide early on how permissive we were going to be about Wrestle Baby and took a few things into consideration:

  1. It allows us to finish eating dinner if not in peace, at least without multiple kids in our laps or poop jokes.
  2. It gives them a chance to exert that last burst of energy before going to bed. (So they sleep soundly until, you know, a few hours later when they start waking up and asking for the iPah).
  3. It gives them a chance to practice the martial arts training that they haven’t yet received.
  4. It gives them a chance to learn how to use their words (as in, “STOOOOP PUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLING MY HAAAAIR!” or “YOU’RE STEPPING ON MY PRIIIIIIIIIIVVVVVVAATES!”)
  5. It teaches them that sometimes life isn’t fair, like when they say, “No fair, you can’t bite!” yet they already have teeth marks in their arm.
  6. It teaches them that even though there’s a cushion down, it doesn’t mean the fall won’t hurt. (That must be some sort of metaphor for life or something, right?)

Once we took all of that into considering, we decided Wrestle Baby is OK by us!

(Side note: we have stressed over and over again that Wrestle Baby, of which aggressive behavior and jumping on furniture are HUGE components, is a game that is ONLY played at home and never at school, on playdates or at Grandma’s house. That said, we apologize in advance if Wrestle Baby ever affects any of our friends, family members, kids’ classmates, teachers or strangers on the street. The little one is still learning that tackling people on the sidewalk is NOT okay.)

So, in case you’re thinking about implementing this activity at home, you should know the rules. There is actually only one. And it goes like this:

KIDS: YOU PLAY WRESTLE BABY AT YOUR OWN RISK. PARENTS WILL NOT LISTEN TO ANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT INJURIES OR INJUSTICES PERPETUATED ON YOU BY YOUR SIBLING(S).** NO SYMPATHY WILL BE OFFERED, NO PUNISHMENTS DOLED OUT, REGARDLESS OF THE CRIME. GET YOUR OWN DAMN ICE PACK.

See how this is a win-win for everybody involved? (Except MAYBE the kid who’s bleeding… but that doesn’t happen more than once a week.)

And THAT, my friends, is what gets us through the BITCHING HOUR.

OK, bye.

*Not to be confused with my friend, Siri. I asked her first, but she didn’t really help. She was all, “This might answer your question” and then sent me a link to the Anne Rice book, “The Witching Hour.” This is pretty impressive considering she’s a PHONE, but it wasn’t the definition of origin I was looking for.

**In the past six months, Wrestle Baby has become even more inclusive, in that it literally includes Wrestling the Baby. Surprisingly, G*** can hold his own pretty well. Maybe it’s because he weighs almost as much as the older ones. And uses his teeth. (See #5 above.)

         ***(A footnote to the footnote! Is that even a thing?) I’m still trying to come up with appropriate nicknames for my kids to use on this site. Suggestions welcome.

We see a LOT of this maneuver.

A Glimpse At My Day – Part II

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Where was I?  Exhausted at 8:00am. Right. So, I walk back inside after putting C on the bus. (FYI, she and I usually spend the ten minutes outside discussing one of two things: the annoying bumps in her socks or the awesomely dead worms on the driveway. Either way, it’s scintillating conversation. TRUST ME.)

So, I go back into the house, dump out my cold coffee and pour myself a hot cup. Then I smell poop. (Aaaand, The Dad checks out. Off to work, where it’s quiet. And poop-free. I’m green with envy. And nausea, from all the poop.)  Multiple diapers get changed. Sometimes outfits get changed if there’s leakage. (Oh what, too gross for you? Puh-lease.) Finally, boys are settled – pulling out every Matchbox car and Lego known to man for me to later step on – and I head back into the kitchen, dump out my second cup of cold coffee, pour myself a hot one and start clearing the breakfast mess. (By “clearing the breakfast mess,” of course I mean, “checking email/Facebook/Pinterest/Google Reader.”)

THEN. The highlight of my day arrives.

8:30am – The clouds part and heavenly rays shine down on my house as in walks… AMANDA. Amanda is our sitter, a.k.a my Savior. She is absolutely, without a doubt every single member of my family’s Favorite Person in the World. And a better mother to my children than I am. I WISH I were exaggerating. I’m not. Ask people that know us. If they’re one of my closest friends, they might lie, but you’ll be able to tell because their left eye will start twitching.

You know your babysitter wish list? Patient, energetic, easy-going, fun, enthusiastic, sporty, artistic, creative, imaginative… and oh yeah, REALLY GOOD at dealing with your kids’, um, unique eccentricities? Yeah, Amanda is all of those. Her only real flaw? She likes country music. Especially the pop crossover stuff. (Note: Nothing warms a Dad’s heart like hearing his 3-year old son sing Taylor Swift songs. While playing with his American Girl doll.) But given all of her other qualities, we decided we could overlook this imperfection. We’re super-kind like that.

NOW LISTEN CLOSELY. You can NOT have Amanda. People have tried to poach Amanda from me… and they have FAILED. And they may or may not have DISAPPEARED off of the face of this planet. I’m just saying, she’s MINE. (I mean, not in an “I own her” way because that’s been illegal for a while, just in a “I found her first and if you try to take her I’ll cut you” kind of way.)

OK, back to the schedule.

9:00am – 5:00pm – During these hours, each day is extremely different from the next. So I’m going to give you a random sampling of the types of things that I might do everyday. I thought about subdividing it into categories (kids activities, errands, appointments, house management stuff, school/volunteer duties), but then I decided that a stream of consciousness description of a typical day would be more effective.

Clear breakfast dishes, load dishwasher, and toss [third] full cup of cold coffee. Eat some granola bar. Think about working out. Nah. Clean up the toys that are all over the kitchen floor, bring to toy box. Spot truck with dead batteries, take it to kitchen to fix. Open the drawer to get screwdriver and remember that I really want to take apart D’s crib today. Go upstairs to do that and see overflowing laundry basket. Pause to deal with crying kid. Get ice pack. Get Band-Aid. Collect dirty laundry from every bedroom and bring it to laundry room. See that there’s still wet laundry is the washer that’s been there for two days. Set that to rinse. Again. Plan to come back later to continue laundry (THAT’LL happen). Help boys get ready to go out. Many, many minutes spent here on socks, shoes, begging, coats, snacks, hats, yelling, drinks, mittens and time-outs. Take G to “school” for an hour-and-a-half. Watch him dig through oatmeal while gossiping with other Moms. Back home. Pay special attention to other kid. Help him adorn his knight costume. Remind him that swords don’t get pointed at people, only the ground or sky. Laugh at the ridiculousness of that. Ask him if he wants to sit on the potty. Watch him laugh at the ridiculousness of that. Change a light bulb. Iron on a Daisy patch. Lunchtime. Eat whatever’s sitting in the fridge. Pick 18 Goldfish and three pieces of cheese and four apple slices off the floor and remind D that “poopy” and “diaper” are not appropriate meal time words. Eat some (hopefully clean) goldfish and apple slices. And M&Ms. And cake. And wine (kidding! Or am I?). Sit down at computer to read emails. See one from the school nurse that says there is a case of lice in the Kindergarten classroom. WOOHOO! Scratch head. Research online special lice-prevention remedies. Order them. Scratch head. While online, also research/order/schedule three kids’ birthday presents, a new hat for G because his head is too giant to fit in hand-me-downs, lawn care for the summer of 2012, handyman appointment to install our new microwave,* and a new cookbook called “3-Minute Dinners for People Who SERIOUSLY Can’t Cook!” (Actually, if this is real, someone please send it to me immediately). Scratch head. Call sister and convince her to meet you at Starbucks so she can check your scalp for lice. Back home. Start to pay bills, realize that we’ve been triple charged by the pediatrician’s office/Verizon/heating oil company. Call them. Please Hold. Please continue to hold. After 20 minutes, get no resolution because you have to speak to a different department/submit your request in writing/jump through fiery hoop.** Scream in frustration. Call husband to vent, don’t get enough sympathy from him so call sister. Think about working out. Nah. Ah! The crib! Take apart crib. It’s not coming apart so curse shoddy workmanship. (Shut up, I know that doesn’t make any sense). Carry it, piece-by-piece to the basement. Stub toe. Bang elbow. Bump head. Realize that things in the basement are moldy. Research “moldy basement” and then order a dehumidifier for the storage room. Have healthy debate with husband about why we need that $200 piece of equipment and why moldy baby stuff is not cute. Get D ready for doctor’s appointment. Assure him that shots only hurt for a second. Yes, he can have a lollipop. And ice cream. And a new toy. Whatever. Get to doctor’s office. Please wait. Please continue to wait. Get shots. Deal with FREAKING OUT child. Stop at pharmacy to pick up antibiotics for ear infection.*** Get home in time to meet C’s bus. Hear, “Look! That squished worm is still there! Is Amanda here? I ONLY want to play with Amanda. Is today a bath day? What’s for dinner? PLEASE can we have pasta? Or French fries?” Pick up the coats that are strewn all over the floor. Empty backpack of half-eaten apple and artwork. Bury artwork under garbage. Clean up kitchen. Check email. Deal with various annoying issues. Respond to various annoying people. Commit to various annoying things. Check calendar. Make plans. Confirm plans. Cancel plans. Start to think about dinner. Dread dealing with dinner.**** Run out to the store to buy something for dinner. Wish there was hot coffee left. Make some variety of protein/carb/veggie combo for dinner. Dole out yogurts because they won’t eat protein/carb/veggie combo. And sadly – very, very sadly – say goodbye to Amanda.

And that, my friends, is a typical afternoon. And it didn’t even include a visit to the ER!

As you could guess, dinner, post-dinner and bedtime is its own ball of chaos, so I’m going to save that treat for Part III. Edge of your seats, right? I know. This site is like the Bourne Identity of parenting blogs.

OK, bye.

“And my Daddy say stay away from Juliet….”

*If you’re wondering why I needed a handyman to install a microwave, I don’t blame you. But trust me, after I attempted to install it myself (buried deep in some cabinet, grounded with metal and wires) I really did need a handyman. Because I didn’t want to DIE.

**I’m sure I don’t have to tell many of you that dealing with issues related to customer service could be a full-time job alone. But don’t really jump through any fiery hoops.

***Doesn’t matter why you go to the pediatrician’s office, someone ALWAYS leaves with an ear infection. Sometimes it’s the kid going for the bruised wrist, sometimes it’s the kid going for the six-month check-up, sometimes it’s the sibling who’s along for the free stickers… but SOMEONE is always on an antibiotic by the end of the visit.

**** This does NOT change. Ever. This happens EVERY. DAMN. DAY.

PS. If you’re thinking that this blog is a little heavy on the poop talk, YOU’RE RIGHT. And you’re starting to get a small taste of what it’s like to live in my house. Charming, I know.

PPS. If you’re thinking that this blog is a little heavy on the typos, YOU’RE RIGHT AGAIN. I don’t have an editor. I do a one-time read through, spell-check and then I let it go, people. That’s just how breezy I am.

A Glimpse At My Day – Part I

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People often sometimes never ask me, “How do you spend your day?” But I’m sure they’re THINKING about asking me, so I’m going to share.

First of all, my day really starts with my night, so let’s backtrack.

6:30-7:00pm – All three kids (we’ll call them C, D & G today) are hopefully asleep. Yes, I know that’s early. Stuff it. If you lived in my house, you’d put my kids to bed at 6:30-7:00pm, too.

9:30pm-ish – One of them wakes up screaming. He/she doesn’t usually want or need anything other than to scream, make us pause “How I Met Your Mother” or “The Mentalist” (hellooooo Simon Baker) and tuck him/her back in. Basically, they do it just because they CAN.

Anyway, at the sound of first scream, the Dad and I both ignore it and hope it’ll go away. Then as the screaming increases in volume, we continue to ignore it a little longer, both hoping that the other person’s going to get up to deal with it. (I know soooo many of you are nodding your heads right now, saying “Yup, yup… us too.”)

Finally, we roshambo to see who has to actually exert energy. People, their rooms are sooooo far and we’ve only been sitting on the couch for like an hour at that point. No one wants to deal with the crying kid. (Love you kid!)

OK, so let’s say I lose and head upstairs. Often, the crying child is hysterical by the time I get there… speaking in tongues or one of those languages that makes the clicky sound. The Dad and I call this “Crazy Eyes.” As in, “Did he/she need something or was it just Crazy Eyes?” I can try to talk to that kid, but he/she is not interested in what I’m selling. They just need a physical push back down on that pillow, a pat on the back and a high-speed version of Twinkle, Twinkle. Fast, easy, and I’m out. (Simon, I’m coming!)

The Hours Between 11:00pm and 5:59am – Various children are seen and/or heard many times.

The baby cries. We just assume he’s teething and feed him droppers full of medicine while barely opening our eyes. I HOPE it’s baby Motrin, but he does sleep veeeery soundly from then on, so who knows?

We just moved D to a bed (sort of… don’t ask) so now he appears at my bedside a few times each night, which is AWESOME. He does that stealth thing where he tiptoes in and then whispers in my ear, “iPah?” Scares the bejeezus out of me every time. Then I have to walk him back to bed and repeat the whole tuck-in process. Would it be wrong to just leave the iPad on his nightstand? How wrong exactly?

C is MUCH better about staying in her bed now… she’s currently working on ten nights in a row in order to earn a pet frog. (Although my research has revealed that pet frogs eat live crickets, so THAT’S out. I’m going to have to convince her that a stuffed frog is just as cool. Isn’t it though? I mean, c’mon, we are talking about a FROG.) She still periodically has some Crazy Eyes episodes but mostly she knows to stay in her bed until she sees the 6 on her digital clock. This has taken YEARS to accomplish but she’s finally got it. True, we sometimes hear her cheering “C’mon 6! Let’s go 6!” but she waits.

6:01am – C climbs into our bed. Whines about the pillow not being right. (same pillow every day). Complains about it being cold (a toasty 68° every morning). Cries that her blanket is missing (it’s not) and then promptly aligns her body so closely to mine you’d think she was trying to climb back in. No joke – she and I occupy 1/8 of the bed and there’s four feet of space between her and the Dad. WTF?

Eventually, around 6:20, D wakes up… C hears him the second his eyes open, jumps out of our bed, steps on our heads in the process, runs to his room, slams the door (every. damn. day.) and they hang out and practice their spelling and fractions until the rest of us get up. At least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself they’re doing. They’re fairly quiet so I don’t care.

7:00-8:00am – This is the morning witching hour in our house. You didn’t know there was one of those did you? Yup, there is. And it sounds like this:

Do I have school today? I want cereal! Can I have waffles? I want waffles AND cereal… AND a bagel! Can I have juice? Can I have juice? Can I have juice? Will you play with me? I don’t want strawberries/bananas/blueberries/anything remotely healthy on my Plate ‘o’ Frozen Carb Products. AAAAHHHHHH! (That’s the baby imitating all the other yelling.) Actually, I’m NOT ready for you to change my diaper.* Can you stretch my underpants? WHY do I have to wear long-sleeves/socks/a coat/shoes that are not Crocs? AAAAHHHH! (Baby again.) Will you play with me? I DID brush my teeth! G is throwing his food on the floor! I spilled my juice! Can I have more juice? My clothes are wet! I have to change my clothes! Can I eat the food that G threw on the floor? Do I have to wear these long-sleeves/socks/shoes that are not Crocs ALL DAY? Do we have any plans today? Will you play with me? I’m ready!!!! AAAAAHHHHH! (That one was me.)

You get the point.

And to clarify, I know that our house isn’t the only one that sounds like this in the morning. BUT if there’s anyone out there that’s hearing, “Can you stretch my underpants?” several times every morning, CALL ME. We need to drink together. Heavily… and often.

Anyway, I’m tired now (both at this point in every day and right now this very second, just from writing this all out) so I’ll continue with the rest of the day another time. I’m sure you’re at the edge of your seat… “Does she ever get to change that poopy diaper?” The answer is Yes. Yes, I do. About four more times. Every day.

*Anyone else out there think that a kid who can say, in perfectly good, clear as day English “Actually, I’m NOT ready for you to change my diaper,” should actually NOT be wearing diapers? ME TOO. Please feel free to drop by ANYTIME and potty train my kid. More on potty training soon. Get psyched.

PS. I will be trying to include some photos in the future, but the Chaos that is Morning Time could not possibly be captured in one still frame so I didn’t bother today.