Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Typical Day

A year ago Ginger over at Ramble Ramble, wrote this post about her typical day. At the time, she invited us all to play along and share a typical day in our lives. And, I felt like I couldn't do it because our days varied so much from one to another. I knew if I had to get Charlotte off to daycare so I could work that things would run on more of a schedule. I also told myself that maybe when she was older it would be easier to get her on a routine.

Well, Ginger has invited us, a year later, to share a typical day in our lives once again. And, while I do not have the routine I thought I would have by now, I suppose I will give it a go anyway:

Between 6 and 7:30 I generally wake up to use the bathroom. Now that we are trying to have a baby again I need to turn on my Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor at this time. During certain days of the month I turn it on and it tells me what day of my cycle I'm on, then it turns off. Other days I have to insert a test stick into it so it can measure how "fertile" I am that day. It's a pain in the ass. I fumble with the test stick, a Dixie cup, snapping the stick into its place and then waiting the five minutes for the monitor to read it, all while trying to not let myself wake up too much so I can go back to sleep for a bit.

"But, wait!" you say. "You have a two-year-old, and you can go back to sleep after getting up at 7 A.M. to pee in a cup?" Well, yes. Lately Charlotte has been waking up around 9 or 9:30. She goes to bed at 8, so this is a pretty sweet deal. And I know you're jealous, but shut the hell up, and let me enjoy this! It will only last a week or so, and then I'll be back to lying down with her in my bed waiting for her to fall asleep so that I can have the pleasure of her staring down at me at some godawful hour the next morning saying, "Mommy? You wanna go downstairs with me? Yes? Let's go!"

Lately when I do hear her calling for me, I've just fallen back asleep from the whole monitor debacle so I'm a little groggy. I walk into her room to see her standing in her crib holding all of her stuffed animal "fwiends," and she is ready to PLAY. She will immediately hand off one of her bunnies and begin giving me directions on how to hold him, what he should say, if he should be crying (He usually should be.) I'll try to play along for a few minutes before suggesting we go downstairs. She'll agree, and if she's even a little bit tired she will request a "moobie" which is nice because it gives me time to wake up. If she's rested, she'll run straight to a box of toys I was hiding in her closet because I didn't like them or I thought she had outgrown them, and will sit down and get to work. She will ask me to join her, but I will need to change her diaper first. Then I will suggest breakfast.

God, this is not interesting at all. Look, here's the deal. Everything that needs to be done around here is just one more thing that gets in the way of Charlotte's ability to "pway." If she had it her way we would make the bunnies hop and bounce and say "Beeeeeee" (Did you know that bunnies say "Beeeeee?") from the second we woke up until, well, forever. Because who needs sleep, right? She would like for me and Chris to sit on the floor with her all day playing with her princesses or Spiderman, reading her books, and taking the occasional break to run in circles around the couch. Every diaper change, every teeth-brushing, every outfit change, meal, and especially every outing outside the house is just really cramping her style, okay? So, let's just play all day until Mommy's mind is complete mush.

Oh, and the latest development is her asking for me to tell her stories round the clock. It started with a sweet morning on the couch. I sat against the arm of the couch; she sat in my lap leaned against me, her wild curls tickling my nose, and she asked me to tell her a story. A "Pumby Bumby" story, to be precise. Pumby Bumby is the new "Pumpsy," a nonsense word that has somehow been anthropomorphized into a character whose adventures I sometimes chronicle on the couch or during a long car ride. This particular morning, Pumby Bumby had some pretty wild shenanigans, involving playing basketball with bears, napping on clouds, and fighting dragons. Charlotte enjoyed the story so much, apparently, she has decided that me telling her stories should be happening all day. Most times she requests a princess story, so I can just tell her the story of Ariel or Jasmine without having to use my imagination. But, boy does that get tedious. Of course, most of the time, I do it. Because if there's a person who could say no to that little grinning face saying "Mommy,can you tell me a story?" well, I probably wouldn't want to meet that person.

So, we spend the morning doing all of the above, intermittently pausing to do one of the many aforementioned distasteful tasks, all of which result in my trying really hard to keep my temper as Charlotte STALLS HER ASS OFF. Seriously, if she ever did anything the first time I asked, I could die happy. Instead it's a bunch of "Charlotte please come lie down so I can change your diaper. Please come now. Charlotte! Do you want me to come get you? Well, then come here." And god forbid I do have to grab her to get her to do my bidding. Then it's ten minutes of consoling her. Honestly, I don't know how I get anything done.

Oh, that's right! I DON'T.

At some point during the day I will remember that I was supposed to call my grandma. Or, I will walk into the bathroom and see the smudges all over the mirror from when Chris let Charlotte play on the bathroom counter, and she smeared water all over the place. Or, I'll get a little bing on my phone reminding me to pay a bill. And, all of those realizations will go out of my head a second later as I'm pouring yet another cup of milk for Charlotte or trying to soak up some time with my husband while the kid naps or maybe just plays by herself for a minute.

And, there will also be the time of day where I will make the decision to leave the house to write, or stay home and clean, or go to the fitness center for a half-hour on the treadmill, or just catch up on Glee with Chris. And if I choose not to go write, I will feel guilty all day. And then I will vow to write after Charlotte is in bed for the night and Chris is at work, but most times my brain will be too tired, and I will just watch a rerun of Roseanne and go to bed. I will feel guilty about that, too. And, though I will never stop trying to make writing a part of my daily routine, I will try to be kind to myself when it doesn't happen and remind myself that this is the time I carved out in my life to be home with my daughter.

It's dizzying and exhausting and all-consuming right now. But it won't always be like this. And, I will miss the sweetness of her voice as she asks me again and again to play with her or tell her a story. I will miss the way her laugh sounds right now, even though I am sure I will never stop loving her laugh. This is our time. Before school and friends and teachers and boys. I will miss these days of no order and routine.

Though, someday maybe "our" time will involve getting together for margaritas, and that would be pretty nice, too. I probably won't even have to tell her a princess story.


  1. This is so my day. Replace princesses with trains and add in what R needs/wants and there is zip that gets accomplished around here. I am trying to be okay with that ... The guilt about what didn't get done nags at me every night. I am trying to let go of some of the "should dos" and be okay with our day to day.

  2. Thanks, Cheryl. It's nice to know I'm not alone. Not that I really thought I was, but it's helpful to have evidence of that, especially when I seem to encounter lots of people who seems to be "doing it all." Though, I'm sure that's just my perception.

    I keep trying to come to terms with how little I seem to accomplish, and sometimes I even think I have, but clearly I have not, as evidenced by the fact that I write this same, damn blog post again and again. LOL

  3. It's so push-pull, isn't it. I know that feeling well...I remember when I went back to work when my 5 y/o was 1 and I was waiting at the bus stop and looking across the street at the park thinking "I wish I wasn't going to work so I could go to the park with my kid" but of course if I had been at home I would have been so totally bored with that park. Like I am now.

    And I see what you mean about having someone to play with Charlotte. She sounds intense, man.

  4. Ok, first, Clara's right. Charlotte does sound intense. In a totally different way than Jackson, but intense all the same. You're a rock star for dealing with her so fabulously.

    Second, I love this post. Love it. You're a great (funny!) writer and even little nothing ideas like my pedestrian "Typical Day" is made awesome in your hands. I'm so glad you played along!

  5. Clara- I think you're right that no matter what we're doing, we will always have moments when something else sounds better. And, yes. Intense is exactly what she is.

    Ginger- Thank you for your kind words. You have no idea how badly I needed to hear them today (or something less needy.)

  6. Oh my goodness so many of the things you are saying are exactly the same here! Especially the feeling guilty for not writing and wanting to stare vacantly at something instead. My toddler wants to play, play, play all the time too and GOD FORBID he play alone by himself even though he is fully capable of doing that... crazy times!

  7. J- Exactly! When I see Charlotte actually playing by herself for a minute I will RUN to empty the dishwasher (check Twitter) because I know it isn't going to last long. :)

  8. Our days sound more or less identical. Things get done around here despite the toddler, not because of some magical schedule.

    And man o man do I feel you about the writing guilt. It just never, ever goes away.