Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Typical Day

6:30 - My alarm goes off. I hit snooze.

6:35 - I wake up (sorta) and read scriptures for as long as I can keep my eyes open.*

6:50 - I try to get a few more minutes of sleep in.

7:00 - Ace wakes up, here follows a flurry of diaper changing, panty put on-ing, and usually at least one bed that needs to be changed. My kids sleep for 13 hours, I'd like to see you go that long without leaking through your diaper/Pull-Up!

7:05 - Miss E asks to watch Sleeping Beauty, if she can have milk, if she can eat Cheerios dry in a bowl while watching Sleeping Beauty, where we are going today, if she can wear all ten of her Halloween rings to the store, and can she have her milk in a princess sippy cup. This intense level of communication continues unabated all day.

7:15 - Ace attacks my back in his signature "Hug Mama From Behind While She's Crouching." The first few back hugs really caught me off guard!

8:30 - Kids have eaten and are settled down with Dinosaur Train or Super Why or Insert Your Favorite PBS Show Here. (Recently though it's been All Sleeping Beauty, All the Time.) I hate soggy cereal, so I just don't even try to eat until the kids are done.

9:00 - I think about getting dressed. Decide to do the crossword instead.

9:30 - If it's sunny, I go on a long walk. I have a route, 2.75 miles. It takes me right past the movie store and bank, so it's multitasking.

If it's not sunny, I make up an errand or go to the library. I say make up an errand because the kids get rawther bored if we stay home all day. And yes, Miss E wears all ten of her Halloween rings (skulls & bats, thanks dollar store!) to the grocery store. Ace brings a small jar of PowerBait. I cannot explain his attachment to small jars of PowerBait, but he really truly loves them.

11:00 - Wish I had gotten dressed earlier, and therefore out of the house earlier, and therefore wasn't still out when Ace is STARVING for lunch because oh my gosh the boy cannot handle discomfort. Even if he is watching you make food, he will fuss for it.

11:15 - Arrive home and start lunch.

11:17 - Realize Ace left his PowerBait in the special car-shaped shopping cart. Realize that Dh is not going to be thrilled that I left his $5 jar of stinky fish bait at the store.

12:00 - Ace goes down for his nap.

12:15 - Miss E dawdles her way through naptime routine.

Blissful, blissful coinciding naptimes.

2:00 - Ace wakes up. Discover that Miss E pooped in her Pull-Up and therefore did not nap at all, but rather played so quietly I just thought she was asleep. (I've told her many times to just let me know when she poops, but I guess I shall tell her many times more.)

2:30 - Watch beaming as children play nicely together.

2:33 - Tell Miss E to stop choking Ace with the tape measure.

2:37 - Tell Miss E to stop stealing Ace's toys.

2:39 - Put Ace in time-out for hitting.

2:45 - Put Miss E in time-out for hitting.

2:50 - Take advantage of kids temporarily playing nicely again by reading novel.

3:00 - Watch kid videos on laptop with kids draped on me.

3:20 - Try to fix keyboard settings which Ace managed to change when I wasn't looking. How does he always randomly hit the shortcut keys??????????????????

4:00 - Start dinner prep.

5:00 - Eat dinner. Remain calm as Miss E tells me she doesn't like soup (it's chicken pot pie). Watch in wonder as Miss E actually eats dinner. Pretend I don't notice that Ace is carefully scooping his dinner into the cup holder on his tray and not eating a bit.

5:10 - Daddy gets home. Greet him at door with kiss. (That happens on the good days.)

5:20 - Get Ace ready for bed. Have I told you how much I love that my son goes to bed at 5:30?

5:31 - Inform Dh that overpriced PowerBait was sacrificed to the grocery store gods. Inexplicably, Dh does not find this amusing.

6:10 - Miss E has meltdown and I remember she missed her nap. Dh and I put her to bed twenty minutes early.

It was a good day.

*God had to pretty much hit me over the head with the whole "scripture reading" thing. I really need it to make it through the day successfully. I have to wake up and read before my kids wake up, otherwise it just doesn't happen. I have been such a happier, calmer person since I started doing this. It's amazing (and also a bit pathetic that it took me so long to start).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why I Like Being a Grown-Up

  • I can throw away the end pieces of bread loaves. My mom made us eat those, and I always seemed to get the end piece. ALWAYS.
  • I can pick out the gross rye pieces from Chex Mix and throw them away. (Obviously as a child I didn't get to WASTE enough.)
  • Driving a car.
  • Knowing I can do whatever the freak I want. Even if I don't. Just knowing, that if I want to, I can sell my house, withdraw all my money and go live in Baja Mexico.
Okay that's really I can think of right now. I can't really explain why throwing away end pieces of bread gives me such pleasure.

My husband feels right now, for several good reasons (graduate school, job he doesn't loooove, little free time) that being a grown-up is kind of lousy. But I am really digging it. Plus, I don't live at home. You've never lived in my parents' home, so you'll just have to believe me when I say that being independent of that place gives me another happy feeling.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

On Being an Oldest Child

I crave solitude. I need it to stay centered and sane. I like entertaining, but I can't do it constantly, or even that often, really. It hurts my head to always be surrounded by people. I have to just be. by. myself. for a while. And then I'm okay again. I think this comes from being the oldest of six children. There was always someone around. Growing up, my friend NY Jill*, who had just one brother, thought being in my house was zany. I thought it was tiring. Even now, with two little ones in a kinda small house, I can suddenly feel so closed in, so claustrophobic. I turn to my husband and say with urgency, "I need a break." Honestly, my break often consists of going to the library, finding a deserted corner and curling up with my current novel. I just need to be alone.

I am a perfectionist. I only pursue perfection in areas I think I can actually achieve perfection in, such as:
  • go kart racing
  • word usage
  • baking
  • fashionable ensembles
I do not pursue perfection in all areas of my life. When I decide to, I can be shockingly good at accepting disarray and imperfections. Such as:
  • untidy surface of my dresser (okay, disastrous would probably be a better adjective here)
  • unfinished craft projects
  • pie crust (I just buy it. Boo-yah.)
I am not a Type A person, unlike most eldest children. Controlling everything has never really been in my personality, though I had to be in charge a lot during my late childhood and teen years. When I went away to college, I just let go of trying to control everything. It was wonderfully liberating. When I returned home for the summer, I found that the next oldest child had stepped right up to that Type A plate and was busily bossing around children 3-6.

So naturally I married a Type A man. I calm him down. Or try. He spurs me to action, without which I might never leave the house on weekends.

I take parental attention for granted. Children 3 and 4 are constantly seeking that attention, or obsessively pretending like they don't need it anyway. Poor middle kids. I think they get the crappiest piece of the family pie.

My brother (#2) once fantasized that our parents had stopped at two kids. What a fabulous life we would have had, he mused. It's true we would have had nicer clothes. Much nicer clothes. But when my sister (#5) calls me to let me know that if I love her, I will buy a magazine for her high school fundraiser, or I leave completely random information on my brother's (#3) Facebo0k wall, knowing he will find it hilarious, I can't help but be glad for all those siblings.

But I could really use a break.

*NY Jill got married this summer! Shout out to the married lady!