I’ve recorded a day from our life a few times over the years, and it’s always a learning exercise for me. Inspired by SimpleMom’s recent Day in the Life series, I recorded my day from start to finish last Thursday.
6:44 – I am dreaming about Allie crying, and that leads all too quickly to being awake and aware that she really is crying. I hobble out to the kitchen, stiff and sore from back to back power walking workouts, make a bottle, and fetch her from the crib. We lie down in my bed, and I begin to drift back to sleep.
6:48 – I hear Grace burp. Seconds later, she says, Mom, I threw up in your bed. and throws up again. On Joe’s pillow. It’s going to be a long day. I hurry her to the bathroom and leave her there dry heaving while I strip the sheets, pillowcases, and mattress pad off my bed before the goo can soak through to the mattress.
6:56 – I start my first load of laundry. Grace was at a birthday party yesterday, so I text the other mothers (all my friends) to warn them about to watch out for puking.
7:04 – The mess is cleaned up. Grace claims to be feeling a lot better, having washed out her mouth and put on clean pajamas. I open a juice box of sour apple Pedialyte for her, and I mix up a box of Jello for later. Then I make breakfast for Allie and myself and turn on the Keurig machine for a cup of tea.
7:09 – Clean up the counter. In my haste, I forgot to put a cup under the Keurig machine, and my cup of tea has run all over the kitchen. I start over with a fresh K-cup and don’t forget the mug this time.
7:30 – Quick email, Twitter, Facebook check via my iPhone. I rarely use my laptop during the day. It’s just too tempting to be on for a minute or two, and my children run amok when I’m hidden behind to screen.
7:43 – I turn on a Barney movie to see if Allie will like it. Barney was Grace’s favorite tv character when she was Allie’s age. I start picking up the living room (a disaster zone), and I play with Allie on the floor. Grace is using my computer to play Fooz Kids. This makes me nervous given her fireworks less than an hour ago.
8:07 – I turn Barney off at Grace’s request. Since Allie isn’t paying attention to him, and he is annoying. I remember that there are new Max & Ruby episodes on the Tivo (a new season!), so I turn on The Bunny Who Cried Lobster. Allie wants to play with the Magna Doodle, so I help her with it.
8:32 – I manage Allie’s 3rd major temper tantrum of the morning, making me wonder if she’s also getting sick. I help Grace get markers and paper out so that she can draw.
8:56 – I’m holding Allie when Zeus, my large and temperamental cat, comes over and plops in my lap. I enjoy a rare moment of affection between them as she hugs and strokes him gently, and he tolerates it and purrs. Less than a minute later, I remove Squinkies from Allie’s mouth for the second time today. Sick or not, I implore Grace to put them away so that I don’t have to do the Heimlich maneuver later today.
9:00 – I take Grace’s temperature after a screaming fight with Allie. 100.7.
9:05 – Switch the laundry for load #2. Still picking up, I find a glue stick and return it to the school supplies in the dining room. Also find two lonely socks. Grace and Allie are screaming at each other. Play dolls with Grace for a few minutes.
9:14 – Grace gasps and says, Mom! I think I’m peeing in my undies! And it’s on the couch! Fearing the worst, I check her underpants. It is not pee, and it is on the couch. I clean my child, her clothes, and the couch. As I’m getting clean clothes from her bedroom, Grace starts screaming at her sister. I consider hiding in her bed. I get back downstairs with clean clothes in time to see Allie pouring her bottle out on the floor.
9:26 – I chase Allie up the stairs twice before deciding to erect the baby gate for the first time in at least a month. She’s testing me, looking over her shoulder and laughing when I tell her no. I turn on a third episode of Max & Ruby, forgoing my tv rules because Grace is sick. Max, Ruby, and their Grandma are riding the tube in London. What a riot. Get back to cleaning and find a check for $150 in some old mail. Score!
9:42 – Grace is upset and whining because the jello isn’t ready yet, so I move the gate and let her take a look at it. I offer her some crackers to fill her belly without upsetting it. While both girls are enjoying Ritz crackers, I think about the Steady Routine I read about yesterday in Steady Days. I need to do that.
9:54 – Read Your Big Backyard with both girls. We learn about pink iguanas, animal valentines, and walruses. While Grace and I talk about what animals we could make out of paper hearts, Allie bolts up the stairs again. I put the baby gate back up.
10:08 – More laundry. The laundry chute exploded when I opened it to get out a few things to wash with Grace’s pajamas, so I might as well wash it all. I drop the sheets and mattress pad on to the bed and put load #3 into the washer.
10:25 – Grace is hungry, but I don’t want a repeat of this morning’s vomiting, so I offer her mostly set up orange jello. She is hungry and happily accepts. Between Grace and Allie, they eat the whole package I made earlier, so I make another.
10:50 – This is the best 4 minutes of my day. Grace and Allie climb onto my lap, hugging each other. Grace giggles, It’s a family hug! over and over as Allie has one arm around my neck and one around her own neck, and we just cuddle. Too soon, though, Allie is done and pulls away with a bark. I read Bear Snores On to Grace, who is still hugging me, and Allie, who is sitting out of arm’s reach on the floor. After that, Grace pulls some books from the shelf and reads to us. Allie does the same.
11:10 – My belly is growling. I put lunch together: jello and toast with cherry preserves for my girls and BBQ chicken enchiladas for myself.
11:45 – I put Allie down for her nap on my bed (even though it still has no sheets and no mattress pad).
Once Allie’s asleep, Grace and I sit down at the dining room table to do school. Our school routine goes something like this now that we’ve started Calvert kindergarten:
- Say the Pledge of Allegiance
- Sing God Bless America
- Show & Tell
- Math – We worked on left and right
- Reading – We read The Lion & The Mouse.
- Handwriting – H and h
- Nursery Rhyme – We read Hickory Dickory Dock.
12:20 – Grace and I play Squinkies on the table. After a few minutes, I pay bills while she plays.
12:40 – Allie rolls out of bed onto the floor and wakes up. After 15 minutes of sleepy time tricks, she is more awake than asleep. While I’m trying to coax her back to sleep, I hear Grace run to the bathroom. A minute later, she yells Mom! I had that liquidy poop again! Can you come wipe my butt? Allie’s nap is over.
12:50 – Praise Jesus for falling out of bed and liquid poop. As I was carrying Allie downstairs, I hear the burp. I look down at her in my arms, we are both covered in orange jello vomit. If not for the liquid poop, that would be all over my bare mattress.
I take our clothes to the basement to wash, and I realize that I never turned the washer on for load #3. I drop the newly soiled clothes on top of my bedspread (not yet washed from the first episode of the day) and turn the washer on.
1:10 – I put on my third outfit of the day and Allie’s fourth. We find Grace reading in the living room. As I sit down next to her, I wonder if it would be wrong of me to ask Joe to call in sick tomorrow. I open my laptop so that Grace and I can investigate Vincent Van Gogh, the artist she studied yesterday at her art class. (We end up reading things that I can’t explain to my 4-year-old, like committing yourself to a mental institution and shooting yourself. Try to back pedal and skip parts of the biography.)
1:50 – Took a suction cup and a button out of Allie’s mouth. I have been smothered by children for the last 40 minutes, and I am about to go crazy. Once I get out from under them, both kids begin to empty drawers and shelves with reckless abandon. You can no longer tell that I picked up this morning. The girls begin to fight over a Barbie doll. This is my worst part of the entire day.
2:04 – Allie is whining, so I give her a bottle of Pedialyte. She takes a sip then tosses the whole thing over her shoulder. I go upstairs to empty it into a sippy cup instead. I also make a cup of tea for myself. While I’m waiting for the water to boil, I decide to wash the sinkful of dishes – lunch bowls and plates plus some bottles and cups.
In the time it takes for the dish pan to fill, Allie spreads the contents of the laundry basket from the sink through the dining room to the hallway. I spend the next 10 minutes picking up clothes, chasing Allie out of the trash can, and washing dishes.
Grace requests some of the melon jello I made earlier, so I use the rest of the hot water to make a new batch and spoon some of the melon into bowls for her and Allie.
2:25 – Allie falls down the six stairs from the kitchen to the living room. She’s not hurt, but quite scared, and she screams as if she’s been maimed. Just as I pick her up, Joe calls to see how Grace is feeling. He can’t hear me for the screaming, so I tell him I’ll call him back.
Once Allie is calm, I call Joe back and ask him to pick up more jello and come home at his earliest convenience. I turn the tv on, find a Little House on the Prairie episode on Tivo, and feed Allie her jello.
2:45 – Grace and I pretend to be Laura and baby Carrie while we watch the Ingalls and the Olsens camp out in tents. Allie finds a doll and cuddles her, sitting down in my lap. I notice that her outfit is wet, and I ask Grace to grab a diaper for me. I guess I forgot to change Allie’s diaper when she threw up after her abbreviated nap; every layer of her current outfit is soaked. It’s time for outfit number five.
3:05 – I realize that I need to watch diapers when Allie delivers the last one to me. I change the laundry from the washer to the dryer and put the clothes from earlier in the washer. I sit down in the living room to drink my tea and play with the girls. Allie is playing with Grace’s princess laptop (and broke it!), and Grace is coloring. This feels like my first moment of peace all day. I sit and breathe and watch tv.
3:15 – I can’t sit and breathe for long. I start opening old mail I found earlier. I find an important notice that overdue, so I call the sender and leave a message.
3:40 – Both kids are hungry again. With only jello in their tummies, they need to eat often. Grace asks for more jello, and Allie has some arrowroot cookies. Joe calls to ask what flavor of jello I want him to get. I ask for six different ones.
3:50 – A reminder alert goes off on my phone, but I wasn’t expecting anything. I look and see a meeting scheduled with my boss. What?! I didn’t know about a meeting! I scramble to get the computer out and break my fingernail down where it bleeds. I haven’t even checked my email all day.
4:07 – Joe finally walks through the door, and I turn Skype on to chat with my boss. Joe feeds Allie toast with jelly.
4:50 – Hung up with my boss and check my work email.
5:35 – After a quick pizza dinner with Joe, I get back to work. He feeds the girls cereal bars, bananas, and Pedialyte for dinner. Allie smears her cereal bar all over herself, so he has to bathe them afterwards. After the bath, the three of them watch The Brady Bunch and roughhouse in the living room. The girls must be feeling better.
Meanwhile, I sit on the couch with my lap desk, laptop, and cup of pomegranate tea.
7:00 – Joe takes Allie to bed while Grace watches a bedtime movie, Max & Ruby.
7:38 – Joe emerges from Allie’s room, does a few things in the kitchen, and then takes Grace to bed.
9:00 – I stop working to participate in the #Ashamed Twitter party and do my own stuff, write a blog post, check email, Facebook, and Pinterest.
10:55 – Joe and I talk about our frustrating days. I realize that I didn’t deposit my paycheck and go looking for it in a panic. Finally, I find it, make an online bank deposit, then pay bills online.
11:47 – I finally collapse into bed. I’m asleep before Joe turns off the light.
© 2012 – 2013, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.