Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A day in the life of a mom with a teen, a tween, and a toddler

Zachariah awoke at 5:11 with a twinkle in his eye that said "I'm up, Mom!"  I snuggle up to him and nurse, hoping he will fall into a milk induced coma, but to no avail.  Not wanting to fight for the next hour to get him back asleep, I opt to get up, knowing that he will crash in a couple of hours and we'll take a mid-morning nap.

I stumble out of the bedroom with a skipping Zachariah, let the dogs out for a morning potty break, mash the start button on the coffeemaker, and turn on Z's favourite Veggie Tales in hopes that he will cuddle and watch the tele while I have my morning cup.  No such luck.  When I open the freezer to get ice for my water bottle, he spots the Blue Bell and starts stomping his feet and screaming.  I scream.  You, scream. Zachariah screams for ice cream!  I try to redirect with grapes, one of his favourite snacks, but he will not be distracted from a sweet, creamy treat by mere grapes.  I open the produce drawer, which is full of tomatoes from our CSA box and he dives in.  Whew!  I get him a cup of water, pour myself a mug full of steaming coffee, and collapse into the rocking chair with my Kindle, but the cantankerous toddler is not in a mood to let me wake up slowly.

Jonathan emerges from our bedroom and Z decides that now is a good time to throw another fit, this time demanding a fortune cookie sitting on the kitchen counter.  Deciding that this is a battle I am not ready to fight so early in the morning, I break open the cookie, retrieve the fortune and hand him half.  I can almost hear Jonathan thinking "He needs to go back to bed."  Wisely, after more than twelve years of living together, neither of us says much beyond "I love you" and "Have a good day."  Early morning conversations aside from those phrases are not likely to turn out well.

Once Jonathan walks out the door for work, Zachariah makes it clear that he wants to P L A Y!  We sit down on the kitchen floor and play with his Transformers pull-back Optmius Prime and I begin to emerge from my early morning stupor and enjoy myself.  Veggie Tales ends and Z asks me to start it again.  I'm house-sitting for a friend this week, and it has gotten a little lighter outside, so I tell Zachariah that we're going to go for a walk and let doggies out first.

On the way over, I see my neighbour taking his rubbish out and remember that it's trash day, so we will need to take care of that when we get home.  Once dogs have been let out, we walk back to our house and Zachariah helps me push the garbage can down to the curb.  We go back inside to collect the rest of our rubbish and Z drags the bag down to the can.  I lift him up and he throws it in.  Again, I realise how much I'm enjoying the little things in life.

When we finish our chores, I restart Veggie Tales and try again to have a cup of coffee.  This time, I've also gotten myself a Luna Bar to share with the boy.  He shares my breakfast with me, and dances around the room for a while.  It becomes evident that our mid-morning nap is soon to be forthcoming.  I grab diapers to throw in the wash because it's diaper laundry day and Jonathan is leaving later in the week, so I need to make sure all his clothes are ready to pack.  I have lots to wash today, but I'm ready to rest and diapers are the easiest laundry I do.  No separating, just toss it in.

8:15 blissful nap time.  Z and I snuggle up to nurse and this time, he does sleep.  I am thankful for the respite, as he didn't sleep well last night, and I feel like I'm coming down with a cold.

When we get up again around 10:00, Celestia is up.  I turn my computer on so it will be ready if I need it - I schedule appointments for a psychologist - and it gets stuck in a boot cycle.  It is a new box, and I have a feeling that Zachariah, a notorious button-pusher, has probably already located the power switch and wreaked his havoc on it.  I call Jonathan several times trying to get the problem sorted out and it finally gets up and running.  Somewhere in all this, Tatiana also graces us with her presence.

Zachariah is now gazing longingly out the back door at his wading pool.  I enlist Celestia's assistance in watching him while I go outside to wipe down the pool and fill it with fresh water, only to discover that the dogs have decided that they should explore this strange object in their yard, and torn holes in it.  Frustrated, I return to the house and again call Jonathan to vent about things not working the way they're supposed to, and being broken.  We've been talking about putting a little fish pond in the back yard since we moved in eight years ago, and I debate ordering a "fish pond" for Z to play in.  Upon contemplating the work that installing a pond will entail, I decide that a mere wading pool is not going to defeat me, and return to the backyard with scissors, duct tape, rubbing alcohol, microfibre towels and fierce determination.  The pool is a "slide and spray" with a little inflatable slide and dragon that sprays water out of its mouth.  The landing pad for the slide has been destroyed, so I cut into it with the scissors to make a patch for the part on the bottom of the pool that is also damaged.  After much cleaning, cutting and taping, I declare it repaired, and start it filling.

Upon returning to the house, I find Zachariah dancing at the back door in contemplation of a splash in his pool.  I bring all my tools back into the house, and tell Tatiana to take off Zs diaper and turn him loose.  I turn around just in time to see a dirty bum trotting across the yard to play.  Oops!  Potty break!

Bum cleaned, we turn Z back out into the yard to splash, get muddy, and play drums on the side of the pool with sticks.  While we're playing in the wading pool, Celestia has decided she will bake some peanut butter cookies for Daddy to take on his next trip.  I call Tatiana to take some pictures of her brother and I since I have a history of drowning phones, and would very likely drop it in the water if I tried to take them myself.

All played out, I bring Zachariah back into the house to get a dry diaper on and have some lunch.  As I'm washing my hands, I remember that the humidifier needs cleaned out, and figure that the girls will keep an eye on their brother for the minute it will take me to do that, since I had forgotten to shut my bedroom door and he has already run out.  No sooner did I get the lid unscrewed than I hear Tatiana shout "Zachariah!!!  MOM come quick!"  Judging by the laughter, I am more curious than worried as I make my way into the kitchen to see what had transpired.  Apparently, I had also forgotten to lock the back door, and Z has bolted outside and slipped in the mud.  He is not a happy camper.  Laughing, I grab the hose, spray him off and leave the muddy diaper on the porch to be rinsed out once Z is once again dried off.

Muddy boy and diaper taken care of, I look at the clock and decide that it's about time to get my friend's dogs inside to cool off.  Zachariah and I again take a walk and discover that one of the dogs had pooped in her crate overnight.  In my early-morning fog, I hadn't noticed.  We make the walk back home, and I tell the girls what has happened and ask them to watch their brother.  I return and clean the most monumental cow-paddy-sized poop I have ever seen come out of a dog.  She still refuses to go back to bed, probably because the crate now smells like what I had cleaned it with, so I send her back outside.  Her bedding has also gotten soiled, so I bring it home to wash.  Another load of laundry.

When I get home, Tatiana tells me that they have put my lunch in the microwave to stay warm.  I thank them and take the dog's bedding outside to spray off before I wash it.  I do some shuffling of laundry from washer to dryer and toss the now dripping bedding in to wash.

Lunch time!

Celestia is now baking the cookies, having mixed the dough and waited patiently for it to chill.  I wander to the coffeepot to pour myself another cup, and realise that after playing in the mud and cleaning up the poop of the century that I feel gross.  I turn to her and say so, and she tells me that I should go take a bath.  I take her up on that offer because I really do feel disgusting.

Laying back in the tub, I relax with my Kindle for the first time all day.  I reflect on the morning (and early afternoon) and feel the urge to blog about it.  Quickly, I discover that Blogger and Kindle do not play well together.  Bummer.  About this time, I hear Tatiana shouting at Zachariah.  Not good.  I wrap myself in a towel, open my door and call Z back.  Tatiana tells me that Z had been chasing Arynson in his crate, and Aryn was none too happy about it.  Looking at the clock, I decide that it is about nap time anyway, so I will try to get Zachariah to sleep.

Once again, Zachariah does not want to go to sleep.  A recurring theme in our day, apparently.  I try, but quickly realise that it's just not going to happen, so instead, I get dressed and go back out of the bedroom.

The rest of the afternoon flies by in a blur.  Celestia manages to get Zachariah down for a nap.  I take the now clean and sun-dried bedding back over to my friend's house and the dog finally goes back to bed.  I get another load of laundry washed.  And another one.  Jonathan comes home.  The dishwasher is filled, run, emptied, and loaded up again.  Five people generate a lot of dishes.  Supper is made and we all gather on the sofa to eat and watch a silly show together.  Zachariah climbs all over Jonathan and I as we try to eat, and gets cheese sauce everywhere.

I take Zachariah to our bedroom to begin his routine.  Bath.  Massage.  Brush teeth.  Read a book.  Nurse.  Again, he fights sleep.  I sit on the edge of the bed and bounce him, looking at his sweet little face as he stares at me and think about how quickly it passes.  I can hear my big girls in the front of the house listening to music.  Arguing with Daddy.  Weren't they babies yesterday?  Ultimately Jonathan comes in the bedroom to relieve me, and finally Zachariah gives in.

Now?  Now, I am going to pour myself a drink, curl up on the sofa next to my husband and enjoy my last night off of work before he leaves town.  It was such a busy day, in such a beautiful life.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

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