Motherhood boot camp.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm so awful at blogging now. I always put it down on my to do list. "Blog", it says, but it remains un-scratched on the paper at the end of the night. Earlier this week a woman I was talking to on Craigslist (we tried to sell our elliptical, but turns out the resistance motor is burnt out, nice) described this period of motherhood as "boot camp". That's exactly what this is. Anybody want to know how my day usually goes? Oh good...

5:30 am: Christopher's alarm goes off. Either the baby has woken up just minutes before, or is about to wake up minutes after. Not to mention, he was probably awake just an hour ago. And an hour before that. Anyways, so around 5:00ish... Feed the baby. And then burp the baby, at least 5 times, thanks to an overactive letdown. Clean up regurgitated breast milk, and then maybe feed the baby some more. Try to go back to sleep, by sleeping with the baby in my arms so that I can easily replace his bink. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't.

7:00 am: Feed the baby again. See above paragraph.

8:00 am: I've been listening to Eleanore over the monitor for awhile now. Shes wide awake in her room, thumping her leg against her bed repeatedly, waiting for me to come get her. So when I get a chance to set down the baby, I quickly get dressed, rush into her room and get her dressed (by setting the baby down, hes now in my bedroom screaming as loudly as his lungs will let him, which also causes Eleanore to cry), and then hurry her back into my room where I try over and over again to satisfy the baby with a binky, yet again. I do a quick room check, is there anything that needs to come downstairs with me? Phone? Spare outfit? Diaper cream? I scoop up the baby in my left arm, toss Eleanore's blankie over my right shoulder, and then with my right hand I lead Elie down the stairs. And if I'm lucky, like this morning, she'll stop and throw a fit at the top of the stairs, demanding to take down her too-heavy-to-carry princess storybook.

8:30 am: By now I've usually made it downstairs without kill myself, or anyone else. I'm clumsy. Its a wonder I haven't fallen yet. Eleanore sits down for some Sesame Street, and I hand her a sippy of milk. Sometimes Christopher has one already prepared for me in the fridge, sometimes he doesn't. Little things like that really help me keep my sanity. Prepared sippys that is. Next I try to put Charlie down in his swing that sits up on the counter in the kitchen. Most of the time he'll be almost-asleep and let me put him down, as long as the swing is in full motion and the sounds are on loudly. I don't know how many times I've run back in to restart the sounds. Hes quick to let me know when his music id done playing. The other times I hold him with my left arm, while doing the following: Heat water for a single cup of coffee. Chug large glass of water. Start cooking hot brown rice cereal for mine and Eleanore's breakfast. Sounds easy enough right? Well its not.

9:00 am: By now I've run back and forth from stirring the cereal and binking the baby, to the computer about 10 times. This is how I check my morning convos, emails, update twitter, etc. The cereal is finally done, and Eleanore is telling me over and over again about how Curious George is coming on next. Yes, Eleanore, I know. But I pretend not to know, and always reply with "oh really?!", as if I give a crap. Usually my patience has already been tested by this point, at least once, normally twice, by a crying baby that decided he didn't want to be in his swing after all, and me wanting to drink my one cup of coffee in peace. I take a deep breath, remind myself that I'm a stay at home mom and don't have the luxury of a vacation style breakfast, and go back to taking care of business. Now its time for me to try and eat my breakfast, and finish up the 5 Internet tasks that I shouldn't have started in the first place.

9:15 am: "I don't want any more. I don't want any more Mommy. Mommy I'm done, and I don't want anymore". Whats that, is someone talking? Oh, right, the kids. Crap. Charlie has been snoozing away to his aquatic swing music that I restarted 7 times, and Eleanore has been eating and making a mess in silence. My cereal sits cold and barely touched next to the computer, as I've completely forgotten about it... again. I get Eleanore down from the table, put her dirty bowl in the sink, and then chase the cat off the table, who has taken it upon herself to clean up Eleanore's mess. I tell myself that I'll clean that up in a minute, and of course, forget. So by the time I get around to it, god knows when, its crusted on and nearly impossible to scrape off.

9:30 am: Really, is the baby actually sleeping? Oh thank goodness. OK, while I can, I need to rush to get a load of laundry done, empty the dishwasher, fill it up again, clean the counters, go to the bathroom, lose my mind...

10:00 am: Eleanore is thirsty, and hungry. I give her a sippy of juice and tell her that she needs to wait a little while before we have a snack. Usually the juice distracts her from throwing a fit at the lack of snack. Shes not actually hungry, shes just bored. I remind her of all of her wonderful toys that she has to play with, and either she thinks "oh, yes, my play kitchen sounds fun!", or she thinks "I hate my Mommy and I'm going to let her know by throwing a very loud and exhausting tantrum right here and right now".

11:00 am: Where did the last hour go? Charlie wakes up to eat. Or, just to pretend like hes hungry, and really tricking me into holding him for the next hour while I try to feed him. But if he really is hungry, he sucks me dry, and I try to down at least 2 glasses of water the next available minute I have to do so. I have to drink as much as I can when I remember, otherwise I won't ever drink any. I drink probably 12 glasses a day. Never by sipping. Always by obnoxious gulping.

12:00 am: Christopher comes home from lunch. I'm still cleaning up from breakfast. Heck, sometimes I'm still eating breakfast.

1:00 pm: This used to be Eleanore's nap time, but recently shes decided that she no longer needs naps, and would much rather make me crazy. Charlie is eating again by the way, and probably has been for half an hour. This meal will probably last forever, as he'll fall asleep within a few minutes, I'll try to set him down, and then he'll wake up and be hungry again. We'll probably dance around the cycle for an hour or longer. Oh, and toss some more puke and poop into the mix. But those two things go without saying. All the time, always.

2:00 pm: Oh crap, I started a load of laundry hours ago huh? Better switch that. And clean up the dishes from lunch. And change Eleanore's diaper that I can't believe hasn't soaked through her clothes. I wish she'd tell me when shes got a dirty diaper. I then remind her how important it is that she tell Mommy and Daddy when shes gone to the bathroom, and day dream about how wonderful it will be when shes potty trained. She throws a fit most likely, not wanting to have her 5 lb diaper changed. I threaten with time out, put on my mean Mommy face, and usually the job gets done.

3:00 pm: Feeding the baby. Again. Still. Maybe he never even left the breast actually? I can't remember. By now Eleanore is past tired, and I'm waiting for a burst of energy to kick in, so that she'll stop throwing fits over nothing and everything all at once. The living room looks like a tornado has swept through it. I've forgotten about the laundry again. I've downed a few more glasses of water, pretending it was vodka. I've given snacks and sippys out like door prizes at a crappy company holiday party. I'm rubbing my head because of Eleanore's asking me "What story do you want Mommy?" over, and over, and over, and over again. I'm covered in baby spit up. Good thing I brought down that extra outfit for him. Its in the dirty clothes along with 2 other outfits that hes worn today. Also, I haven't worn a shirt in hours. Why bother when I'm constantly feeding? I hope nobody comes to the door. And if they do, I better know where my shirt is. Sometimes I forget shirts exist entirely.

4:00 pm: I'm officially crazy. I haven't had a minute to myself all day. I've changed diapers galore. I've fed gallons of milk to a 12 pound person. I have a headache. I'm on auto pilot, wishing I would have gone to bed 4 hours earlier. Not that it would have made a difference, because 3 of that would have been spent awake feeding the baby anyways.

5:00 pm: Christopher has come home sometime in the last hour, and I'm at the gym. I pumped milk before I left, so that he could feed Charlie with a bottle, which will come back to bite me in the ass next feeding when he gets mad that he actually has to work for his milk this time around. I hate bottles. Its like taking 2 steps back. So here I am at the gym, able to take a breath without being interrupted. Sweating out the stress from the day. Watching 10 different channels without sound. Having occasional adult conversation with my workout partner (hi Autumn!). Finding any excuse not to go home.

6:30 pm: I'm myself again. My brain is back to functioning at a mature level. My tone of voice has gone from bitter old lady, to happy preschool teacher. I miss my kids. I walk through the door to my house, recharged and ready to finish off the night with nothing but love and snuggles. I'm happy to drink pretend tea. I'm glad to feed the baby (seriously, does he ever stop eating?). Maybe I should start working out in the mornings?? I'd seriously have to go at 4am. And that sounds horrible.

7:00 pm: Christopher is putting Eleanore to bed. Charlie is in my arms/lap/over my shoulder. The rest of the night is smooth sailing. I tell myself I want to be asleep by 9:00.

9:00 pm: I'm not asleep. I'm either on the Internet, watching TV, or feeding the baby.

10:00 pm: In bed, but, feeding the baby.

11:00 pm: Feeding the baby.

Midnight: Feeding. The. Baby.

1:00 am: ...and feeding the baby.

2:00 am: Maybe I was asleep those last couple of feedings. I'm usually asleep right now, but, constantly waking up to give Christopher a good shove and holler something about a baby.

3:00 am: Are you there sleep, its me Tia?
4:00 am: Maybe I should start working out in the mornings.


Jennifer Juniper February 20, 2009 at 8:13 AM  

Oh I remember those days! You've heard it a million times...but it really does fly by. What I wouldn't give to hold one of my boys for a bottle now. I never thought I'd say that when I was in the thick of it. You are doing great!

Ilena February 20, 2009 at 8:36 AM  

find the humor, be sure to laugh & take lots of pictures. cherish the moments. I've got a 10 month old that is a super fast crawler and a 3 year old I need to wrestle back into clothing. It does go fast. precious babes. Looking forward to a full night sleep though, one day!

DJ February 20, 2009 at 8:38 AM  

Honestly, I don't know how mothers with more than one child do it! When my son was a baby, it seemed like he was nursing 24 hrs a day. Now he's in constant motion 24hrs a day. Still no sleep for

Start To Finish Supplies February 20, 2009 at 8:40 AM  

I am exhausted just from reading about your day! Wow! That is worse than even my busiest days at work!

Oh Mandie! February 21, 2009 at 8:05 AM  

aww Tia, it gets easier - I promise!

Sanity is overrated anyways!

Shell Mitchell February 24, 2009 at 10:55 AM  

Oh, how I remember those baby days!! It does get easier as they get older. Keeping your sense of humor is key:)

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