Monday, November 29, 2010

Answers for Tatiana: 12 Hours

The sweet Tatiana asked what a normal day is like around here, and I'm tempted to say: there is no normal, it's all WILD.  But since I don't think that's exactly what she had in mind, I'll expand.

A few times a week, we actually have to be ready early enough to make it to preschool on time (Heh -- on time?  Never.  What IS it with me?), but on Tuesday, glorious Tuesday, we almost never have plans.  It's our go-to at-home day.  Our pajamas = clothes day.  Our free-play day.  So here's what an average Tuesday looks like at This Heavenly House.

7:00 AM -- Mama falls out of bed, goaded by the knowledge that if she doesn't take a shower NOW, she probably won't get one. 

7:30 AM -- Both girls are awake by now, no goading required: they are filled with pure spunk, every morning.  Some mornings, their spunk is cheerier than others, but still -- they're ready for the day the second their eyes are open.  Sometimes before.

7:40 AM -- Breakfast time!  Lauren is waiting impatiently in her chair, banging a spoon on the table, demanding food, but Mia couldn't care less: she's sitting on the living room floor, entranced by PBS.  Mama and Mia barter and negotiate for a few minutes: No, you may not eat in the living room; Yes, you may have toast with honey; No, you may not use your tea set for breakfast.  Eventually, they're provided with food from our usual assortment (oatmeal, cereal, toast, waffles, fruit, yogurt...), while mama piddles around aimlessly.

8:00 AM -- The abandoned PBS is remembered, and Mia settles in for something unsatisfactory.  She doesn't like Sid the Science Kid or Dinosaur Train, but somehow, they manage to partially hold her attention.  She plays and begs for snacks with the sound of singing Dinosaurs or rapping Preschoolers in the background.  Lauren is twirling and singing around the house, leaving a trail of toys in her wake.  Mama is eating a quick breakfast in front of the computer while the girls entertain themselves.

9:00 AM -- When Sesame Street comes on, Mia gives up trying to watch.  Sesame Street is the straw that breaks her bored-back, and she turns off the TV.  She demands coloring pages.  Lauren uses the coffee table as a swimming pool, and swims -- naked. 

10:00 AM -- We are mostly dressed by now, probably for the third or fourth time.  Lauren will be in one of her dress-up costumes, and Mia will be in an old party dress of Mama's.  Pandora is playing an assortment of 'Ballerina' music, and there is much make-believe in progress.  Mama is cleaning one small corner of an otherwise messy house.  Once or twice a month, we might pack up and head to the library where Mama will close her eyes and cross her fingers and hold her breath in hopes that a) her children will behave nicely, or b) there are no overdue fines. 

11:00 AM -- It's too close to lunch time, but too far from snack time, and the girls are irritated by the discrepancy.  Mama pulls out art supplies -- paint, brown paper bags, construction paper, markers -- and fills the time.  The girls are decked out in old t-shirts, making masterpieces. 

12:00 PM -- Lunch!  Oh, the joy!  The unabashed glee that accompanies lunch!  It's the meal of ease: peanut butter sandwiches (No jelly for Mia -- just honey!  No honey for Lauren -- just jelly!), fruit, veggies, cheese.  If the day is just right, Mama will bravely pack up the supplies for a picnic...on the kitchen floor. 

1:00 PM -- Naptime.  Oh, the agony.  The horrific and dreadful bane of our day's existence.  Nothing goes right here, on a normal day.  Just when Mama sits down to read or work or write, one girl needs a potty break, then the other.  Somebody screams for minutes about the injustice of being made to lie still in bed.  Mia tiptoes out of her room: "I'm sorry mama, I didn't mean to come out of my room, it was just an accident, but..."  In Lauren's room, the telltale crash of toys being tossed from shelves alerts mama to an uncooperative toddler.  Mama storms into the room, ready to be angry at the lack of napping, when she is confronted with this: Lauren is stark naked, sitting in her rocking chair, reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear to her baby doll.  Mama loses the will to scold, due to the massive overdose of cuteness.  She plops Lauren back into bed, and the cycle repeats.  Endlessly.  Until mama folds her losing hand (probably about the time Lauren pees in her bed), and the girls are allowed to be awake.

3:00 PM -- Mama is out of patience.  It's time to play outside, if the day is pretty enough.  If not, we drag out tea parties and blocks and babies in strollers, dominoes and books and matching games.  Oh -- and laundry.  It's always time for laundry.

4:00 PM -- Mama stands in the kitchen, wondering why she waits to attack the messy kitchen until it's time to make dinner.  The girls play or watch a video, and Mama regains some patience that was lost during naptime.  If they want to, the girls can usually go play outside by themselves for a little bit, trapped in the back yard.  It's not very good practice at unsupervised play, as one or both girls darts to the back door every third minute with a request or complaint or achievement.  Mama thinks the back yard is the best invention in the history of time.  Also: her girls are the sweetest, funniest creatures in the world.

5:00 PM -- Daddy is home, or if he's not...he will be soon!  Mama tries to make a fun game out of cleaning up the house a bit, so that Daddy doesn't fire her and replace her with a more organized version.  (Some days, though...she half-wishes to be fired...then maybe she'd have time to rest...)  Two girls, probably dressed up as Ariel and Aurora, scream enthusiastic welcomes as Daddy's car pulls up outside.  He is claimed before he enters the door.

5:30 PM -- Mama is the party-pooper, pushing pause on the rough-housing long enough for dinner to be had.  Daddy brings two sweaty, red-cheeked girls to the dinner table, and we eat.  Well, most of us eat.  One or both girls will probably refuse.  And mama doesn't mind.  Much.

6:00 PM -- It's "Let's see what we can make Daddy do NOW!" time at Heavenly House.  Chasing, pillow fights, Candyland, hide-and-seek, wrestling, video games...nothing is off limits.  At least until mama says...

6:30 PM -- Bathtime! 

7:00 PM -- Ahhhh, bedtime: the lover of my soul.  We read stories -- either as a family, or one-on-one -- and two warm, cuddly, sweet-smelling, and exhausted girls (thanks to skipped naps and a high-energy daddy) are placed in bed.  Mama and Daddy smile conspiratorially at one another in the quiet living room.  The evening is ours.  Sweet dreams, indeed.


  1. Sounds all too familiar! :) I especially love knowing that you guys are watching PBS and the same shows that we are at the same time in the morning!

  2. Looks like the day of a very wonderful mom!

  3. that made me feel.... like screaming-"YES YES YES!" Finally! A kindred spirit! LOL!!! I have three kids- 4,2 1/2 and 2 months. I feel utterly and completely outnumbered. Just trying to keep those kids out of the fridge and cupboards all day is enough to wear me out, not to mention OBEDIENCE! Did mama say to obey??? What's that?! Oh dear.... I'm pretty worn out these days. It's nice to know I'm not the only one.*wink*

  4. ugh...i needed to read this today. It was a no nap day in our house and it was HARD! I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with nap time. I actually had to stop and pray for patience because I was a cranky ass all afternoon.

    Anyway, your day sounds wonderful. Similar to mine actually. Except that your kids allow you half hour more of sleep in the morning...I have to shower while evie eats her breakfast sitting in her high chair in my bathroom door way haha. Whatever works right?

    Thanks for answering my question!
    lots of love!

  5. Ooh, I loved peeking into your life like this. Your girls are lucky to have such a fun-loving mommy!

    Three cheers for early bedtimes! I love my time with the kids too, of course, but I also cherish the quiet evenings alone with hubby. Ah, bliss.

    Enjoy your pajama day! ;)

  6. I love getting this glimpse into your daily life!

  7. Wow. We live errily similar lives.
    Like, really.
    G also things Sid and Dinosaur Train are lame city.

  8. Aaaaah, the constant demand for snacks, the nakedness and constant changing of clothes, naps that rarely happen, it all sounds to familiar! :)


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?