Tuesday, October 12, 2004

A Day In My Life

Or, what do you do as a stay at home mom, anyway?

2:30 a.m. I'm finished reading blogs and am finally ready for bed. Ellie wakes up. I change her diaper and wet pajamas and nurse her, then put her in her crib. She starts to cry. Paul wakes up, doesn't realize that I haven't gone to bed yet because I'm an idiot, and goes to rock her back to sleep. (She usually sleeps through the night so this doesn't happen more than once or twice a week.)

6:30 a.m. Ellie wakes up again. Paul gets up, changes her diaper, and feeds her cereal and juice then comes to get me. I get up and nurse Ellie while Paul gets ready for work. She falls asleep shortly after he leaves, around 8:00) and I put her in her crib. (This nap is unusual and is related to the previous night's interrupted sleep.) I take advantage of a few minutes more sleep, after getting myself dressed for the day.

9:00 a.m. Ellie wakes up again. I change her diaper, dress her, and nurse her. We play on the floor in the family room for several minutes. Our repertoire includes classics like "trotty horse" as well as disguised therapy exercises like holding a hands and knees position while I sing "row row row your boat." She seems sleepy so I try rocking her and singing. That doesn't work so we go for a walk around the block with the dog. That doesn't work so we try rocking and singing again. Success! Ellie goes down for her usual (hah! I wish!) morning nap around 10:30. She seems to want to be left alone to fall asleep (this happens from time to time) but she fusses a bit so I sit down to check my email etc. while I wait for her to fall asleep. Then I hit the sack myself. I was up until 3:00, remember?

11:30 a.m. Ellie wakes up, but she still seems sleepy. I change her diaper, then we go watch Sesame Street for the first time ever. She loves it! (for about 15 minutes). We cuddle and play with toys on the floor in the family room for a bit.

12:00 p.m. I get lunch together. Ellie has leftover homemade macaroni and cheese, apple, and white grape juice. I have leftover BBQ pork. And a cookie. After lunch, Ellie nurses again.

1:30 p.m. More playing on the floor, this time in the front room with different toys. I put Ellie on her riding toy and try to get her to push forward.

2:30 p.m. She seems tired again, and this is a good time for an afternoon nap. I try nursing her down. No luck. I try rocking and singing. Very frustrating. It's raining so no walking. I put her in her crib with a couple of toys and go check my email again. She falls asleep very quickly. I too take a nap, after taking care of several phone calls and appointment scheduling details, including dickering with the insurance company about how Ellie's pediatrician is not really a specialist, etc.

4:30 p.m. Ellie wakes up. I nurse her, we go outside with the dog and check the mail, then we go play in the front room some more. I make her stand at her activity table for a while. When I get bored (how terrible! I get bored!) I leave her with her toys for a few minutes so I can shop online for her birthday gift and write Paul an email.

5:30 p.m. I go to the kitchen to start on dinner, and bring Ellie with me. She sits on the floor pulling pots and pans out of a cupboard.

6:00 p.m. Daddy's home! Daddy's home! Daddy's home! He plays with Ellie while I finish dinner (the roles are often reversed here) and we all eat together.

7:00 p.m. Daddy gives Ellie a bath then dresses her for bed and I play Nintendo (or mess around on the computer or read).

7:30 p.m. I nurse Ellie down to sleep by 8:00. Hah! Just kidding! Not tonight! Maybe the enchiladas were a bit much, but she fights sleep hard and wakes up screaming after falling asleep several times. Paul and I take turns working at it (rocking, singing, walking, driving) and she finally goes to sleep around 11:00 p.m. (This time the trick was to lay her on the gliding ottoman and gently push her back and forth.) I remember when 11:00 would have felt like a real accomplishment.

This was a very unusual day, in its way, and yet totally normal too. Ellie has therapy 3-5 days a week, so having a day off now and then is a nice break. When we're not having therapists over, we always go out, even if it's just to a playgroup or the library or the grocery. It's quite unusual for the two of us to be home alone together all day. And wonderful, upon occasion. And she really doesn't usually nap this well. Naps are very hit-or-miss around here.

Tomorrow we have a doctor's appointment and Physical Therapy. Wednesday there is Speech Therapy and two playgroups. Thursday is another doctor's appointment, and Friday is Speech Therapy and a playgroup. We also need to go to the grocery store and the library this week. And I need to make a run to CostCo. for toilet paper, and . . .

Ideally, someday I'll start going to bed at a reasonable hour. Then I can get stuff done during the daytime rather than napping. But you know what? I love this time alone after everyone else is asleep. I cherish it. And I love to nap. Now I'm off to bed. Too late, as usual!

1 comment:

Ms. Polkadot said...

Sounds a lot like our days- we usually get out and need to, but sometimes it's nice to chill. Casimir was like that wrt sleeping and now goes down on his own easily, THANK GOD.
And you are very, very naughty for getting bored! I never do! I swear! And I'm in bed by 9pm each night, so I'm awake and fresh by 6am. (kidding!)