May 13, 2008

A day in the life...

...of a full-time Mum.

3.30am - aware of Miss1 grizzling. Check to see what problem is - she has kicked off all her blankets and is now too cold. Fix. Check Miss4 - also half out of her bedclothes. Fix. Aware that house is probably too warm for comfort. Turn off heat-pumps. Go to back to bed.

5am - aware of Miss1 banging on the side of her cot and chatting away to herself. Ignore. Attempt to go back to sleep.

6am - alarm clock goes off. Earlier than usual because Merl needs to be out the door to catch the bus at 7am this morning. Despite not being a morning person, I was relatively cheerful as grizzly toddler and Miss4 crawl into our bed for our morning family time.

6.45 - Merl gets himself breakfast and feeds Miss1 out of the same bowl. Usually we all eat porridge together, but I don't eat before about 7.45am, and this morning was a special "pyjama breakfast party" at kindy for Miss4. All good so far.

7am - Merl heads out the door and I turn my attention to getting our morning routines done - clothes on bodies, laundry in machine, that sort of thing. Miss1 looks tired (unsurprisingly), Miss4 walks into about 4 different pieces of furniture, adding weight to my working theory of her ears being blocked again. Retrieve the clean pairs of pyjamas from the drier. (Yay for flylady - without her I would never have remembered to plan for the pj party last night). The pair that Miss4 had gone to bed in met an unfortunate urinary accident about 11.30pm last night, so a clean set for kindy were a must!

7.40am - Miss1 still looks hungry, and Miss4 can't wait for kindy, so we all have a piece of my fabulous fruit bread (toasted, Mmmm) for breakfast.

8am - get text from the leader of our Mainly Music group (preschoolers music group hosted by our church). She is sick and won't make it, would I be able to help things go smoothly. "Sure!" I reply. She says another Mum has offered to lead in her place, I'll just need to help things along a bit. No problem, I say

8.15am - get a call from Anna to see if I can take JB to music this morning - Sure, I say, I'll use the car, drop Miss4 at kindy, come pick up JB and be at music about 9am. Perfect.

8.25am - Everyone into car, along with nappy bag and stuff to take to Mainly Music that I forgot to take last week.

8.26am - tick tick tick tick tick. That's the only sound I hear when I turn the key in the ignition.
tick tick tick tick tick
8.27am - Everyone out of the car. Miss1 into stroller. Hats on. Coats on. Walk to kindy (fortunately just around the corner from us). Safely deposit Miss4.

8.45am - Back at home, phone Anna and explain situation, we cancel. Phone another Mum from Mainly Music to give her a heads up. Fortunately she is one of those Mums who just takes it all in stride and nothing is a bother. Yay.

9am - Phone Dad to ask whether to phone the Automobile Association or if he has any other ideas. He says he'll be up in an hour with his jumper cables and charger. yay. (we do have jumper cables, but Dad loves to do that sort of stuff, and would prefer to use his own tools anyway). I give up on making it to Music this week. Oh well.

Laundry, tidy up, wipe bathroom ceiling (black mildew - ick)

9.45 - Miss1 to bed - earlier than usual, but I can't blame her for being tired. Aren't we all?!

9.50 - what's for dinner? how about crockpot Lasagne? Perfect. Start assembling.

10am - Dad arrives

10.15am - jump starting failed, so we push start on our hill. Car eventually kicks into life and Dad drives off in it to charge the battery.

continue with dinner prep, folding yesterday's laundry, hanging today's on line. Also sit down for a cuppa for a few minutes

11am - Dad arrives back. The car had died. He'd needed help from passers-by to get it to the side of the road out of the intersection it had died in. Then he'd had to slog it up our hill on foot... Have a sit and chat with Dad for a bit. He suggests going back to his place, waking my brother (who works nights) and seeing if he can give us a hand to tow the car (Miss1 is still asleep - I can't leave the house while she's sleeping!). Sounds good to me. I suggest towing it straight to my mechanic, who is not that far from where the car is (I know the battery is flat - but why it wouldn't keep running once started confuses me). All good.

11.20am - Dad leaves, I phone mechanic. Get the answerphone. Leave long pathetic rambly message.

11.30am - Miss1 wakes up. Change gross nappy. Feed/eat lunch.

12noon - Dad and my brother arrive, having deposited car at mechanic. They will phone when they know what the problem is. Have coffee with family. Miss1 still eating. Dad and brother both express 'concern' at our decision to home educate offspring. Spend 15 minutes discussing pros and cons of various methods of schooling. Was interested that neither Dad nor brother were concerned about academics - was the old bug-a-boo of socialisation, and access to competitive sports teams. Responded that there were ample socialisation opportunities, especially with the local homeschooling group, that meets weekly so the kids can play together etc. Regarding sports teams, if anyone shows inclination/aptitude for competitive grade sports, then there are plenty of club teams around for kids - softball, cricket, soccer, rugby... Also assured them that we wold take it on a year by year basis and if at any point we thought that the school system offered more than we could that she would be back in school like a shot. Also reassured them that I was fully aware of homeschooling disaster stories, but reminded them of formal schooling disaster stories too.

12.25pm - 'bye to Dad and brother. Miss1 into pushchair, and off to kindy to collect Miss4

12.45pm - 2pm You know, I can't really remember. Miss4 spent some time without trousers on, but I can't remember why - I suspect that she couldn't have told you herself - she just wanted to. Miss1 and I spent about 20minutes hanging more laundry on the line before Miss4 put her trousers back on and came outside. Kids happy outside (This is termed "unstructured play" in educator-speak), quite a warm afternoon - comparatively, so I grabbed some secateurs and did some hack-and-slash gardening. Cut back the hydrangeas. Miss4 alerted me to another icky nappy. Change it.

2pm - 2.30pm - Reading books, playing with jigsaws, conflict mediation. Miss1 to bed again.

2.30-3.30pm - Look up 'dolphins' on National Geographic website for Miss4. We have a home-education group field trip on Monday to the Aquarium and will hear a talk about Hector's Dolphins (NZ native, very very endangered), found cool video and sound clips of dolphins herding fish and talking to each other. Read stories. Do some 'writing'. A favourite book at the moment is 'The Hungry Coat', where Narettin Hoca says "Eat, coat! Eat!" multiple times, so I suggest she writes down "Eat, coat! Eat!" in her writing book - this is the first use of the 'writing book'. I write it down and she copies it. A little cubist/modernist in her approach to letter placement, but if you know where to look, the words are there. Miss1 wakes from her little nap.

another icky nappy. What did I feed her yesterday??

3.30-4pm feed both children afternoon tea. yoghurt, pretzels and sultanas. Leave Miss4 in charge of feeding Miss1 her yoghurt while I go whisk the washing in off the line before it gets any colder and damper (I can see the sea mist rolling in). Wipe yoghurt from Miss1's hair, send Miss4 to the toilet 'just in case'. Put coats and hats etc on for a trip in stroller to the Doctor. (Thank goodness our local GP is in easy walking distance. I set up this appointment yesterday, before we had any inkling of car troubles!)

4.20pm - Arrive at doctor. Persuade Miss4 to keep in her pocket the pile of road stones she has collected on the way, not sprinkle them on the carpet. Take off hats and coats etc. Read story in waiting room.

4.30 - appointment time. I love having a small local doctor who keeps to her appointment times. It feels like a luxury. Our last GP in Palmerston North would be running 45 minutes late by 10am some days. Anyhow, yes, both kids are full of the cold, yes it is probably viral, yes Miss4 has blocked ears, but can probably still hear out of one of them, would we like to try a nasal spray (yes), if still blocked in a few weeks we'll send another letter to the ENT and look at having those adenoids out (this is good news - from what the ENT said last year, with her super-sized adenoids we can look forward to a deaf child every winter until she's about 8 unless we remove them. I believe him - I had the same problem as a child, but a GP who was very non-interventionist. I am consequently less non-interventionist than I might otherwise have been). Miss1's ears okay. good.

4.40 - hats, coats etc back on, cross road to the pharmacy (which Miss4 repeatedly called the 'cemetery', for some reason - I guess it has 3 syllables, and kinda rhymes), filled 'scripts.

4.45 - walked home past mechanic - car still where Dad left it with the hood up. Didn't bother the busy men - there were at least 30 cars in their yard, and ours was an unexpected arrival mid-way through the day. Shall give them a call mid-morning tomorrow if we haven't heard from them before then.

5pm - Home again. Out of coats, hats etc. Another Icky Nappy! Blow up balloon Miss4 was given at pharmacy. Negotiate balloon truce, by pointing out another balloon behind the living room door. Put on Computer so Miss4 can write a 'Monk-e-Mail'. Start chopping broccoli. Take Miss1 away from computer and restart it, finding the Monk-e-Mail for Miss4 again. Make mental note that Miss1 is now dragging small chair across the room to climb it to reach things. Bring Miss1 and small chair into kitchen while I finish putting broccoli into steamer and start it cooking. Shut curtains around house. Sit down, read stories. Miss1 is particularly in favour of Hairy Maclary today.

5.45pm - Merl home. 'Yay's and clapping hands all 'round!

6pm - Dish up dinner while listening to details of Merl's day. Eat dinner, sharing details of my day. Miss4 shares all about having breakfast at kindy in her pyjamas.

6.20pm -time to turn the shower on and get the baby bath filling up. (we have a wet-floor shower. No tub. We are still using the baby bath - both girls like a turn sitting in it!) Time for kids to do mad running laps of the house (up the hallway, around the corner, through the lounge, through the dining room, through the kitchen, up the hallway...), in various states of undress. I don't know when this tradition started, but it is now a fixed, nightly event. Daddy gets the final Icky Nappy of the Day! Mummy sneaks 10 minutes on the internet while kids are in shower.

6.45 - out of shower! towel dry, into pyjamas, Mummy dries Miss4's hair with the hair dryer, administers anti-fungal cream, nappy rash cream, garlic oil into ears, and Vicks as appropriate.

7pm - To bed! Oh wait, Miss4 needs fresh sheets. Daddy reads bed-time stories and evening devotions on couch this evening, while Mummy makes up bed. Miss4 into bed. Miss1 into sleeping sack. Prayers, Bed-time song, BED for both kiddlies.

7.15pm Merl off out the door to a Children's Ministry meeting. Fortunately this is at a house not far from us, because he is, in the absence of the car, walking. I take a look at the wheat sprouts (that have been rinsed during the day too - but I couldn't tell you when!), and make the sprout bread (more on that tomorrow when we find out how it tastes).

8.30pm Bread into oven. Oven set to turn itself off at 11pm. Sprout bread is very different to 'real' bread.

Mummy gets a turn on the internet!

9.40pm Mummy gets off internet to go finish cleaning up kitchen and get the jump-start on tomorrow.

About 10.30 I will get Miss4 up and sit her on the toilet, then climb into bed myself.

I am tired just reading it...


EllaJac said...

whew! living out of town has it's ups and downs, but one positive is that I don't have to 'go' so much! Take care of yourself!

home handymum said...

Thanks :) Yesterday was unusually helter-skelter. Just makes me glad that we live in a suburb that has a corner store, a pharmacy, a doctor, and a mechanic within easy walking distance. These luxuries are few and far between in other suburbs.

Today I know I don't have a car, so my plans are different right from the get-go. It's the making of plans and then the unexpected changing of them that take so much time and mental energy.

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