How many kinds of labor are there?

20 03 2008

I didn’t mean to stop blogging (it’s been like, over a week- oops!). I also didn’t mean for 2pm to find me unshowered and still in my puke-spotted pj’s, but such is life. I am finding it juuuust a little bit difficult to get used to the changes that came about with the start of Jeff’s new job: we wake up at a new time each day, Jeff doesn’t come home for lunch anymore, and he gets home a lot later in the evenings. All little things, but combined, sufficient enough to throw me for a loop, since I’d just started getting used to life with a newborn and a toddler. Here’s what a typical day in my “new” life is like:

2am: Wake to feed Oliver.

6am: Wake to feed Oliver.

7:10am: Wake to tell Jeff I’m too tired to get up and make him a lunch; inform him he must make it himself.

7:15am: Get puked on.

7:30am: Wake (odd, the amount of waking I do, when you compare it to the amount of NOT SLEEPING I do) to Ethan who is chanting, “Mommy, I napped. Mommy, I napped. Wake up, Mommy, wake up!” over and over again.

7:35am: Get up, change Ethan’s diaper, make breakfast.

7:50am: Sit down to eat.

7:51am: Oliver wakes and starts crying for me.

7:53am: Change Oliver’s diaper.

7:55am: Reunite with my Cheerios, now soggy. Again. Spend the next 15 minutes trying to convince Ethan to eat his own Cheerios.

8:00am: Send Ethan to The Naughty Chair for hitting me in the face.

8:02am: Recommence Cheerio fight. Give up. Leave dirty dishes on counter next to sink.

8:20am: Change Ethan’s diaper, get him dressed. Start a bath for Oliver.

8:22am: Explain to Ethan that we do not push the lock button on doors in the house and then shut them, from the outside.

8:28am: Yell, “Don’t throw your monkey in the tub [that is currently filling with water…]!” 6 times.

8:29am: Retrieve train from tub (“Dis not a monkey, Mommy!”). Pull a pair of dirty sweats out of the laundry pile to wear while I sit on the bathroom floor, leaning over the tub. Bathe Oliver.

8:36am: Return dirty sweats to laundry pile, put less dirty pj pants back on. Dress Oliver. Answer “Where’s is Oliver’s raisin*?” for the millionth time, as it is asked anytime Ethan sees Oliver’s tummy. Slather Oliver’s scaly scalp with baby oil. Know that it is futile, as it hasn’t helped yet. Put a hat on his head.

8:45am: Thank you for the “break” PBS. I’m talking to you, Curious George. Enjoy a few minutes of sitting on the couch, no one misbehaving, no one excreting bodily fluids.

8:50am: Snicker at stupid girl who owns candy shop and decided it would be a good idea to leave George in charge of it while she ran some errands. She came back to find that George had given away more chocolate than he’d sold, and was SURPRISED. You left A MONKEY IN CHARGE OF YOUR BUSINESS, HON. Think about how I’d never leave my shop in the hands of an animal as I tickle Oliver and play the “Who’s feet are stinky?” game.

8:59am: Yell at Ethan to stop throwing things, especially near Oliver; console Oliver and kiss the Matchbox car-shaped boo boo on his leg.

9am: Get self dressed, sans shower, because I know Oliver will be wanting to nurse any minute now.

9:10am: Feed Oliver.

10am: Finish feeding Oliver; prepare to brush teeths and pack a sippy cup and go to the grocery store, since we need a few things for dinner tonight. Do these things while also trying to bounce and shush a fussy, inconsolable baby.

10:03am: Oliver pukes all. over. my. pants.

10:03am: Oliver poops. It can be heard all the way in Ethan’s room. I know this because Ethan, who was in his room, yells out, “Wow, Oliver’s pooping, Mommy!” And another thing about the sound of this poop: I could tell that it had squished out of his diaper and was flowing like lava down his legs. THAT is what a poopsplosion sounds like.

10:08am (had to make sure he was done pooping): Clean up Oliver; take off my own pukey pants and put in laundry. Put pajama pants back on. Figure, why bother? and put pajama shirt back on, as well. We’ll order pizza tonight.

10:09am: Yell at Ethan to get OUT of Oliver’s FACE. NOW.

10:10am: Try to put Oliver down for a nap. No dice. He is fussy and won’t let me put him down.

10:20am: Put Oliver in Ultimate Baby Wrap and start to put away laundry that’s been sitting in the basket for a few days now. Remember why it was still sitting in basket when I realize nothing else will fit in the single drawer I’d devoted to Oliver’s little clothes.

10:25am: Begin rearranging the shelves/drawers/closet of the changing table where Oliver’s clothes are kept so as to make more room for him and ALL HIS STUFF.

10:35am: Stop rearranging, though the task is not done; change Ethan’s diaper again.

10:40am: Commence rearranging.

10:41am: Yell at Ethan to get OUT OF OLIVER’S FACE. NOW.

10:42am: Change Oliver’s diaper.

10:44am: YELL AT ETHAN TO GET OUT OF OLIVER’S FACE. NOW!

10:45am: Give up on rearrangement. Put Oliver down for a nap. This time, success.

10:59am: Sneak a handful of jelly beans and take deep, calming breaths.

11am: Feeling slightly defeated and immensely tired, try to avoid the lunchtime version of the breakfast fight and ask Ethan what he wants for lunch, telling him that he may have whatever he wants. He says, “Tuna fish.” Seriously? I’d been prepared to go higher. Like, fruit snacks and cookies higher. Whatev. Start to make lunch.

11:05am: Oliver wakes. Go to room, pop the binky back into his mouth. Minimal fuss. Back to kitchen.

11:06am: Get out can of tuna fish. Replace when boy says, “NO tunafish! Butter and fluff!” Get out PB and Fluff instead.

11:07am: Put Ethan in The Naughty Chair for hitting the TV (which wouldn’t be a Naughty Chair Offense except that our TV is ginormous and stands on this little tiny… stand, I guess, rendering it pretty darn sensitive; the slightest tap could send the thing crashing to the ground! Probably not, but picture an elephant perched on the spine of a 60-page book; wouldn’t take much to knock that elephant to the ground, would it?).

11:08pm: Text Jeff: “Any chance of you coming home early today?” He says no, why? And I say, “Children. Difficult. Frustrated.” I hadn’t been expecting a “sure, be home in thirty.” At most, I just wanted a little sympathy. Fake sympathy would have been enough, even. This is the response I get: “I’ve been doing manual labor all morning. Wanna trade?” Because my labor is all… what? Mental? What, if not manual, has everything I’ve done this morning been?? WHAT?

11:09am: Ethan is watching “Ni Hao, Kai-Lan” in the other room; briefly wonder why Kai-Lan has a… is that a New York accent? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that accent.) It’s just… she’s Chinese. Can’t we concentrate on one accent at a time, Nick Jr.?

11:15am: Sit down to eat lunch. Eat one bite.

11:16am: Oliver wakes. Binky doesn’t cut it this time. Return to lunch, to eat one-handed while rocking fussy baby who refuses to reside anywhere but in the crook of my arm.

11:20am: Wonder what it is that makes the folded potato chips taste so much better than the unfolded ones. Wonder further why eating two potato chips stacked on top of each other doesn’t have the same taste result as a folded one. Search bag for more folded potato chips.

11:30am: Think about cleaning up kitchen. Eat last of St. Patrick’s Day cookies instead.

11:45am: Nap time. Herd Ethan into his room, despite his arguments, which mostly are based on the statement: “I watch Molly FIRST, den I nap!” and involve kicking. Lots of kicking. Put baby gate in doorway once I get him in there, because I just can’t deal with him coming out 70 billion times today.

11:55am: Change Ethan’s diaper.

12pm: Attempt to read “The Rain Came Down” and “The Book of Mean People” with a giant kid and an extremely squirmy, fussy baby BOTH on my lap. Wonder where to hold the book.

12:20pm: Get Ethan in bed. Bend down to kiss him; he headbutt’s Oliver, only 90% accidentally.Oliver’s crying finds new life and is ear-splitting.

12:25pm: Head to living room to nurse Oliver AGAIN (did I not just do this 12 minutes ago?)

1:20pm: Oliver finishes nursing. I gently place his peaceful, sleeping, sweaty body on a blanket on the couch next to me. Brace myself for him to wake up. Hold breath.

1:21pm: He’s still asleep!

1:22pm: Exhale.

1:29pm: Power goes out. Thank goodness my laptop battery has a full charge.

1:30pm: Write most of this post.

1:56pm: Power comes back, goes out, and comes back on again.

2pm: Let an un-napped Ethan out of his room. Change his diaper.

2:05pm: Get him a snack- small bowl of pretzel fish and peanuts.

2:10pm: Reach into Ethan’s snack bowl; get growled at. “Excuse me?” He thinks fast: “I dust pretending to be a dragon.” Yeah, right.

And now I’m too tired to go on; we’ve only reached 2:10, people! And Jeff did not get home till 5:45. That leaves another 3+ hours of me either scolding or nursing, Ethan making messes and hitting his brother, and Oliver drooling, pooping, puking or sucking. This day, however, was not typical in that it was the second time in Oliver’s nearly 12 weeks that he napped while Ethan napped (if you call sitting in his room taking every single toy out of his toy box for an hour and a half napping, WHICH I DO), and so it was the second time since then that I’ve had any amount of time to myself during the day. Hence the lack of blog time.

It was a looong day. A long day FULL OF MANUAL LABOR, in case there was any doubt.

 

*When Ethan first saw brand new Oliver’s umbilical cord stump and asked what it was, Jeff told him it was a raisin. Ethan believed him. Jeff never really bothered to clear that up.


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4 responses

21 03 2008
AndreAnna

Wow, way to make me want to keep this kid on the INSIDE for like, you know, EVER!

🙂

21 03 2008
aliasmother

I would love some chip-making company to make a bag of completely folded-over chips. But would that cheapen the thrill, you think?

25 03 2008
Swistle

I’ve been thinking for DAYS now about the “I’ve been doing manual labor all morning—wanna trade?” comment. The presumption that OBVIOUSLY the answer would be NO because “manual labor” is so much worse than the manual/mental labor you’re doing—well, it’s awful. I think I would first have answered with paragraph after paragraph of spittle-flecked promises to leave for a weekend and see how much easier HE thought it was. Then I would have deleted that and answered only the truth, which would have been “YES PLEASE.”

27 03 2008
He’s making me post this « Sublime Bedlam

[…] Life, Miscellaneous   Ok, that’s not true. I offered to post it; I meant to edit my original post on Monday but I forgot. What I wanted to say was that, as Jeff so gracefully pointed out, his […]

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