Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A day in the life*

Alarm goes off at 4:45am.

Leave house for 2 hour workout class at 5:15am

Workout until 7:20am

7:30am arrive home to kids eating breakfast and John in the shower. I sit down for a quick breakfast, dancing between wiping dirty hands, pouring myself a cup of coffee, and cleaning wet cereal off the floor.

7:45am pick out clothes for kids.

7:50am hop in the shower and hear through the muffled sound of the water and fan that Ellie is screaming as John is trying to get her dressed.

8am dry my hair, kiss John goodbye console Ellie or watch as she thrashes herself all over the floor.

8:14am dressed, make-up on, commence bag packing and complaining that the breakfast dishes are still on the table and why didn't I pack the bags the night before?

8:20 tell Luke it's time to get dressed. He can go either way, happily oblige as he watches George or fight me tooth and nail. Ellie screams for "nigh nigh teets"="gummy treats". I say, "okay everyone let's sit down for shoes and coats." Luke happily turns the tv off. Ellie screams for "pot pot" and I have no clue what this means until I realize it means she sees Luke's backpack and wants her own. Luke has his shoes and coat on and is now on the front porch. Ellie is back in her room, trying to get something from her crib and freaking out again. Oh the screaming. Then she chokes on her gummy treat.

8:25 where is Luke? Standing by the car trying to open his door. Ellie is in the house screaming that I have left her. I get him in his seat and go back to get her. She has to do everything herself of course which takes us twice as long.

8:27 Put E in the car and shut the door so she can climb into her seat by herself. Shit I forgot my phone and my wallet. Unlock the door, get what I need. Ellie is still not in her seat.

8:29 fight with E and wrestle her into her carseat against her will as neighbors walk by with their dog staring at me.

8:37 Arrive at sitter.

8:50 Arrive at school with Luke.

9:03 Arrive at work.

4:15 leave work to get Luke at school

4:24 Luke comes running to me across the playground. Best part of the day.

4:30 walk through school, check out his room, empty his locker.

4:40 Arrive at sitter. Recap her day. 2nd best part of the day.

4:44 Drive around to waste time until 5pm so that we can pick up John at work.

5:05 wait in the Travelers parking lot bribing the kids with a Thomas movie on my phone. Or a round of Itsy Bitsy Spider.

5:18 John calls to say he'll be down in a minute.

5:25 everyone screams for dad. 3rd best part of the day.

5:35 arrive home and empty car with the 10 different bags of everyone's daily possessions.

5:45 start dinner, put in a movie, talk to John, post some shit on Facebook.

6pm dinner.

6:30 start baths which starts more fights with kids. John does the dishes. Sometimes one of us hides in our bedroom and watches tv.

7pm play trains, have a dance party in the kitchen, or do ring around the rosy about 10 times.

7:10 read books for 20 minutes

7:30 John tells Luke 2 stories, Ellie turns off every light in the house and says good night to all inanimate objects.

7:45 sit in the recliner and realize we haven't picked up half of the dinner dishes or looked through the immense amount of paperwork we get from school.

8pm clean up, sweep, vacuum, talk

8:40 cycle some laundry and get on the treadmill for 30 minutes

9:10 pick up the toys off the living room floor.

9:14 sit my ass down

*Single parents have my utmost respect.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Parental Confidence

I have a fear of doing the wrong thing or pissing people off or being judged by others. I guess it's normal in a way but as a parent it's a daily struggle. Am I doing the right thing? Did I punish him in the right way? Am I too easy? Did I take that "lesson" too far? Does the babysitter think I'm nuts?

I am learning to trust myself and my parental instincts. Luke has the incredible ability to throw up. It's some kind of crazy skill he's developed to manipulate situations. He doesn't like swim lessons, so he throws up. He doesn't like a particular babysitter so he throws up. On her. He doesn't like the smell of certain foods or places or whatever, so he throws up. If Ellie throws up or has a nasty dirty diaper, you guessed it, he throws up. It is exhausting to deal with.

He's in school now and he's thrown up twice. Once was legitimate. He had a fever, and some other symptoms that day and the next but he was healthy and perfect the rest of the weekend. Eating fine, playing fine, sleeping fine. Then Monday comes and he throws up again at school. He said he's sad at school because he can't find me anywhere. That he's so lonely and he misses me. The desperation in his voice had me almost in tears as I watched him well up and look out the window of the car. I was shocked too, since he has never once cried when I left him at school, he's always happy to go and enjoys his days there. Is he that good of an actor at 3, I don't know.

The school's policy is to send kids home when they throw up. But clearly he wasn't sick the second time. He spent the day at the sitter and ate and played and was the picture of health. I really think he was testing to see if he throws up that he'll get to go home. But this can't be a pattern. I can't keep having to leave work and he can't keep manipulating the situation.

So we went to the doctor today, she wrote us a note for school that says he hyper sensitive to smells and that unless he has a loss of appetite, fever, etc that he is not to be sent home. I felt validated and even though we were talking about these issues in front of him he was happy to oblige his thoughts about school and tell his doctor how much fun he has. In a way it seemed to go over his head as he kissed and hugged me throughout the visit.

We left the doctor's office and headed to school. I handed the note to his teacher and she kind of blew me off. She said she didn't need the note as she half-read it and laughed it off, but I told her to keep it for his file. I was told that if other kids are sick they won't keep him in school but if no one else is they'll work with me to keep in class. I told her I wasn't trying to make a bigger deal about it, but that this has been going on at home for 2 years now. I am confident in how we are handling this. I am his parent. I am doing what I feel is the right thing.

Having said all of that I feel like I am "that" parent. The one the teacher thinks is overbearing and crazy. I guess I better get used to it because I have 15 more years to go.