Saturday, June 6, 2009


Emily Rose is waking up a little earlier everyday. She's gone from her standard 8:30 a.m. wake up, to a barely respectable 6:45 a.m. Like my friend Jess, I suspect it is the light coming into the room too early. Room darkening shades--when we can afford them--are a necessary purchase, I fear. For now, dinner, baths and bedtime have been moved to earlier times.

Don works two part-time cleaning jobs. He was gone a good portion of the day today--giving me a good idea of how things will be when he begins school and study time away from home.

Here is a typical glimpse:

3:30 - Time for Anna's nap. I nurse her, put her in her crib, and then go to the playroom to check on Emily Rose and the boys. Emily has a number two in her trainer, which I immediately smell. I take her into her bedroom for a clean-up and change. She wiggles and the messy diaper makes a mess on the changing pad. I move her off of it and roll it up to be washed later. I finish the change.

3:45 - Put Emily back in the playroom (which is gated at this time), put soiled linens on top of washer, wash hands. I go to check on Anna, who has not yet fallen asleep. I pat her a few times, reach down and kiss her, tell her I love her, and exit to check on the others.

Finding that Emily Rose successfully climbed over the gate, I suggest she play with her teacups and some water at the kitchen table. She happily agrees. I get it set up for her, put her in her booster seat, and buckle her in, so she can't escape and get into trouble while I check on Anna. Then I go check on Anna again.

4:00 - Anna has not fallen asleep. Her nap is now 30 minutes late. I contemplate what to do.

Meanwhile, the boys ask to go outside, and I say yes. I help them find their hats. I notice that Emily has poured her water all over the table, and that her shorts and shirt are wet. I pick her up and take off her wet clothes, noticing that her trainer again is soiled, which is a very unusual pattern for her.

4:15 - I change Emily again, and get her ready to play outside. While I do that, I notice Timothy is out without his hat. I go outside to give it to him, while Emily tries to put her shoes on herself. I quickly go check Anna, and find she has soiled her diaper and clothes. I change her, deposit soiled clothes on top of washer, wash my hands, kiss her, and give her the binky.

Then I let Emily outside, first checking that the fence gate is closed and locked. While I am briefly out there, Daniel tells me that Timothy poured out most of a $9 bottle of sunscreen onto the lawn--just for fun, apparently. I am livid. I pull him in and put him to bed, telling him that I won't buy popsicles for him for three weeks, as that would equal the total cost of the sunscreen.

Daniel didn't tell me this right away, but pouring out the sunscreen was his idea. He is feeling guilty, but not ready to tell me. This is all unbeknownst to me, since Timothy didn't mention it being Daniel's idea--not that I gave him a chance to mention anything. His consequence was very swift, since I was so angry at the senselessness of his act.

Daniel is feeling guilty enough that he no longer wants to be outside.

I can now hear the baby crying, so I tell Daniel and Emily that I must rock Anna to sleep, since she is now an hour late for her nap. I tell them they must go to the playroom. I put up two tension gates (one on top of the other), in an attempt to keep Emily Rose in the playroom, which I peruse for dangers first.

4:30 - I go to get Anna, and find her freshly-donned outfit covered in spit-up, which has also soiled the sheets. I wipe her with a warm washcloth, change her, take off the bedding, and go to rock her--depositing the soiled linen on the washer first.

4:40 - I rock Anna, all the while praying that Emily stays in the playroom with Daniel and that I don't hear any ruckus in there. Daddy took the boys to the library earlier in the day, so they happen to be watching a Magic School Bus video, which I hope engages Emily long enough for Anna is fall asleep. Anna is transferring better to the crib now from the rocker, so I anticipate putting her there after about fifteen minutes of rocking.

However, since she is now overtired, she thrashes and cries for twenty-five minutes before falling asleep. She has no interest in nursing again, perhaps because of the teeth she is working on right now. Once she is asleep, I plead with the Lord that the other two stay engaged so that I can transfer Anna to the crib without mishap. But no, Daniel decides to let Emily out, and comes to me and says that he will watch Emily. Ha! Daniel is no babysitter! I am livid, and I give him my meanest look, and tell him to take her back immediately, and try to engage her with a story while I transfer Anna to the crib. I use my looks, and keep my voice at a whisper, so as not to wake Anna.

Daniel gets the message, and I am able to transfer Anna successfully.

I now have my second migraine of the day, and it isn't time yet for another dose of Excedrin. I chastise myself for getting so hungry and thirsty, which probably caused the second migraine-- although I know there was no opportunity to eat during the past couple hours, and barely time to drink.

The above is how it typically goes when I am by myself. It is extremely difficult and stressful, and I have a hard time smiling or being light-hearted with the kids. There are constantly things that must be taken care of NOW, either because of safety, or because of maintaining proper hygiene.

Meanwhile, the dishes don't get done, and the laundry either doesn't get started, or it doesn't get finished--until after bedtime. I watch the clock, counting down the time until Don will be home and I'll have help. He has had all four of them by himself a few times only, but that is all it took for him to understand how gruelling it can be.

I spoke to the Lord the whole day, and tried hard to listen to his voice. Some things came to my mind that will make things a bit easier.

- Run everything like a daycare, with schedules for meals, snacks, bathroom time, outside time, free time, lesson time, storytime, activity time, quiet time, etc. This predictability will cut down on behavior issues and condense my clean-up times. They will have much less freedom, but overall things will be safer, and they'll end up getting more attention from me, rather than me just following after them and essentially just cleaning up disasters and putting out fires.

We had such a schedule before Anna Grace was born--although not nearly so regimented.

God will have to help with the potty training and the spit-up problem, since they both take up a whole lot of time and energy--not to mention patience. He will also have to help Anna fall asleep on time, so that she doesn't get cranky and overtired. She is doing better overall--notwithstanding this teething period. The main problem is that she needs at least one nap that is a full two hours, and she never sleeps more than 50 minutes on her own, necessitating at least one hour of rocking to finish one of her naps--most likely the nap that coincides with Emily's. This will have to be quiet activity or TV time for the boys.

Anyhow, I'll figure it out, as long as I keep talking to God--asking for answers and patience. It is likely to be difficult like this until Emily stops getting into things, which I remember occurs around 36 to 42 months old. By then of course, the baby will be getting into things.


1 comment:

Liz said...

Girlfriend, I am exhausted and all I did was READ about a piece of your day!

Praying for you....