Tuesday, 3 April 2018

What Do You Do All Day, Woman? A Totally Average Day In Our Lives

A day in our lives. This was a Thursday but it doesn't matter much, they all follow a similar pattern. Reading this back I feel that I should caveat with the fact I'm really happy with my stay-at-home/work-at-home situation, I love that I get to hang out with her most days and she makes me laugh all day long but there's no joy in wiping food from the floor, no matter how cute the thing that put it there is...here goes:

8.10: I am woken by the baby monitor ringing the sounds of "Daaad, Dad, Daaada" into the room. Tom goes to retrieve the baby while I empty my bladder in preparation for a foot being prodded into it shortly.

8.15: Tom gets in the shower and I breastfeed the baby in bed, our only remaining breastfeed of the day before changing her nappy and sticking an episode of "Ra Ra the noisy Lion" on to distract her while I check the news, the Instagram and upload a post to my wall sticker business account and my personal one.

8.25: She becomes fed up with being enclosed in the bedroom and escapes into the en suite, Tom shouts at me to come and get her because "she's got the toothpaste/razor/is just about to drop a full loo roll into the loo". And I'm up. I return to the bedroom to make the bed and tidy up the mess that she's managed to make in her ten minutes of feral freedom. She complains and hits the door until I let her out.

8.30: We've come downstairs and she's straight into her high chair. I stick Cbeebies on and give her toast or a banana to keep her busy while I make her either porridge, eggs or whatever i can find. She throws most of this on the floor then creates puddles with her beaker of water before launching it as far as she can. On a good day, the lid stays on. I make myself a cup of tea, take two sips before she decides that she's finished and must immediately be released from her throne. Failure to comply will result in burst ear drums. It's too early for that. I tidy up the floor under her first and she uses the remaining banana to squish into my head. Today will be a hair washing day after all.

9.00: I let her run wild while I try to empty the dishwasher. She climbs into it and gets dangerously close to wielding a knife. She grins. I melt. I'll do that later. I put some toast in for myself and eat it standing up. She wants some even though she had definitely had enough. I give in. She takes a bite and throws it on the floor. Cheers!

9.20: I take her upstairs with some toys and get into the shower. I have to take my glasses off so I can only see a blurry figure hurtling around the room. She lifts the toilet seat and plops a blurry object in. I finish quickly and try to wrap myself in a towel. She clings to my legs. I retrieve object from the loo (deodorant lid today) and try to dry my hair. This is not appreciated by the toddler. I put on Telletubbies on my phone to amuse her. She pulls the phone off of the dressing table immediately and asks Siri some questions that he doesn't understand.

9.45: I hop into my trousers one leg at a time while the baby clings to the other leg. I open Tom's sock drawer which she empties while I finish getting dressed and make-up slapped on but my hair is still wet. I decide that will do and finally release her from the dressing-room prison that she's been held captive in. She toddles off down the hallway and drops a tiny glass pot of moisturiser that I didn't see her pick up right through the bannister. I hear it crash to the hallway floor. I say "no, we don't do that". She smiles a big gummy grin. I do not.

9.55: Playgroup starts in five minutes so we're now definitely going to be late. I get her dressed, running downstairs halfway through the process to retrieve laundry that's only make it into little piles downstairs. When I return she has done a poo in her fresh nappy. I bring the potty in and sit her on it. She does me a dribble of apologetic wee. I put her in a new nappy while she tries to eat the nappy cream and finally we are both dressed.

10.05: I frantically grab things and throw them into the changing bag then insert the baby into the baby carrier facing outwards. I then realise that I have forgotten to put on my shoes so sit down with her strapped in and get into some yoga poses to try to apply my trainers to my feet.

10.10: We've left the house, I only had to return once to the locked door for a dummy so I'm jotting that down as a success. I walk down to the toddler group and free her. She does not want to be free and tries to climb back up me while I try to take the carrier and my coat off. Everyone else's baby is playing. She wants to sit on my lap. I try to encourage her to play by sitting on the floor putting dolls into prams. Someone else's child comes over to tell me about their aeroplane. I just want a cup of tea and a wee. She becomes distracted by the dolls so I creep on to a chair and start a conversation, this lasts nine seconds before she's in tears because someone stole her dolly. I'm back on the floor. Mediating.

10.40: The tea and biscuits are brought out and I walk to the hatch dragging my new ankle accessory. I pick her up and she sees the biscuits. "Ooooh" she says. My heart sinks. I want to choose a chocolate digestive, maybe even a pink wafer but I opt for the rich tea because it's more child friendly and it's becoming clear I'm not going to be leisurely dipping my biscuit into my tea. Oh no. I break off a piece of biscuit and give it to her, she sits nicely for thirty seconds while I wolf down my snack and pour the scalding hot beverage into my throat before she has a chance to grab it.

11.10: It's singing time so me and my now very overtired child join the circle. She cries and refuses to partake. Finally she crawls off and I'm left winding the bobbin up on my own. Lovely.

11.30: After trying to help with tidy up time with baby attached to my ankle, I wrestle her into the carrier facing inwards and almost run home to avoid her falling asleep on-board. I needn't have worried.

11.40: I put her into her cot with as many dummies as I can forrage from the gap between her cot and the wall. Four, it turns out. I leave the room, she cries. It must be teeth. It's always teeth. I go back in and tip an Ashton and Parsons teething powder onto her tongue. She puts her dummy in. I close the door. Victory.

11.50: I go downstairs and make myself a cup of tea, plugging the monitor in in the kitchen as I go. I open and shut the fridge a few times before settling on toast with jam. I don't sit down, this is productivity suicide.

12.00: I start to tidy up, put some washing on, empty the dishwasher, do some ironing, mop the floor before thinking this would be better with a podcast. I unlock my phone to put one on and fall into an Instagram rabbit hole. I tell myself off and get back to work, but forget to put the podcast on so this process repeats itself a few times. I mop the floor, tidy the living room, sew a button on...

13.30: I nip in to check whether I have any orders or emails for my small business, I answer some of them and start to get orders ready to take to the post office later...

14.10: Thud..."Mummmmmm", "mamamamama" she's up, I slowly pack up what I'm doing and go to get her before she becomes too furious. I change her nappy and bring her downstairs.

14.30: The realisation that I'll need to feed her some lunch dawns on me. It comes as a complete surprise most days and I stick some pasta and broccoli on the hob while she smashes up stuff in her Ikea kitchen and holds up her play vegetables declaring them all "ball". I respond with "that's a tomato/lettuce/fill as appropriate". She laughs at me and repeats "ball". Ok.

14.45: I stir whatever meat (ham today) I have in the fridge in with the pasta and broccoli and fashion an emergency sauce with some soft cheese. The meat and veg are both irrelevant as she will meticulously pick all of this off and just eat the pasta. I make myself a cup of tea and hide in the larder while I eat a biscuit.

15.00: I give her a pouch of yoghurt to keep her busy and stick the telly on while I get myself ready to leave the house, make sure I have everything for the post office and post a picture to Instagram. 

15.20: We're all ready but she's disappeared into a corner of the living room which means only one thing. Baby wipes and a new nappy. I can't be bothered to take her all the way upstairs so I change her on the living room floor. This was a mistake as I battle to avoid any of the brown stuff touching the carpet. Shortcuts never pay off.

15.30: And we're out. We walk out to the road and I pick her up to cross it. When I put her back down she only has one shoe on. I turn around and spot it in the middle of the road. I wave frantically at an oncoming van and take the baby into the middle of the road with me to retrieve the shoe. I hold it up to the van driver like it's a trophy. "That was lucky", he says. It was.

15.50: We've reached the front of the queue, "the usual?" He says. Yes. I pop G up on the counter where she waves and shouts in his microphone. She likes to do the contactless payment so I give her my card and she repeatedly holds it over the reader and says "beep" until it's time.

16.00: We're home after walking the long way round so that we can see the ducks (they were actually aggressive geese but still. We saw an animal so I basically took her to the zoo. OK). I give her a bottle of milk in the living room and she sits happily in her bouncer for five minutes. I stick the telly on and retreat into the kitchen to tidy up from lunch and put some more washing in the machine. She comes and finds me having finished her bottle and starts "helping". This is not helpful and I put her back by her little kitchen but the lure of dirty socks is irresistible and she's back within seconds. 

16.40: I give up trying to get anything done. Every time I stand she says "up", then "up" again because she wants to get down and "down" is, as it turns out a tricky word to say. We go into the living room and play with her toys, read some books (I read a book to the back of her head). I pretend to do some yoga and she copies me. I melt. I take a thousand more pictures of her.

17.20: We're on the home run now, just over half an hour before Tom comes home and I'm looking hopefully in the fridge again. I settle on a jacket potato with tuna, sweetcorn and some chopped up cherry tomatoes for her. I text Tom and ask him to get soured cream and chicken for fajitas for us. 

17.40: She's back in her high chair again! She pushes her drink away. I pour some squash into her water because she's hardly drunk any today and return it to her. "Nice" I say. I drink some "mmm". She grabs it. What do we say? "TAAA" she gulps it down.

17.50: She's too tired to be very interested in her food, I make a mental note to do everything earlier tomorrow, but she manages some potato and picks every single piece of sweetcorn out and eats it, not that it counts as a vegetable because it makes its way into the nappy entirely complete. I'm lucky if the odd piece of tuna sneaks its way in. I give her a fruit pouch/some raspberries if I've been shopping, while I tidy up AGAIN. 

18.10: He's home and swinging her around the kitchen making her laugh. "She's just eaten, you'll make her sick" I say. She gets hiccups. I disappear into my office (utility room) to get some orders made up while he takes her up for a bath. I remember that she needs milk so heat her some more in the microwave and run it upstairs to calm her down while he tries to get her baby grow on.

19.00: She's ready for bed and they're playing in the living room, I pop in and Tom tells me some news in-between chasing her around the room.  I watch them for a while and feel all the feels.

19.30: He takes her up to bed and I start dinner, he doesn't sit with her so it's a drop and run situation, he changes out of his work clothes and clears the table of all of the mess that has amounted during the day.

20.00: We eat then he clears up while I carry on with some work. We try not to have our phones at the table but often end up with the TV on which means we're glued for an hour.

21.30: I join him in the living room and sit on the floor while my phone is plugged into the wall so that I can contact influencers about featuring my wall stickers, answer any queries and line up some Instagram posts.

22.00: I have enough juice to sit on the sofa, the TV is on but we're both scrolling.

23.00: Bedtime! Goodnight. You know that means I'm going to be on Pinterest/ebay/Instagram for at least another hour right!

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