10.01.2007

Workin' 5-9

The new normal at casa k-girl consists of me high-fiving my husband as I walk in the door that he is walking out of at about 4:30 pm. We may or may not see each other again that night, depending on my energy level, and/or how early he finishes all of his tasks skips out on work.

This means that I am responsible for the evening shift with Bee every night. Every night. 8 months pregnant. Every night. Did I mention that I am 8 months pregnant?

Despite the fact that I am doing this every night, and I am 8 months pregnant, things are going ok. Here’s how our evenings now go:

4:30 – 5:00 Bee time. My friend (who is a veteran of evening shifts while pregnant, with a toddler. Poor girl.) made it explicitly clear that there is no peace if there is no one-on-one time when I first arrive home. It’s good advice, though tough to navigate into something I have energy for. Bee wants to watch TV. I think her father gets away with not turning it on all day by telling her that she’ll have to wait until I get home. And then I get home and am greeted not with hugs and kisses, but with, “I watch a show?” Uh, no. Not because I care so so much about the TV being on, but because it becomes so so hard to turn it off. So now we must do something active. Bee always wants to go across the street to the park. I want to have tea parties lying down. We compromise with a Wiggles dance party (gently turning down her pleas to ‘Hop wif me!), sidewalk chalk abstract art extravaganza, bubbles on the back deck or a walk up the street to the library renovation site to marvel at the diggers.

5:00 – 5:45 Attempt to create a healthy dinner. Sometimes this is linguine with homemade leek pesto, grilled chicken and veggies plus a spinach salad. Sometimes this is a frozen pizza. Usually I am somewhere in between: perogies plus leftover roasted chicken and cut up broccoli, tomatoes and cucumbers. Try to make enough for leftovers the next day because the nutritional value of Chris’ lunches is suspect. He likes to put jam on everything.

5:45- 6:30 Dinner. Mmmm. Yummy in Bee’s tummy. She is nothing if not a good eater. I often try to stretch this out as long as possible, because it is something we do sitting down.

6:30 – 7:30 More playtime, structured around my energy level. Sometimes I get a good burst of energy and we do indeed head to the park. Most often we play in the backyard for a while, where filling up the bird feeder and then chasing squirrels away from it lasts until the sun goes down. Sometimes Bee gets a special treat and is allowed to watch Backyardigans and Diego. Bee goes apeshit when we are allowed to do this, yelping about getting a special treat. Bless her little heart. I’m glad she thinks it’s all about her, because little does she know that this is actually my special treat. See? That’s me, dozing on the couch for an hour.

7:30 – 8:00 Filth removal and pajamas. I have mentioned before that Bee is an aquaphobe. She hates being washed. ‘Bath time’ is Bee standing OUTSIDE the bathtub, while I fill a bowl of warm water and soap her up while trying to distract her from the fact that she is indeed being forced to partake in de-griming. She screams, cries and tries to hide behind the toilet, which is only slightly cleaner than my child most of the time. But the big finish – washing her hair – is the real treat. I soap up her smelly little head like I have the rest of her tiny body, and then turn on the showerhead. Then, I pick up my slippery little eel while she thrashes around, and must – without dropping her – get her under the shower to rinse all the soap off. And water can’t get in her eyes or her ears or she screams and cries so much that I am sure my neighbours debate calling the authorities on me. I only go through this torture once a week. Mommy can’t drink right now, so the other nights we are both satisfied with a sponge bath in the kitchen sink.

8:00 Bedtime. I suck at bedtime. Suck, suck, suck at it. I do everything I am supposed to, and it never goes well. Well, it never goes quickly. It can be pleasant, but it never takes less than an hour, and often creeps its way up to two. I’m serious. Bee miraculously sleeps in her own room now. I had nothing to do with this, it was all Chris. This has not helped me at bedtime. I read her 4 stories while she lays in bed, then I turn the lights off and we sing and chat while she strokes my arm, which is very uncomfortable for me, as I am sitting in the rocking chair next to her bed. I can’t get into her bed because there is no room for both of us in it right now. The real problem is that she won’t let me leave. Yes, I am held hostage by my two year old, who gets very upset if I leave before she is asleep. But in order for her to fall asleep, she must be holding onto my arm, which is being contorted and pulled, and the dim light is making me sleepy and I want to lie down so badly, but I totally resist bringing her into our bed just so that I can lie down too. It would be so easy, so wonderful, but I think Chris would kill me. Even flexible, attachment whore me knows that this would be a backward step. So instead I shift, and pull Bee from her just-about-asleep stage and then we start the whole shebang over again. And then finally she is asleep.

Did I mention that this experience is uniquely mine? Chris is back downstairs with Bee happily in dreamland within about ½ an hour. My sister babysat on the weekend and made her way downstairs while Bee was still awake. WTF?

9:30ish – Make my way downstairs, lay on the couch, and fall asleep.

12ish – Chris gets home, scaring the shit out me every single night, and I go to sleep.

Fun times. Only 25 more nights like this, and then I am off the hook. My mat leave will begin, Chris will go back to days, and I’ll get to watch The OC every night at 7:00. It’ll be like a freakin vacation! Until baby #2 arrives. Right. Crap. Forgot about that part.

Perhaps I should learn how to appreciate the simplistic task of juggling only one child’s needs. And how to sleep in the rocking chair.

***

26 comments:

  1. My husband has actually forbidden me from tucking the kids in at night for JUST THAT REASON. With him, all three kids are in bed happpily, read to and kissed and asleep within FIFTEEN MINUTES. With me tucking them in, I'm going to end up sleeping in The Girl's bed with The Boy laying at my feet and The Baby wedged in like a bolster.
    Being pregnant with a toddler is so, so tiring. Oh, I know this well.

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  2. Hey there! This is my first visit, and its nice to meet you. What a great first post for me to read - now I know all about your day. :)
    catherine

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  3. I'm getting tired just reading this. My daughter only stalls for time at bedtime when it's my husbands turn. I advised him to just walk out and let her cry for a few minutes, ignoring her pleas for water, which she doesn't seem to need when I put her to bed. Yeah, I'm mean, but it seems to work.

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  4. alley cat - I'm sure many would give me the same advice. Just can't do it. There have been too many tears in my house lately.

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  5. Aargh! Blogger ate my comment... mostly it had to do with this probably being a good time to have one-on=one time with Bee before T(w)o Bee arrives... and how I have hard time with a toddler not being pregnant... you rock!

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  6. You put me to shame with your parenting and you're Preggers!

    My evening consists of bossing my two around and then sighing with relief once I finally have them locked in their rooms for the night.

    When Boo is home I don't even do that much!

    Pathetic, aren't I?

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  7. Oh I hated trying to put katie to bed and not being able to fit in the bed. Soon you will fit.
    I wrap my kid in a towel when I rinse her head in the bath. Stops the thrashing. Also good for teeth brushing. Tell her its a burrito.
    Years of therapy for my kids.
    I don't care.

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  8. YOu are waaaay too nice. If your husband and your babysitter can leave the room quickly at bedtime, she's got your number. I seriously bet you could break her 'needing' you to sit there for two hours inside of a week. Although it would probably be a miserable week...

    It's so hard finding that balance sometimes . . . especially when you're just wiped out, and, in your case, 8 months pregnant! 43 days to go, I see!

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  9. I'm exhausted just reading this. But I'm so happy for you guys she's sleeping in her room! Hang in there.

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  10. leek pesto? that makes me want to come over and give Bee a bath myself. (of course, i'd do that anyways, love)

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  11. This sounds harder than when I was pregnant with Chicky and I was working 14 hour days well into my 9th month.

    It's almost done, hon. You're so close!

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  12. I'm with you - I'm pretty amazed you've been able to resist pulling her into your bed - that urge to lie down when pregnant pretty much ruled me in those days. But you're right, it's good to not go backwards, especially with another small person who will soon be happily taking up all the extra space in your bed.

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  13. oh poor you.
    I can't imagine doing all that AND being 8 months preggers.
    If it's any consolation lulu pulls the same thing when it comes to "extending" the night time/story reading ritual.
    Last night I finally decided to get a bit tougher.
    started at 8- managed to get out of the room by 8:45
    believe it or not, this is an improvement.
    she cried, screamed and pulled out all the stops "I need to go potty! I hungry! I need daddy! I love you mommy! aahhhhhh!!!"
    I stayed strong- though it wasn't easy.
    closed her door and let her cry.
    after about 5 min she stopped and fell asleep.
    and stayed that way until 7 this morning.
    woo hoo!!
    I hope the next 25 nights get a little bit easier for you and you manage to squeeze in a tiny bit more you time.

    go Diego go!

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  14. This sounds so familiar. I hate bedtime, it has been a semi disaster for ten years.

    But you know. I'll miss it horribly when they grow older.

    I wonder if you might miss those hours you spent in the rocking chair when she is a teenager


    (doesn't make it any easier in the here and now, I know that!)

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  15. Thank god for Treehouse TV. And, you already know that we spend more time on the computer than we should because I actually get to sit.

    The Boy had a couple weeks where he wouldn't let us leave the bedroom while he was awake. I told him that I would stay for 5 minutes, but then I had to go sleep in my own bed. I did just that and it actually worked. Worth a try??

    Of course, the Boy INSISTS that I carry his 30lb body up two flights of stairs to bed. He will not walk. It's quite the balancing act on my 8-month belly. It kind of hurts, actually. I really gotta work on that...

    If you want some company in the next while, lemme know! :-)

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  16. OH my, what a great post! I am currently 7 months pregnant and have a 2 year old at home and your schedule sounds a lot like mine, with my husband working late every night. I do have help and support from my mom, though, so I'm not alone with toddler every night, but most days, sounds like what I go through except our bedtime routine? Starts at around 9 p.m. and my son doesn't fall asleep until 11 p.m. A new thing, a few weeks this has been going on, but still. Very tiring. I have to PVR all my shows and never have time to watch them!
    Oh and did I mention, my son doesn't love his toddler bed, he loves the twin mattress I have on the floor of his room that I put there when he was switched to his crib many, many months ago, so I could sleep there for the first little while. Now it is 'his' bed, however, for him to sleep, I have to lie beside him, too. :) I love it, though... but it is getting tough getting up and down from the floor mattress being 7 months preggers! Thanks for your post! And what a great blog you have!

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  17. Want to hear pathetic? When my husband is away on business for extended periods of time, I have been known to feed my kids dinner IN the bath tub, and read them their bedtime stories there too. They love the bath, it keeps them in one spot and gets them fed and sleepy all at the same time. Oh and it helps that they can't tell time...if I were you I'd start an hour earlier then you'd be done at 830ish...see?

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  18. i so get this being held hostage thing. those toddlers are vicious kidnappers!

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  19. Oh thank god, I'm not alone on this - B will not go to sleep (or nap) for me but I'll be damned if SB isn't out of there in under 20 minutes EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

    I don't know how you do it but damn you do it well.

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  20. It's good to know I am not alone in this failed bed time routine. My husband can take our son to bed & he is an angel and goes right off to la la land.

    I take him to bed & I must snuggle (which is fine. I like it) but there is never and early escape and sometimes it can take up to .45 min til I can leave. And many times after I leave 30 minutes later he is calling for me.

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  21. I totally forgot you are pregnant! What an awesome treat for me!

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  22. I think it's safe to say she has you wrapped around her little finger at bedtime. I'm the mean mummy. Read one book, maybe two, tuck em in and shut the door.

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  23. I suck at bed time, too. Apparently, we're not alone.

    Oh, and I don't know when Joe and I get to see each other, either. Somehow we forgot that part of the plan.

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  24. I feel for you! Little Guy just moved to his own bed and he has to touch my hair while he falls asleep. The only problem is that it's not so much touching as it is pulling.

    I hope the nighttime routine starts getting a little easier (before it gets harder again with #2 :)). Just remember, it WILL get easier. At least, that's what I've been telling myself.

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  25. My son was a total aquaphobe, and it wasn't until he was 10 months old that I found a way to get him to enjoy the bath.

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  26. Ugh, that is TOUGH.
    But from one who was notorious for screaming blue murder when having my hair washed? Here's something that *might* work. If you have a long enough counter, lay her down on the counter with her head hanging back into the kitchen sink. You can rinse her head off without water getting on her face at all, or in her ears much, either. Like at the hairdresser.

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