April 1, 2012

What I do.

  Dear Person Who Wonders What SAHMs Do All Day:
I love my kids, and I am so happy. Also, I am very busy. Here's what I do.

5 a.m.: Baby wakes up in crib and wants to nurse. I nurse him in my bed and he goes back to sleep. I roll over to find my 7 year old cuddling her daddy or my 5 year old in nothing but new undies...ugh! Must remember to change her sheets and bath her! Lying between them, I get only fitful sleep, because when I'm not getting a 5-year-old's foot to my head, I am worried about rolling over on the 1-month-old, or poking my husband to make him roll over so he'll stop snoring.

Both kids wake up for real at about 7am. I go upstairs to find my 21-month-old has taken off his pajamas and poopy diaper...I love my kids. I love my kids. I love my kids! RIGHT?! Then my 3 1/2-year-old rolls over and 'mommy cuddle me?'  I take off his diaper and send him to the bathroom to use the toilet...hopeing he doesn't pee on the wall.  He then wants to run about naked...not going to fight that battle this early! The baby wakes and DH brings him to me. I change two diapers, avoiding getting pissed on by the baby and try to get them both dressed, but the toddler wants to do flips making this a struggle. I get the baby changed and dressed.  And head to the kitchen and yell to the girls to get up and dressed for school.
  I try to get food into both boys while making school lunches. This involves pouring cheerios and blueberries onto the table, making toast with cream cheese, and scrambling eggs. While I try to get the lunches packed and find that I need to scrub the 5-year-olds' lunch kit, the toddler climbs over to the oven and hangs off its handle. I use my foot to hold it closed. The big boy yells, "NO!" and knocks him down. The toddler wails. I pick him up. I put him in his chair with a sippy cup. The big boy pees. I help him clean up the pee. We go back into the bedroom, because now he wants to put underwear on and I'm not about to let that opportunity pass me by.

The toddle begins wailing because he's lonesome; I'm still trying to either convince or wrestle with the big boy, who has decided he does not like the shirt he picked out(' I want the other blue one!'). Finally we return to the kitchen, and I realize that the toddler is wailing because he's pooped in his nice clean diaper (the boy likes a clean canvas). I plop the toast onto the table, plop the big boy on the bench, and proceed back to the bedroom to change the toddler. The poop is a blowout; we need a total outfit change. I realize I haven't replaced the bag in the pail. I fold the diaper into itself and bring it to the kitchen garbage. The big boy has flung his toast to the dogs because he is done.

I still have not been able to eat anything.
I yell for the girls to come to breakfast and find that the girls have on mismatched socks.  I do their hair while they eat.  Pack their backpacks and get them on the bus.
 I turn on the TV for the big boy and make something to eat while the boys are momentarily quiet. I straighten up the kitchen, put away the clean dishes, put up a load of wash. Then I sit down with the baby to nurse and watch the end of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with the boys. When it's over, the big boy asks for another one and I say no, so he cries like I have just told him his dog is dead for 15 min. I put the toddler in the crib with toys and I bring the baby into the bathroom with me and hop in the tub ( we don't have a shower) listening for screams of pain. Afterwards, I race to get dressed and most days don't have time to blow out my hair so 'Mommy-fuzzy-head' it is!

  I resume trying to get ready as the big boy begins jumping on the bed. He falls off and bonks his head, and leading to about 45 minutes of soothing and crying. The toddler, meanwhile, appears holding a blue crayon and displaying a matching blue tongue and teeth. I attempt to fish pieces of blue out of his mouth while the big boy continues to shriek in my ear at top volume. I put the clothes in the dryer.

It is time for play group.
  We pile into the car and I drive to town. I put the baby in a sling and hold both boys' hands. One  likes to run fast, the other ambles slowly. One has to pee right when we get there, the other is still in diapers. Helping the big boy pee involves holding him over the toilet with both hands; the baby is still in the sling; the other toddler is literally running in circles yelling, "go go go!" We into playgroup; The leader looks at her watch as if to say 'late again?!' I laugh and say I did my best, and she says it's all right. The big girls go into the circle. The baby cries to be nursed. I nurse while reading my phone.


A woman gives me the stink-eye for checking my phone when I'm with the baby. "Shouldn't you be paying attention to your child?" she asks. I run through several snappy responses. By the time I have come up with the perfect one, she has moved on.

The playgroup is over all too soon. I drive through McDonald's, hoping nobody sees me, because I am addicted to their smoothies and also starving. We head to my friend's house where I unload the kids, then the baby. The boys run off to play and the baby stares at me like 'feed me'. I "help" my friend make lunch, mostly just eating everything she tries to put on the toddlers' plates. We feed the kids. Then we clean up the floor under the high chair and table. The toddlers fight over who gets to go in the bouncy swing, then fall apart emotionally. It is nap time.

We head home. My big boy has dropped his nap, so instead, he throws a tantrum because he is disappointed at having to leave his friend's house. I pull over, open the windows, and sit five feet away in the ditch, waiting for her to calm down. If I had a cigarette, I would smoke it. I dream fondly of cigarettes. I come back to the car and ask, "Are you done?" He blinks and says, "Yeah. I done. I sowwy I scweaming and scweaming." The baby and toddler are asleep!

At home, I let the big boy watch two shows while I whisk the toddler and baby into bed without waking them. This is when I get a little bit of emailing done, though I do not have the energy to call anyone. I pay several bills and finally, finally make out a form to change something with the kids' medical coverage. I realize the bank has charged me fees for something and I spend 45 minutes arguing with them on the phone. I start marinating meat for dinner and realize we are out of rice and pasta and the potatoes are growing in the pantry.

The baby wakes. I nurse him. Then we're off to the grocery store. After returning eight bottles of ponzu sauce to the shelves, I wise up and give the big boy a pack of brightly-colored cars and he spends the rest of the trip telling me every detail about them.

A woman gives me the stink-eye because I have the big boy in the basket of the shopping cart while the toddler rides in the baby seat. "That's unsafe," she tells me. "Well, I forgot my leash," I respond wearily, tucking a pack of toilet paper next to the big boy and taking a plastic bag out of the toddler's mouth.

When we are paying, the big boy asks to "boop this," and the checkout woman is remarkably patient about letting him push various buttons, then gives us some stickers. My toddler is proud.

I put the baby into the car first, and notice people looking with alarm at my toddler and big boy, alone in the cart. I hurry back and put them in the car before they call CPS on me. I load the groceries into the car. I roll the cart back to the corral, car-doors open, again worrying that someone will yell at me for leaving the boys alone.

I get a text from another friend -- can the big boy have a post-nap playdate? Sure! NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

  We arrive home. I unload the groceries. I set the toddler at the foot of the stairs and watch him start up. I get the big boy, who agrees (for once) that he does not need uppies up the stairs. I unload the groceries. My husband opens the kitchen window: he is home and can carry them up. Thank effing goodness. I arrive at my door and am greeted by the dirty diaper bag. I do not even care.


Do you have friends who think you eat bon-bons and relax all day? Do you even bother trying to make them understand?