6:30 AM: I stumble (isn’t that a given? I don’t know anyone that can walk in a straight line immediately after getting up in the morning) to the coffee maker. One of my pet peeves is weak coffee. My husband is not allowed to make coffee. Ever. Because he makes (you guessed it) weak coffee. My entire day can be ruined by pouring creamer into my coffee and seeing a bright white cloud bloom up from the bottom of the mug. It’s a dead give away that it’s weak coffee and I’m stuck sipping on hot creamer-flavored water for the rest of the morning.
Addie has been fed right before the coffee. I can’t juggle the bottle, Addie, and a hot cup of coffee so I end up sitting on the couch feeding her while my eyes cross as I try to read a book. If I turn on the TV, the girls will hear it, and Gracie will run out of the bedroom and screech to a halt in the middle of the den and pepper me with TOO MANY QUESTIONS that are deceptively deep and complicated. It’s as if she’s got a Trivial Pursuit game continually running through her head. I can’t tell her the difference between good bacteria and bad bacteria and which one grows in her nose before 7 am.
6:50 AM: Alarm goes off on my watch. Because I’m still naïve enough to think I need one.
7:15-8:15 AM: Getting the girls ready for school. The foolproof method is to sit them in front of the TV and allow them to go into a trance and I manipulate their limp bodies into whatever outfits I’ve chose for them that day. They don’t realize what they’re wearing (and therefore have no opinion on it) until we start to head out the door and then it’s too late for them to change.
However, I’ve been trying to develop the girls’ autonomy and I don’t let them leave the bedroom until they’re dressed. Gracie usually wears her pants backwards and Bea is extremely particular about what she wears but lacks the communication skills to tell me what she wants.
8:15 AM: I load the three girls into the car. I’m really thankful that I have neighbors who know us well, because if I was judged solely on the conversations I have with my children between the back door and the car door, I’d get committed.
Gracie has a large plush Skye (character from Paw Patrol) that she treats like a baby doll and she tries to sneak it to school multiple times a week. Skye has feelings and wants and needs and those are communicated at length by Gracie. I thought it was a phase but this has lasted five months so far and I now speak directly to Skye because I’m tired of Gracie being the middle man. Anyone passing by who hears me would think I’m threatening to throw my child into the trash; that they can’t go outside because I can’t put them in the washing machine because they’ll disintegrate in the spin cycle; or that they don’t need to wear a diaper because they don’t eat and therefore don’t defecate. I really don’t like Skye. I already struggle keeping three humans alive, and I don’t have time to make a new meal for Skye because she’s lactose intolerant.
8:20-11:45 : Gracie is in kindergarten and Bea is in 2k twice a week. Both girls love school and I think Addie is thankful for the silence. I, too, am thankful for the silence.
12 noon, lunch time: the time of day that I give my children food they don’t eat.
Bea has yet to contract scurvy or have major digestive issues so she’s continuing to live off of stubbornness and the one peanut butter cracker we’ll give her before bedtime.
1-4 pm, naptime: Bea still naps, praise the Lord. Gracie doesn’t, but she’s required to stay in her room, or play a video game if she’s behaved that day. In an act of desperation while I was pregnant, I gave her my iPad to play ABC Mouse (which I have since deleted because you know it’s run by SCIENTOLOGISTS?! I can’t have Gracie trying to go clear on me… it also explains why the mouse looks like John Travolta) and some educational games to keep her occupied so I could sleep. About two months ago I realized Gracie had figured out other functions on the ipad; mainly the camera. When I pulled up the photos to find 100’s of SELFIES WITH SKYE clogging the storage and 30 second videos of Gracie’s chin, I realized I should find something else for her to play on (or, I could have been a good parent and just taken the Ipad away, but I’m in survival mode with a newborn). Now she has a Kindle Fire and she can play age-appropriate games. I stopped feeling guilty about her using it when she started using the word “nocturnal” last week.
4-6 pm: Gracie and Bea have finally started playing/fighting together. Bea’s only defense against Gracie is to shriek; she’s reached a Maria-Carey pitch and I can feel my eardrums vibrate. They switch between playing and fighting so frequently that it’s hard to tell them apart. I try to tune out most of it but I have to listen in case Gracie tries to teach Bea some random life skill. Last week it was how to climb out of her crib (I overheard Gracie saying “Bea, I’ve done this hundreds of times. Practice makes makes perfect. If at first you don’t succeed, Bea, try, try again.”); and earlier this summer Gracie took it upon herself to potty train Bea. I found Gracie trying to pull off Bea’s diaper and drag her into the bathroom, all the while expounding on how great it is to wear “big girl panties”.
Oh, I forgot about Addie. Other than feeding her, changing her diaper and occasionally rocking her when she’s cranky, she’s pretty easy right now. Both girls tend to ignore her, although Bea likes to pat her on the head and tickle her tummy.
6pm: The other part of the day where I give my children food they don’t eat.
6:30-7:30 pm: The girls get to watch television. And by “get to watch television” I mean they continue to watch television that I turned on two hours prior to keep them from killing each other while I made dinner.
7:30-8:00 pm: When my husband is home, he does bath time and story time with the girls while I bathe and feed Addie. He does this because 1) he’s a saint and 2) he values the life of our children and knows if I have to deal with them after a certain point of the day their lives are in danger.
8:00-9:15 pm: Depending on how tired she is, Gracie will begin asking us questions about random topics to keep from going to bed. After we say goodnight, she’ll wait till we are at her bedroom door and yell “Wait! I need to ask you something!” and then go “umm, umm, umm” for about 30 seconds, after which we press her for the question and she yells, “yes! I’ve got it!”. She, in fact, does not have “it” and hedges for another 30 seconds. I have less patience for this than her father. The other night, she asked how big the earth was, and he took 10 minutes to explain the solar system and how each planet’s size was in relation to the sun. I’d like to think that if I spent my entire day with adults that I also would spend ten minutes explaining the solar system to a five year old at 8:30 pm, but that’s not my reality. When Gracie asks me those kinds of questions I usually tell her that’s how God made things. Boom. Ultimate random question trump card.
10:00 pm: I load up the coffee maker with enough grounds to service a Waffle House, give Addie her last bottle for the evening, and fall into bed.