Monday, October 26, 2009

What Do You Do All Day?

Whenever someone asks me what I do all day, my response is pretty much the same.  I laugh and shake my head.  That question always triggers two realizations for me.  One is that the person asking the question most likely doesn’t have kids.  The second realization is that I probably couldn’t explain it even if I wanted to.

But I’ll give it a try anyway . . .

My last thought before going to bed last night was that I had to remember to make juice popsicles this morning.  The warm weather has returned for a spell, and I promised the kids they could have one when they came home from school.

Once they were off this morning, I thought about making the popsicles, but had to clean up the kitchen first.  Then I had to take the empty milk containers to the recycling.  On the way there, I saw the pile of laundry and was reminded to throw in a load.  While I was doing that, I noticed a toy lizard in the washing machine.  R often stealthily deposits things in the dirty clothes.  At least today there wasn’t a sippy cup with spoiled milk.  I fished out the poor lizard before he drowned, wondering vaguely if some of his friends were still there in the washer.  But I didn’t dare take the time to look because that would cause me to forget what I had just remembered.  I still had to make the popsicles.

On my way to the kitchen, the telephone rang.  A reminder for Shaggy’s doctor appointment which he hadn’t written on the calendar and had therefore most likely forgotten.  I hung up and wrote it on the calendar.  Then I noticed the various hair accessories and hairbrushes left out by the girls in their rush to get ready for school.  I picked them up and headed to my room to put them away.

By this time each day, I am usually convinced that I’m living in one of those ‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’ books.

While in my room, I realized that I hadn’t yet made my bed.  So I did.  I always feel better after I make my bed.  Such a nice, open space  . . .  to pile more stuff on.  And then it occurred to me that I had to send an important email to someone, so I fired up the computer.  That’s usually a fatal mistake.  Somehow this device can suck me into a parallel universe where time actually moves more quickly and when I finally surface again, it’s time to get J from school.  But today, luckily, R was here to rescue me.  She was stinky. Nice definition of “rescue” I know.  While I was changing her, she announced, “Have to go potty, please!”

Yes, she actually says please.  I didn’t want to potty train her--she just turned two, after all.  Too young, in my book.  So when she’d announce she had to go, I ignored her, or worse, I’d try to talk her out of it.  Terrible, I know.  So she turned to her older sisters and father for help.  They’re much more accommodating.  When they tried to tell me she was ready to potty train, I ignored THEM.  But when she finally began looking at me with her big blue eyes and saying, “Potty, please!” I gave in.  I couldn’t ignore that.  And as it turns out, she seems to be ready to learn.  Yippee.  I hate potty training.

Once she was cleaned up, we ran to find her little potty.  We located the chamber, but couldn’t find the seat.  We were running from room to room looking for it, all the while I’m looking at her cute, but bare little bum and feeling more and more desperate because I really don’t want to clean up a puddle on the carpet.  We finally found it, assembled it, and R sat down.  I gave a deep sigh of relief and headed off to the kitchen to make juice popsicles.  But three little words, “I did it!” stopped me in my tracks.  So I doubled back, praised her profusely for doing a good job, and cleaned her up . . . again.  She insisted on carrying the chamber to dump it out.  But for some reason, she just had to take it to the farthest bathroom, the one on the other side of the house.  I hovered over her the whole way, still not wanting to clean up a puddle.  Thankfully, she did a fairly good job.

After getting her dressed, she requested a snack so we headed to the kitchen.  And once again I was reminded that I had yet to make the popsicles.  But the phone rang.  After finishing my conversation, I realized that there was no way the Popsicles would be frozen by the time J got home from Kindergarten.  But I made them anyway.  It is better, after all, for a kid to have a slushy popsicle than a mom who didn’t keep her promise.

As we were heading out the door to pick J up from school, I noticed a sippy cup of milk in the bottom of the dirty clothes.  I made a mental note to get it out of there before more clothes get piled on top of it and it’s forgotten for another day.  But I realized that chances are pretty slim that I’ll actually remember.

With only one kid to care for during the course of the entire morning, I don’t have much to show for my time.  But at least I’ll have an answer if anyone asks me what I did all day.  I made popsicles.


Anonymous said...

I love your post. Every mom who is home full time says the same thing. I only have one but I had exactly the same reaction to potty training. We talked to E about it for a couple of months first, and she wasn't ready in the summer when we had the time to do it, but a couple of weeks after school started, when we were getting really busy, she was ready. Of course it's never when it's convenient for us. So first it was six changes of underwear a day. Now we're down to only two changes a day. But for the #1, she likes climbing on the big toilet better than her potty. Like toys, why do we spend the money, since she likes our "toys" (laptops, can openers, etc) better than hers. -- S

kara said...

I pushed N off for 6 months before she just decided to take care of potty training by herself. So, I can't say I really trained her. She kind of trained herself. It's so much easier to change a diaper, than to stop everything in a public place and rush around trying to find a bathroom, with infant in tow. Let alone when it is declared in the car, I HAVE TO GO RIGHT NOW! For that one, her cousin taught her how girls do it in the woods. That, also, has come in handy. Though, I've had to teach N that a bathroom is PREFERRED, and the "cousin method" is only when there are no bathrooms available. Good times.