A (no childcare*) day in the life

photo-377This summer, I have a new childcare schedule. It involves slightly longer days M-Thurs, and then I cover Friday. Since my last “day in the life” post was about a day involving a lot of time away from the kids, I thought I’d share a day when I was mostly with them, or at least some of them. Last Friday had some serious highs and lows, as such days often do.

The baby let me sleep until 6:30. This may have been the highlight of the day right there. I fed him, showered, then went downstairs and worked while he sat on the floor of my office. It wasn’t ideal, but I got a semi-productive hour in. My husband took the big boys to camp, and I walked to my daughter’s half-day camp with her and the baby in the stroller. The weather was utterly beautiful — bright blue sky, not too hot, with the summery sounds of insects buzzing in the trees. We walked home and I got the baby down for a nap by 10. I worked for an hour on the porch, staring at my crepe myrtles. Then I quickly got my exercise clothes on and managed to get 1.25 miles in on the treadmill before the baby woke back up. We played, then got back in the stroller to go get my daughter. I’d call the morning the good part of the day.

We had lunch, then my daughter wanted an hour of quiet time (Kindle time), so I let the baby sit on the floor again and answered emails. Then I fed him, loaded them into the car and we went to the zoo. I decided to let go of my ideas of what a zoo trip should involve (looking at animals) and just let my daughter do what she wanted, which is ride the miniature train and eat ice cream. I had ice cream too. The ice cream was very good! We saw a tiger walk on the suspended bridge over the sidewalk. Then we drove to the boys’ camp downtown. I got them, and drove over to my husband’s office.

This is where things deteriorated, as I could have predicated, but some members of my family are more optimistic than I am. I hung out in the parking garage with the kids (the baby was asleep and I wanted to let him sleep) until my husband’s train got in. We met in the lobby and went up to his office, where my husband needed to attend a happy hour to welcome the new hires who’d started that week. We tried ensconcing the 3 big kids in my husband’s office (there’s a nice view of the trains! He has pens and paper! We gave them snacks!) but they were not exactly thrilled about this, especially since their little brother was allowed out. So, we wound up with all 4 kids at the happy hour. I didn’t manage to drink anything. Charitably, let’s hope the new hires decided the company was family friendly!

Then we attempted to go out to eat. We went to a Mexican place that didn’t have a kids menu. They made the kids cheese quesadillas, which was really nice, but by this point the kids were in meltdown mode. All 3 of the potty trained ones wanted to go to the bathroom at various points. A couple next to us asked to be reseated. I wound up getting my entree to go. I dropped my husband off at the garage to get his car, and endured the baby shrieking as we sat in traffic getting on I-76. I think the low point in here was when my 5-year-old started whining that we needed — urgently! despite the baby crying, the traffic, and it being 7 o’clock at night! — to stop at Target to buy a certain toy. I pointed out that this had about zero percent chance of happening.

Fortunately, the baby zonked out somewhere on the highway. The minivan was then blissfully quiet. We got home, I got the baby to bed, and then I holed myself up in my bedroom to work while my husband watched a movie with the three big kids. I put in another 90 minutes or so.

So the net result was about 3.5 hours of work, a short run plus two pleasant 1-mile stroller walks, a zoo trip, and a margarita at the Mexican place. That’s the part I’m going to choose to remember from the evening.

*Technically, the day camps for the big kids are childcare. I’ve had some Fridays with all four kids, and those are a bit more intense.

In other news: We went to the beach on Sunday. This was likewise a few moments of fun interspersed with much bother. My 5-year-old wanted to play his Kindle on the beach, and we told him it had to stay in the car. So he sulked the entire time and refused to leave the beach blanket because his feet might get sandy. It was truly torturous. But then, once we were home and eating dinner, we asked the kids if they’d had fun. The 5-year-old said he had. Baffled, I asked his favorite part. He said “staying on the blanket the whole time and complaining.”

2 thoughts on “A (no childcare*) day in the life

  1. i just finished and LOVED the audio book for “i know how she does it” (which i decided to download simply based on the fact that i hated the opposite-ly titled fiction book– ha!) and wanted to check out more about you. this post just made me laugh out loud. one of my two probably would’ve shared the blanket and complaining with your 5 year old and loved every minute of it. thank you for sharing your words and brilliance!!

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