I had this awesome idea that I would record what I do over the course of a day, so that I can show… well I’m not sure what I hoped to illustrate. I think I picked a bad day to do it on too, but here is what happened yesterday:
2:30am: S wakes up to feed. I fall asleep feeding her, as is the norm.
5am: S wakes up to feed. I groan because I fell asleep in an awkward position last time and now my back feels like it may snap.
6 am: S wakes up to feed. Hold my breath and pray she goes back to sleep as 6am is too early to contemplate today.
7am: wake up, S still asleep
7:30: S wakes up later than usual but in a good mood. She’s usually in a good mood in the mornings.
7:45 have a bath together. Put S on bed (mattress on floor) in towel while I dry myself. She happily plays with her toys. At the moment she has to have two lots of cream on her arms and legs each morning and night. Apply first lot and wait ten minutes, during which time I dress myself. Just as I’m putting on my bra she decides the digital clock is more interesting than her toys, and launches herself off the bed towards it. Ten minutes spent comforting a screaming baby with a digital clock imprinted on her cheek. Second lot of cream on, clean babygro on, finish dressing myself. Open curtains and check ceiling for leaks.
8:40: downstairs for breakfast. Good morning baby-in-the-mirror, good morning stairs, good morning front door, good morning kitchen, good morning living room, good morning CBeebies… CBeebies? Virgin Media box not working again, so put a dvd on to keep S entertained. Make porridge with fruit puree for S and a coffee for me. Also 5ml of Calpol for teething/cold, and 0.6ml of vitamin supplement she’s been on since leaving hospital. Skip the iron supplement she’s meant to have, because she had it yesterday and I don’t like to do it every day. Come back to living room to find S has managed to get herself almost completely underneath the unit the TV sits on. Again. Extract her and put her in her high chair. These days she won’t go into the chair without something on the tray to play with, so she has a rusk. The rusk never goes anywhere near her mouth. During this meal it is thrown onto the floor only four times. S eats breakfast, refuses to even entertain the idea of the rusk (probably for the best) so I eat it. Back to the play mat to play with her toys, as I make a stab at the housework.
9:10: Thoroughly clean high chair as it’s not been done properly in a while. Put a load of washing on. Vacuum downstairs, including underneath the rug. S is rather disgruntled at being left on the play mats, and I have to clean them any way, so I pop her in the ball pit. She watches with an unimpressed look as I move all her toys off the mats to vacuum up the crumbs, then move the ball pit with her in it to vacuum under that. She falls over and gets cross. Stop what I’m doing to play with her for a bit. Apparently the Dr Seuss dvd is just not doing it for her, so we swap it for a Tweenies one so that I can go and do the washing up.
10am: take S upstairs for her nap. Lay down on the bed with her and read a book as I feed her to sleep. Radio on fairly loud to block out the banging from next door. Everything crossed it will work.
10:10am: S asleep, I come downstairs to finish the cleaning. It’s a race against the clock. Finish washing up. Clear and clean kitchen sides. Empty bins and take them out with recycling. Clean the kitchen bin. Fill a bucket, on hands and knees and clean kitchen floor, living room floor and hall. Have to scrub at dried-on baby food I’ve somehow missed when it was dropped. Empty bucket down toilet, fling some bleach in afterwards and make a mental note to do more than just fling bleach down it at some point today. Or tomorrow. Or definitely before next weekend.
10:45: put everything back in its place, sit down, put my feet up to have a little drink and a rest. Find cold coffee and chuck it. Hear S wake up. Short nap today then, possibly caused by next door being extra loud this morning. Go upstairs to fetch her. Thankfully, she’s woken in a good mood. Back downstairs, Tweenies dvd back on as TV still not working. Luckily S is happy to sit and play with toys in front of me while I sit on the sofa and sort through the pile of paperwork that’s built up on the sofa cushions next to me over the course of the week. As long as I look at her every few seconds and pull a face or chat to her, she seems content to shout at her toys and look up at the Tweenies any time they sing or dance.
11am: start to curse myself for not buying any sensible breakfast or snacky foods in this week’s shopping. Feeling a bit squiffy but there’s nothing quick to grab to eat. Settle for a can of Coke. Healthy lifestyle at its best. Back to the living room to sort the never-ending pile of washing. Fight hard not to just sit on the floor and cry from the stress of certain personal issues going on right now. Disturbed from my self-pity by a bad smell, and stop to change a nappy. S cries when I cough, and we spend 20 minutes playing and practising walking until she is happy again. She sits and plays with a toy hammer precisely long enough for me to sit back down on the floor with the washing, then starts crying again. Eventually manage to get washing half-sorted, when phone rings. Spend 20 minutes on the phone to my mum, explaining the latest drama with my older sister. Get off the phone, and it’s time for lunch.
Midday: lunch time. Sit S in the high chair and distract her with some wotsit-type crisps while I shovel proper food into her mouth. she spreads food and crisps all over newly-cleaned highchair. Half an hour later, I clean her up and make a half-hearted attempt at the highchair. She spends ten minutes on the rug practising crawling and screeching and then we go to the kitchen to make brownies. S sits on the floor while I mix brownies. She gets a chocolatey spoon to play with, and I am glad the floor was at least clean before we started. Brownies made, she pulls at my jeans while I wash up. Then we go back to the living room, where she sits in her ball pit, trying to chew on the inflated sides. It doesn’t work so well and she gets quite fed up. Quick trip upstairs to put some washing away, but give up when she is not happy up there either. Come back downstairs and watch some awful CBeebies show with her sitting next to me on the sofa playing with remote controls. This lasts five minutes, before she makes it perfectly clear she wants me to feed her. These days feeding is only done at nap time so usually when she tries to grab my boobs it’s because she’s tired.
1:50pm take S upstairs for her nap early. Lay down and read a book while I feed her to sleep. Once she is asleep, I go to her bedroom to put away some of her clean washing, and to sort through her next lot of clothes. She’s just growing into 9-12 months stuff, so I need to make sure I have enough. These days every time we change her clothes at least one item of clothing has to go into the “outgrown” pile. Bring 9-12 months clothes downstairs to check what we have and put it through the wash. Answer is: not a lot. Better do some shopping. Take more clean washing upstairs and sort it out. Come downstairs and have a brief scroll through Ebay to find some bargains for S. Greeted by a Facebook comment from my older sister informing me my dead father was disappointed in me and my two brothers. Decide S is better off not knowing the bitterness on that side of the family and try my best to remember my father loved me.
2:40: S wakes up, crying. Go upstairs to fetch her but make matters worse when she sees what Mummy looks like when she’s been crying. We come downstairs and watch some CBeebies whilst tearing an old Radio Times apart. Then when that gets boring we take a little tour of the house, then sit and play with some other toys.
3:30pm visit from my sister Z and her boyfriend L. A welcome relief; I think S and I are both growing sick of each other’s company. Z and L take it in turns to play with S, making her giggle and letting her walk them around the living room.
4pm: tea time. S is tired and less interested in food than I would hope. Manage to sneak in two-thirds of her dinner and a fromage frais. Back to playing with Z and L while I bid for some clothes for her on Ebay.
5:15pm: Z and L leave. Take S for another little wander around the house, pick up PJs and a clean nappy. Wrestle her out of her clothes, and fight to get her cream applied to the relevant areas. Doctor told me to apply a thin layer of first lot, wait ten minutes, apply second lot. It needs to go behind her arm pits and behind her knees. Not the easiest of places on a squirmy, grumpy baby but we do our best. Second lot of cream is not what the doctor prescribed, as that was a steroid. Use coconut oil instead, which is nicer but she doesn’t like the smell. Finally manage to get her into vest and babygro ready for bed. More crying. Take her to the kitchen to fetch a Baby Bel, and we sit on the sofa to eat it. She plays with each remote in turn, then throws them on the floor. Ditto for my phone, my iPod, a pair of slippers and a box of tissues. She cries when I put my hands near her face, so we go back to the kitchen to wash the coconut oil off and try again. Marginally more successful; I think she ate about a quarter of the cheese. Everything from the sofa thrown or hidden, including my phone. S still in a grump and clearly showing me she’s tired and wants to feed so take her to bed ten minutes early. Good night living room, good night kitchen, good night front door, good night stairs, good night baby-in-the-mirror, good night Mummy.
5:50pm Lay on my bed and read a book as I feed S to sleep. Fast asleep within 15 minutes but I worry how long it will last. Mad dash downstairs to tidy up toys in the living room and get various other bits done, in case she wakes up and I don’t have time.
6:40pm: S wakes up, screaming incosolably. No chance of getting her back to sleep, so bring her downstairs and rock her back and forth for twenty minutes, until she does a massive poo and it becomes evident why she was crying. Change nappy and have a stab at getting her back to sleep. Fail miserably. She is clearly picking up on my less than perfect mood. Bring her downstairs and put her in the bouncy chair in the hope she will be tired enough to just fall asleep. May as well hope to win the lottery. Short, uncomfortable visit from HYM with worst possible timing known to man. Entirely not his fault my daughter is upset and irritable and my family has imploded.
Evening spent with S in the bouncy chair, periodically trying to find a toy that will keep her entertained. She shows no signs of tiredness, until she begins crying at 9pm. Suspecting another poonami, I decide to admit defeat and just go to bed. In the time it takes to lock the front door, carry her up the stairs and change her nappy she has become wide awake again. She spends an hour or so playing on a rug on the bedroom floor while I potter about.
10:30: feed S to sleep and fall asleep myself.
1:30am: S wakes up to feed. I have to use every ounce of self control not to cough, because I know this will cause tears and proper wakefulness from both of us. Have a small drink of water, feed S and go back to sleep.
3:30am: awake again. Feed her to sleep and pray this time it lasts longer. Try not to cough.
6am: awake again, but I refuse to accept 6am as a time to be properly awake. Feed her back to sleep, only to find that I can’t sleep. Lay in bed and try my hardest, until 6:30 when I get up and play with my mobile instead.
6:45am Mad rush from bedroom, downstairs, into living room, door shut, and finally have a big cough into a cushion so as not to wake S.
7am: S wakes up, and we start it all over again.
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You might find it interesting to read this post I wrote when I returned to work.