Wednesday, January 9, 2008

We're Ready!

We started a new routine on Monday night. My husband’s been promoted (to detective) and I’m very happy for him (and for me. Because now, every time he asks me where his keys, phone, wallet, etc. are, I’ll be able to say “you’re a detective. Launch an investigation.” That’s NEVER going to get old.)

His new hours are M-F (with one weekend every 5 or 6 weeks on call), so this is a huge improvement over the 8 weekends on, 7 weekends off schedule he worked as a patrol officer. The upside of that schedule is that it was all daytime. Now, he’ll alternate days and nights; a week of days followed by a week of nights. The night-shift week started Monday. This means that picking up the kids, feeding them, getting homework done, getting bathtime done, and getting them to bed is all me, baby. Not that I haven’t done this many times; he’s worked night work before, but it’s been part-time or overtime on a here and there basis, not a week solid.

This sort of thing brings out the best and worst qualities in me. I’m organized, and I can get things done. Sometimes, however, I’m the teensiest bit regimented. Like a few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store, and was seriously annoyed at this totally wound-up crazy woman who was riding herd and barking orders at her kids. The fact that she was me made her not one bit less annoying. The point is that when I have things to do, I tend not to stop and smell the proverbial flowers. I might stop and pull a few weeds out of the flowers, and then respread some of the mulch that’s blown all over the place, then just mow over the whole flower garden for efficiency’s sake.

So I pick up the kids at my mother-in-law’s house (and she has already fed them. She rocks. Korean ladies rock). We arrive home at 6:05. Kids remove shoes and jackets and fling them. I order them to retrieve shoes and jackets and put them where they belong. They grudgingly comply. I head to the bedrooms and lay out their clothes for the morning, and get their pajamas and underwear ready for bathtime.

Homework. I order the 6yo to the kitchen table. He again grudgingly complies, then rushes back to the family room to pry his Spiderman computer from his brother’s sticky clutches. I negotiate…he’s not going to hurt it, right? You can have it back as soon as you finish your homework. He just wants to play with it. That goes pretty well, until ¼ of the way through the homework, when 3yo runs through the kitchen singing “I got de computer. I got de computer.”
Damn it.

OK, homework is finished. 7:15 or so. Kids want a snack, and I need to try to do some homework. (note…that didn’t happen. I worked ahead last week, so I could get through the whole week without doing any homework, and it looks like I might need to do exactly that.) Kids and their snack are in the train room, leaving me free to do some housework.
Laundry
Dishes (in and out of dishwasher)
Dusting (half the house. Strangely, dusting is my LEAST favorite household chore. I say “strangely” because wouldn’t toilet scrubbing out-do dusting on the household unpleasantness scale for most people? Not that I ENJOY that, necessarily, but I prefer it, and almost all other household chores, to dusting. But I hate dust, so dust I must.)

It’s 8:00 now, and the boys have tired of the train room. Time for SpongeBob. How I love that absorbent, yellow, porous fry cook, his crustaceous cheapskate employer, his brooding tentacled artiste colleague, and all the rest of the denizens of Bikini Bottom. My children like him too. Our new favorite commercial is in heavy rotation. MIGHTY PUTTY (“mighty pighty” as the 3yo calls it) because “look Mom! It can pull a tractor trailer! You should get that!” I might. I was driving to work one morning last week, and a tractor trailer was blocking the right lane of the street I need to turn off to get to the office. Had I had some Mighty Putty, I could have just hooked him up to my Honda and done everyone a favor. It’s on my to-do list.

8:30. Shower time. 3yo: “Can you catch us?” 10 minutes of hilarity and hijinks as I chase them screaming through the house.

9:00. Clean, shiny little boys with wet heads and freshly-brushed teeth. They have 30 minutes to hang around the bedroom and play quietly while I read. “Quietly” is interpreted differently on each side of the generational divide in our house. To me, it means complete silence, to them it means avoid shattering windows and setting off alarms. They manage to keep it somewhere in the middle between the two extremes.

9:30. Bedtime. After assorted pop-outs (Can I have some water? Can we have another snack? What time is it? The 3yo frequently wants to know what time it is. He might have an appointment. Least favorite answer? Time for you to get back in bed, bud.
Mommmeeeee!) they’re asleep by 10.
I could do some more housework.
I could maybe exercise. (I crack myself up. Seriously, that’s some funny shit.)
I could study.
No, I think I’ll watch TV. See, I’m not always regimented.
Good night!

21 comments:

Sauntering Soul said...

I need a nap after reading that. I am single and have no kids. I didn't manage to even empty my dishwasher last night.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Detective is a career with a much sexier ring to it than Category Manager or IT Consultant, and I love that it merely gives you more material for jokes.

dbvzikui - is today's word verification - I need bifocals for that.

DCup said...

Wow, did you just hold up a mirror for me. I can be that regimented soul, too, and it's not pretty to see, is it?

I can easily relate to your evening. My kids are a little older and more self sufficient (which means I don't have to read to them anymore, but the 8yo likes to read to me), but they still make messes and require mom time and have to be told everyday to put their shoes away. (That's why we have closets....)

Hang in there and know, at least, your "misery" has company.

Suze said...

Good Lord woman - I'm tired just reading about it. I can't imagine having a full schedule and children. I can barely do laundry for two of us in the house. I will have a moment of complete silence in your honor.

CDP said...

SS--Go ahead, and take one for me, too.
Lady--I know, I'm kind of jealous of the title...I have the kind of job that requires a PowerPoint presentation just to explain what I do
DCup--I was kind of thinking of you when I wrote this, since I know you're a little compulsive about order too.
Suze--A moment of silence, nice! I'll accept this as nothing less than my due.

Spartacus said...

Holy crap. I thought I was reading something from a parallel universe. That was me and E. circa 1998. Then again, now that mine are older, instead of fighting over the Spiderman computer, they go at just because they breath the same air. Thanks for this snapshot of your life CDP. And congrats to your husband.

CDP said...

Thanks Spartacus! You and Dcup were both in the back of my mind...neither of you are much older than me, but you had your kids earlier, so we're probably you 5 or 6 years ago.

Whiskeymarie said...

You've just made it that much clearer how much time in the day I just fritter away.
Your day exhausts me.

FranIAm said...

I love this post. Very much.

Congrats to the detective!

And by the way, I hate cleaning but I clean. Dusting is THE WORST!

CDP said...

WM--I still do my share of frittering (this blog for instance) but I always find that the more I have to do, the more I can do. If I'm not busy, I'm REALLY prone to just giving in to laziness.

Fran--Thank you! I actually don't mind cleaning, but I hate to dust.

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