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.”
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.
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.