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July 17, 2005

A Day in the Life, part VII

Though this blog is on life support, every now and then I still get inspired and decide to put a lot of work into a post. Usually I think better of it and drop it, but this morning at 5:58 I decided I wasn't going to back down. Today I was going to write another installment of A day in the life and nothing was going to stop me. I was going to create a detailed chronicle of this day so my children will be shamed in the future into visiting me more often at the nursing home. And I managed to do it, like I have every few months since they were born. Hooray for me! Previous days in the life can be found here: part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V and part VI.

Note that they both are toilet training at this time, but to be fair to them I won't be writing about it. Multiply my described frustration levels in this post by about 1.5 to compensate.

6:00 The alarm goes off. After a minute I get up, shower, get the paper, and start to make breakfast. I'm very hungry, so I decide we're having pancakes with apples.

6:20 Michelle is up, and gets the kids out of bed.

6:30 Max comes down while she deals with Talia. He 'helps' me as I cook the pancakes. When my back is turned he turns the dishwasher on and soaks the clean dishes from last night.

7:40 Breakfast is done and Mama heads out to work. They didn't eat too well, especially when you consider that we had pancakes, one of their favourites.

8:00 It looks beautiful out, so we head outside. I'm building a new compost bin, and I thought I could get some work in while they were still in their morning good spirits. They 'helped' by handing me bunches of nails as soon as I picked up the hammer. They were pretty good, but after a half an hour they were starting to get mischievious, so I took them away to do something else. No use pushing my luck.

8:30 We went over to the hammock, where I got a few cute pictures.

Max sang a made-up song, "Swinging In Me Garden".

8:40 They're bored with the hammock. We go back inside to finish the breakfast.

8:45 I'm cleaning up in the kitchen when I hear the kids having a conversation at the table about imaginary gumdrops:
Talia: "My gumdrop is very pink!"
Max: "Me gumdrop is very big!"
Talia: "Hmmmm...?"
Max: "Don't take me gumdrop! NOOOO!!! AAAAHHHHHH!!!!"

8:50 Finished breakfast. For sure this time. Talia takes Max's boot from the hallway and puts it on. Max runs to me and says, "Ta-ya take me boot! She take me boot... Ousie! ... It's me boot! AAAAHHHH!!!" The day's fun has surely begun.

8:53 Talia throws an empty 18 liter water bottle down the stairs. Max forgets his earlier distress and laughs merrily. We're ramping up fast.

8:55 I'm done cleaning up. I take them upstairs to brush their teeth. When I'm in the middle of doing Talia's, Max bursts in the bathroom saying, "I got a snotty nose!" He then grabs a wad of toilet paper, jams it against his nose and blows, forcing out a gout of translucent goo. None of it is caught by the tissue, which he neatly puts in the garbage can. Then he wipes his face with his forearm, making it slick and shiny, before dashing out.

9:12 We head out for a walk. Max rides in the stroller while Talia follows behind. Musette and Squeak come along as well. We walk down to the river. They get sticks and pretend to fish.

9:45 We're still there when the Wakefield Steam Train rolls by.

No matter how many times they see the train, they're still always excited by it.

10:00 We stop at a neighbor's on the way home. They have... a trampoline! These two love the trampoline and could spend hours bounding around on it if they could. Max still just runs on it, but Talia has got quite good at jumping and can get a lot of air.

10:30 Home for a snack and some inter-sibling conflict. Much squabbling -- over what I couldn't quite make out. You'll have to wait for them to write their memoirs to find out. Max seemed to be the most upset, maybe he's not feeling good?
Me: "Max, do you want to go to bed? You seem sick."
Max: "Yes! Me sick! Need medsin!"
Talia: "I need medsin too! I'm sick too! I have a cough! *caff* *caff* See?"

10:45 Downstairs watching Dora. It was the only thing I could do. Not that they still couldn't find something to get upset about. Here Talia lets me know how she feels about Max sitting on my lap.

12:00 I'm making lunch. Talia and Max are informing me that the world is coming to an end. Now. I serve them their tomato soup and crackers. I add ketchup in the soup to make sure they eat it.

12:30 I take them to bed for their nap. I don't get any arguments. I have my afternoon coffee while surfing the web to calm my nerves.

2:25 The approach of the train wakes them up and they scream their demands to see it. I manage to get them out on to the balcony so they can see it roll by.

2:30 Snack time again.

2:40 I take them outside again and resume working on the compost bin. Ten minutes is all I get before they're so distracting I have to give up. Max takes a broom and starts pushing our gravel into the road. I explain to him that I'd prefer he sweep the gravel from the road into our driveway, but he doesn't listen.

3:30 We come in for something to drink. My offer of water starts the wailing again, but I tell them we have no juice. Talia disagrees and says we have pineapple juice. After I dismiss this thought she insists, "YES! We have it! We bought it at the store together! It's in the... the closet. Downstairs!" She grabs me by the finger and leads me to the pantry, and sure enough, there's some peach juice there. They get their juice.

3:45 Talia knocks down the juice Max had been ignoring. Max is wailing again. Okay, time for another TV break. Teletubbies this time. We're rediscovering the pleasures of the Teletubbies after forgetting about them for eight months.

4:30 We go upstairs to await Mama. Can't let her find us slumped in front of the TV. Please Michelle, come home soon! They're extremely crabby and demanding Mama. To distract them while we wait, I decide to empty their little wading pool, clean it, and add more water. I don't know why it has to be clean, since all they ever use it for is as a reservoir to fill up buckets, cups, pots and watering cans, but we do it anyway. This task seems to put Max at rest, but Talia sees Max's contentment as a challenge and she goes all out to make him crazy. Much screaming and wailing ensues, and I struggle not to join in.

4:50 Mama comes home, and after an initial greeting, starts to make dinner. I'm left tending to Max and Talia, who by this time look like they're losing their sanity.

5:30 Dinner. A battle. I don't want to talk about it.

6:00 After dinner things cool down a bit. But I'm worn out. This conversation I had with Max as I cleaned up the supper dishes shows how little patience I had left:
Max: "What's that thing?"
Me: "It's a mixer."
Max: "What's it for?"
Me: "It's for mixing up things."
Max: "Mixing up things?"
Me: "Yes."
Max: "What things?"
Me: "Anything."
Max: "Anything?"
Me: "Anything."
Max: "... Oooohhhh..."

6:30 We cut up the rest of the pineapple for dessert. Mama and Papa don't get any.

6:45 Bath time. Again, I don't want to talk about it. It was a two person job and involved a lot of screaming. Only most of the screaming was from the kids.

7:15 I leave Mama with the kids to do the story thing. The last thing I saw as I closed the door to their bedroom was Talia running up and head-butting Max as he was drinking from his sippy cup. The last thing I heard was the crack of teeth on plastic. (Okay, that's not true; I heard the screaming...)

9:00 Time for one episode of Buffy before bed. We're in the middle of season two (we started with season three.) We're almost done watching them all! How will we unwind after they're gone?

Posted by Bruce Gottfred at July 17, 2005 10:43 AM | TrackBack

Ye gods. Great pictures, especially the "losing sanity" shots.

Posted by: smugcanadian at July 18, 2005 01:00 PM

Well this is all hard to believe -- I wouldn't if it weren't for a few of the pictures in there -- because I visited your house and those two were PERFECT! -- well, practically perfect! So polite and smart and adorable!

Ahhh it is so great to read about other parents' toddler struggles. I keep reading about all these people who say "I don't know why they call them the terrible twos: we haven't had any problems... blah blah blah" Well we have a confirmed sighting of a Terrible Two Year Old at our house. Not for nothing do they reach their apex of cuteness at this age -- it's sheer Darwinian survivalism .

Anyway, loved this. Glad you forced yourself Bruce.

Posted by: alexa at July 18, 2005 04:28 PM

Too funny, Bruce. Guess what my wife and I are trying - without much success - to get through right now? Y'know, on the odd night when we're not falling right into bed after putting four year-old Boo and year-and-a-half year-old Mini-Boo to bed?

Yup. Season Two of Buffy. Too frickin' funny.

Posted by: Damian at July 18, 2005 06:13 PM

Oh man...
And there was no mention of you reclining with any alcoholic beverage after bedtime for the two of them. That's a feat in itself.

Luckily I usually only get to see them in bits and pieces of a whole day.

Trampoline! I foresee you two buying a new mattress...

Posted by: René at July 25, 2005 03:16 PM
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