I’ve really enjoyed my toddler being at her 2s programs since September. Four days a week, she goes to one of two schools, where she is in either a 2 or 3 hour drop-off program. Add in the 2 hour nap, and I get several solid hours of time to myself four days a week to work on freelance assignments and my websites. Yesterday, however, was a reminder of life without school – and it was scary.
Now that school is closed for two weeks (TWO WEEKS!!!) and my babysitter is on holiday (an actual holiday, minus children – jealous), it’s just all me, all day. We usually have every Friday completely together, so I didn’t think much of our “holiday” time until yesterday happened.
6:30am: She wakes up. I go to get her out of her room only to be told “No Mummy, want DADDY” and have the door slammed in my face.
6:45: She stops whining for Daddy and comes out into the living room, where I am already on my 2nd glass of Coke Zero. We play with the iPad, Playdoh, tiaras and stuffed animals until my husband wakes up.
9:15: My husband gets up. He needed extra sleep after getting up with Cheese during the night. I steal a quick shower while he tries to convince our toddler to eat some form of breakfast that doesn’t come in a pouch, and then heads off to work.
9:45: Cheese realises Daddy isn’t coming back. Everything goes downhill and no amount of Play Doh will fix it.
11am: I try and put her down for a nap. She’s so exhausted she’s almost rubbing the eyes out of her head. She insists “No nap!” even as her eyes are rolling back.
11:10: 10 minutes of screaming for milk and “bubbies” (strawberries). I comply with both.
11:30pm: Loud banging from her room tells me she is still awake and possibly abseiling from the ceiling.
11:33: “BOO BOO KITTY!” and more crying (she wants a hello Kitty bandaid for her abseiling injury).
12:15: The muttering and crying stops and I think she’s gone to sleep.
12:17: The voice at the door “MUMMYYYYY where aaaaare you?!”. Argh. I go in and notice she has pooed. Change diaper and put her back down to even more protesting and whining.
12:50: She has now been screaming for 20 minutes. I can’t find the noise cancelling headphones and am going out of my mind. I offer milk and try and put her back to bed.
1pm: I give up and let her out of her room. I make her a grilled cheese sandwich that she won’t touch. She eats an entire punnet of strawberries and demands chocolate milk. Nice try.
3pm: We play with all her toys while I beg her to eat something with protein or even carbs in it. Building block houses for her princesses, Play Doh again with the talking Elmo Shape & Spin that I always tread on during the night, and sing Twinkle Twinkle and Wheels on the Bus along with the iPad.
4pm: It’s time to leave the house. We are meant to be going to a Christmas party in Williamsburg but I’m too exhausted to take her on the subway. Instead we stroll towards Kids Club for an open play session. We don’t reach the end of the block before she falls asleep in the stroller. Of course. I now have about an hour of walking the streets to do to give her the nap she needs.
4:45: I find myself in Red Hook. I have walked a long way.
5pm: I walk to the new Whole Foods in Gowanus and relish shopping without someone whining and grabbing everything in her reach. I slowly browse shelves, checking out brands I usually whizz past. I find a gingerbread house already baked and assembled, ready for decorating – the day is looking up!
5:45pm: She wakes up when I’m at the cash register – somewhat surprised to find herself in Whole Foods. We stroll home.
6pm: We stop outside a church to listen to the bells. Cheese asks for “more bells!” very insistently. Sadly I can’t deliver on more bells, so we head home.
6:15pm: Home, and I’m so tired I can barely stand. I throw pasta leftovers in the microwave and serve them to Cheese for dinner, along with her beloved “bubbies”. She won’t touch a thing and demands to watch BOTH the iPad AND the TV at once. I’m too tired to put up a fight, so put Barney on the TV and her favourite video, Feist’s “1234”, on the iPad. I collapse on the couch next to her high chair and beg her to eat.
7pm: My husband gets home. I nearly cry with relief.
Only two weeks left until school starts again. Not that I’m counting down or anything.