A day in the life

What it’s really like to be a mom (very long post!):

Wake up 6:40 AM. Hayden’s crying. Ryan’s getting up for work. Can’t open my eyes. Last got up at 3 to nurse Hayden. A good night: he only woke up once after I went to bed.

After fitfully sleeping between wails, finally get up 7:30. Go nurse Hayden. He curls up in a little baby ball to fit perfectly in the nursing pillow. For once, he falls back to sleep completely. He even stays asleep after I stand up (still nursing him) and switch off the light. Unlatch Hayden and gently place him back in bed.

Now what? Don’t want to start anything that’s a real time commitment because he usually doesn’t stay asleep more than 5 minutes when he does this. Spend 20 minutes checking e-mail and an hour migrating my blog to Blogger beta and trying to fix all the evil changes.

Hayden coughs, wails, then “talks” to Marty. I wait as long as I can to go get him. He’s happy with Marty. Of course, he’s happy to see me, too. Play peek-a-boo through the crib rails. He reaches for my face between the rails, I kiss or pretend to eat his hand. Give him kisses on the nose and cheeks through the rails. Finally get him out of bed. Miraculously, although he’s worn the same diaper all night, he has not leaked at all. Undress, change diaper, dress. I’m still in my PJs, but I don’t care.

I figure he ate a little while ago, so we head out. I pause at the door to his room to let him play with the dimmer switch. He likes it. We go to my room to sort out a load of laundry and take it to the washing machine. I set Hayden down to play in the family room and knock some toys out of the entertainment center for him while I load the washer and get it started.

He’s not very interested in those toys; would rather play with me. I do my exercise video, trying to avoid Hayden. He plays with the draft doggie, a cardboard box, a purple plastic egg. He crawls toward the computer. I stop exercising and grab him just before he gets the cords. Let him play with his tunnel, finish exercising.

Hayden’s reaching the end of his patience, and wants Mommy. I pick him up and flop us both down on the Love Sack. He sees the cardboard box and lunges for it. I eventually get tired of the cardboard box and set him on the floor so I can finally have breakfast—a glass of water and a banana. Hayden whines when I leave his sight. I reassure him; he remains unreassured and heads toward the kitchen. I hurry back to him with my glass and banana. Nursing time again while I eat my banana. Hayden thinks the banana is pretty interesting.

Finish nursing and eating, throw away the peel. Hayden follows me to the kitchen (he gets about 3 feet before I get back). We play. Hayden plays with a stack of papers to be thrown out. I put away the books that haven’t been put away for months. He freaks out when he can’t see me, though I’m only 6 feet away. He’s getting tired. We go snuggle in my bed for a minute. He doesn’t understand that this is supposed to help him wind down for a nap. Crawls all around. Crawls over my arm, lays his head down halfway through the task. Reaches out and places his tiny hand in mine. He quickly recovers from momentary lag and starts crawling around again. Time for bed—sing 2 songs, snuggle with Marty, put him down.

He cries for 10 minutes, I go back to comfort him. He will not be comforted. Or, he will, but he won’t let me set him down. Though he seems to be completely asleep, he cries lustily. I figure I can’t help him and get in the shower. By the time I’m out about 15-20 minutes later, he’s fast asleep. I get dressed and suddenly remember the hugemongous pot of chili I’m supposed to be slowcooking for a church function tonight.

Pull out the crockpot, pop in the stoneware and switch it on. The cake I made yesterday is still moist and waits for its glaze. It’ll wait a little longer.

I read my RSS and do nothing productive for work during the scant hour Hayden naps. I discover that migrating my blog resent about 20 posts to my RSS feed. Sorry.

Hayden’s up and happy to see me. I nurse him and we go to play. He’s not satisfied to play with his toys when I’m in another room. Follows me to the kitchen. I hold him while I grab a bowl of bag salad, but put him down in the family room again so I can cut some chunks of cheese for my salad. He’s pretty good about letting me eat this time, only crawling into my lap for the last few bites. We play peek-a-boo around the couch and loveseat. He’s ecstatic to see me every time I poke my head out from behind the couch.

He acts hungry now, so I grab a banana for him—a new food today. I cut a third of the banana, peel it and hand it to him. Of course, it goes straight in his mouth. He gnaws a little bit off the side; not very interesed. I strap him in his high chair, put a bib on him and give him the banana on his tray. Now he can’t get it in his mouth. Seems to want to eat it with his nose. Loses interest.

I take the banana and smash it with a fork, then try to feed him some with a spoon. He eats 2-3 bites, then refuses to open his mouth. He laughs at me—without opening his mouth. My plane noises amuse him. He keeps his lips pursed. My pretending to eat his food bores him. His jaw is clamped shut. He turns his head and begins to become distressed at the prospect of eating another bite of bananas. I become distressed at the prospect of never getting him to eat solids, but eventually give up and get him out of the high chair.

Make the caramel glaze for the cake by unwrapping a bunch of caramels & microwaving them. Hayden tears up the newest phone book. I don’t care. Let the glaze sit to thicken and hold Hayden. Let Hayden tear up the phone book some more while I pour the glaze over the cake. Don’t feel like cleaning it up, maybe Ryan will do it. I doubt I’ll let it sit that long.

Hayden’s getting fussy by now, so back to my bed for snuggling. I wish I could take a nap. Hayden doesn’t. To bed—sing songs, snuggle with Marty, set him down. He cries, but only for about 10 minutes. I spend half an hour writing down the events of our day and trying to figure out when I’ll go grocery shopping today. Finally decide to get work done. Take a break for a minute to clean up the remains of the phone book. He’s been down for a while. I miss him.

Hayden wakes up at 5:20. I give bananas a second try. He isn’t interested again. I give up and go to change for my church function tonight. Hayden gets into more things he shouldn’t, starts to fuss because he’s hungry. Ryan calls—he’s at the church where I said to meet. I’m 20 minutes behind schedule. He comes home, arriving after I’ve started to nurse Hayden.

Hayden is only minimally distracted by Daddy’s arrival at first. After a few minutes, Hayden is full and overjoyed to see Daddy—huge two-teeth grins, giggles, kicking, jumping. Daddy takes Hayden. Once Hayden is in Daddy’s arms, it’s as if he’s seeing me with new eyes. He’s now just as excited to see me as he was to see Ryan a few minutes before. His delighted squeals melt my heart.

All day, I’ve been looking forward to the time that Ryan arrives home to help take care of Hayden. Now that he’s here and I need to hurry off to church, I’m sad to leave my baby (and husband, too). Lots of kisses and “I love yous.” I load the car with my crockpot and cake and leave at 6:15.

Church function which I co-organized and conducted. Lots of fun with the ladies and WAY too much food. Whoops. Return home with lots of leftovers at 8:30. Ryan greets me at the door in socks, so I make a couple trips to bring in the crockpot and leftover cake. I ask if Hayden’s still awake. Ryan sighs—yes, he is. He should have been asleep at 7 or 7:30. I sigh, but secretly I’m excited to see my sweetie, especially since I know he’ll be so excited to see me. Once I’ve unloaded the car, I head into the family room, where I assume Hayden’s waiting.

He’s not. I ask Ryan where he is. He was in bed, and had been bawling until right when I pulled up. Ryan had assumed he was still awake, but his sudden silence indicated otherwise.

We watch TV until a little after 10. I miss Hayden and I really need to nurse him. I go in his room and pick him up. He protests a little but (“Moooom! Why are you doing this to meeee?” kind of thing) is soon happily nursing. He drifts off to sleep and I unlatch him, which rouses him a bit. I lift him to my shoulder and he stretches, arching his back, stretching his arms above his head, pulling his knees up, leaning his head back, sticking his little behind out. He hasn’t stretched that big since he was a tiny baby. I used to call him “My Little Bean” when he stretched like that because he kind of looks like a kidney bean leaning backwards that way. Very sweet. He burps. I give him more kisses and set him back down in bed. He settles in.

Ryan and I are both exhausted, but I suddenly feel as though I haven’t accomplished anything because I’ve been stuck decluttering the same area for three days. Ryan helps me put away most of the things from that area, and we head to bed. It’s after 11 before we’re asleep.

Hayden only wakes up once. It’s a good night, but I still wake up tired in the morning. Hayden is thrilled to see me, jumping, smiling and squealing in delight. It’s a new day, and Hayen loves me desperately. It will be a long time before he understands just how much I love him, in spite of it all.

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