Monday, December 3, 2012

So When They Ask Me, I'll Remember

**Thanks, everyone, for the comments on my last post!

I've asked several older women about their younger years as a mom. I've asked them "how did you manage when your kids were little?" and questions like that.

They have all given me similar answers:

I have no idea.
Those years were a blur.
I honestly don't remember.

Well. I want to remember how I handled life and what we were doing when I had 3 at home. So today I thought I'd track our day. It was work. But now I've got it for posterity's sake. Can't say this is a "typical" day...but it was a day.

7:30  Wake up. I usually wake up at 6:45, but S got up early and it threw me off. Oh well. Lay in bed and check e-mail, Facebook, etc. Rather, lay in bed and squint at screen because I don't have my glasses.

7:45 get up and feed Baby Bee in the recliner.

8:00 get the roast going in the crock pot, make breakfast (canned biscuits, oatmeal, and green smoothies). What is that smell? Take out trash in kitchen. Oh. Its actually the burnt sweet potato that dripped in the oven yesterday. Nothing like sweet potato biscuits. Put stamps on bills and mail them.

--girls are dressing Bee during all this.

8:30 Sweetheart out of shower and getting dressed. Little Bit playing. Bee is in high chair. Oatmeal is cooling. Biscuits are baking.

Eat breakfast. Have pep talk with girls about Dad's declaration that the weekends are for FUN and the house shall be clean by Friday evening with groceries bought and errands run. Discuss picking things up as we go and how little things add up. Girls leave table immaculately clean.

8:50 My turn in the shower. Sweetheart finishing breakfast and taking care of baby. One of the perks of having olders and baby at same time.

9:10 I'm out and dressed. Bee is ready to nurse. Little Bit is playing school with her dolls. Wants preschool workbook. I remember preschool computer games. Find CD and direct girls how to install it while nursing. It works. Can't believe it--it's from 2002.

9:30 Start school.

10:25 Bee falls asleep in my lap during reading.

10:35 Sent Little Bit for play break while I work on reading questions with Sweetheart. She does not remember what she read. I send her teary-eyed back to re-read. Note to self: girls need to go to bed earlier tonight.

11:10 Bee wakes up. Time for math--both girls at once. Otherwise known as suicide.

12:15 Sweetheart is half done with math. Little Bit all done. Play break for all!
Bee plays in her bed while I clean out her drawers. I notice Sweetheart never made her bed which was huge part of our pep talk at breakfast. Sigh.

12:35 Lunch. Leftovers from restaurant for Little Bit, leftover hot dogs for Sweetheart and me, sweet potato and applesauce for Bee. Work on trying to get Bee to use her left hand to pick up cereal. Girls are cheering for right hand. Suckers.

1:10 It stopped raining. Outside to ride bikes because Mama has been thinking Sweetheart needs more exercise.

1:20 Down to Grandpa's house to see if he can raise Little Bit's seat and handlebars. He does, after much searching for the right sized Allen wrench which we find in S's toolbox. Now she can keep this bike a while longer.

Girls ride through rain puddles and get very wet. Bee is at Grandma's playing with her in the floor.

1:45 Back inside for more school. Time for Bee's nap. First, girls must change wet clothes.

2:15 Finish feeding Bee and lay her down in her bed.

2:40 Finish reading and history with Little Bit. Sweetheart finishes piano.

Switch laundry.

2:45 Spelling with Little Bit. Sweetheart working independently.

2:50 Done with school for Little Bit and she is in tears and doesn't know why. Remind self children need to go to bed early tonight. Baby still sleeping. Sweetheart still working. I clean part of kitchen.

3:00 Decide to get read-aloud done while Bee is sleeping.

3:55 Finish reading (we are behind so we read a long time). Finish kitchen. Sweetheart finishes school.

4:05 Bee wakes up. Little Bit practices piano. Sweetheart still finishing school. We didn't finish all the subjects but we seem to have run out of day. Oh well. Tomorrow.

4:20 Bee is finished eating (again). Clean off our bed of all the stacks I made while cleaning Bee's drawers. Finish drawers.

4:30 Girls have abandoned baby to go play. Hear her fuss because she is alone in room. Go sit and play with her.

4:45 Go check on neighbor who is 80, a widow, and has an infected tooth. I worry when I don't see her car move for a day or so. She invites us in. It's a marvelous, breakable, fancy Christmas wonderland in her house. My children are in awe. Little Bit is scared of the dogs though and shakes for several minutes even after neighbor puts them out.

5:05 Home to pick up living room. Contact senator about UN treaty.

5:20 Sister is here. She eats with us every Monday night. She plays with Bee while I peel potatoes for dinner.

And that's it. S got home at 6:20 and we all ate and know how the evenings are. The girls didn't get into bed particularly early, but hopefully they will sleep well and be less teary tomorrow.

Also I think I've figured out why the housework doesn't get done.

And why it can all turn into a blur if we don't slow down and enjoy it.


  1. Young ladies have asked me that, too, and I remember those days well, but they don't want to hear my answer: have a schedule. But, it seems like you have already figured that out for yourself. Naturally, some days the schedule is impossible, like if there is illness, guests, or doctor appointments, but in general, having a schedule helps and keeps the kids calm.

  2. I used to get these same comments from older ladies when I was young and I was so amazed. None of them seemed to remember anything. The ones who did, like my mother in law, had very different ideas about child raising. For instance, she used to tie her children to the potty seat until they "went," and then let them off. Potty seats in the 40's and 50's actually came equipped with a plastic strap for this very purpose and she has a picture of her youngest daughter strapped to her potty seat, fast asleep! When my husbands sister was having trouble potty training her daughter, my mother in law (her mother) begged her to leave the daughter with her for one week, and she promised the little girl WOULD be potty trained. My husband's sister wouldn't do it. These days, somebody would call CPS and you'd have your child taken away from you. She also loaded up her babies' cereal with sugar, something mothers of my generation (and yours) would never do. (Her children ended up big, strong, and healthy, as they are to this day, so my mil was right that it wouldn't hurt them.) Anyway, in our ever-changing American society, things older ladies did with their children seem barbaric to us today. So, that's another thing....

  3. My aunt used to feed her babies some concoction of Karo syrup and other stuff in their bottles!! :)

  4. Eww, yeah, I have heard of that. We lived in England, and they put hot tea laced with milk and sugar, the British way, in their toddlers' baby bottles to have the hot caffeinated drink keep them warm all day. It didn't seem to hurt them at all, didn't seem to make them hyper or anything but it's not what I would do. Shows you how things are different. The British mothers also would not break up the toddlers' fist fights at Mother and Toddler Group, but they would all just sit there and watch calmly, and see who won! I'd snatch my kid away when he was being beat up, but they never did!

  5. Sorry for the multiple comments. Your blog is one of my favorites (I've blogged as Mary and Mary R before). I have a good memory, so I remember all this stuff. But I'm now caught up in the almost overwhelming problems with launching my 2 grown sons, both of whom are in the Air Force, and an ageing husband who is physically not well. This is typical for older ladies and their minds are focused on getting through their present problems, which is why the child-raising years seem light-years ago for most of them. In the last few years, 4 of my friends have lost their husbands and are coping with widowhood. Always something.

  6. I am not looking forward to that period of life. But, I will be glad to have my children raised. I hope your husband has better days.

    I can see what you mean though as already my 13 year old's babyhood seems so long ago! I can only imagine when my kids are all adults!

  7. Oh, and thank you for the compliment! :)

  8. love how you documented a day in the life. you go, mama!

    i kinda miss blogging, too. just can't force myself to sit at the computer too long these days. i think i'm allergic. is that possible? ;)

  9. Ugh--I get all itchy and panicky thinking about having to do school that late in the day. I would never be able to get the girls focused back on school after that long of a break. Please--who am I kidding--I would never be able to get focused back on school after that long! Ha!

  10. I used to be the same way Anita. Two words:middle school. Our days of finishing before lunch are over.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)