Just One Day

This is probably not interesting to other humans, but I wanted to record a day in my life right now, as accurately as I can, just to remember it more clearly in the future.

I go to bed shortly after midnight. Nurse the baby at 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, and 7:30 (give or take 15 minutes on either side). We are up for the day at 7:45 when he hears his mommy come in from work. He lies in bed with her squeaking with delight and telling her about his night while I get coffee. Asa jumps in the bed while I’m gone to talk to them, Evan I think is reading Lord of the Flies. I bring diaper changing things to the bed and Asa acts like I am crowding him in MY bed. I send him to eat yogurt so I can drink coffee, change the diaper, and have potentially the only conversation I’ll have with Heather all day. She tells me our sweet friend with a toddler has broken her foot the previous evening, which vexes us both to a teeth-gritting degree. I don’t really ask thoroughly about her night at work, because I am so preoccupied.

I try to get her to brainstorm meals for the week with me – I am feeling slightly stressed about the necessity of a grocery trip with all of the little children, but she is too sleepy. She says like 10 times, “I’ll cook whatever you want.” And she says she thinks the baby is getting ready to roll over soon (he’s been rolling over for a lot of weeks). It is funny. I’m pretty sure Evan came in at some point wanting to kiss the baby. I smooch her off to sleep and bring Oscar to the living room to the boys and my Aunt who’s here for a visit.

Baby plays with Aunt Ellen until his brothers overstimulate/annoy him to the point that I must take him back for more nursing, while taking meal suggestions and making a grocery list. The boys go off to finish making and eating their breakfast, get dressed, and brush their teeth. I need to boil eggs for our dinner tonight at that point, so I toss and wrap the baby onto my back and get those started.  Evan helps me pack the diaper bag, talking incessantly. It should be noted that both he and Asa are talking nonstop through any part of this that they are awake, which was before I got up until 8:30 pm. I mean, barely breathing. “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, Aunt Ellen, mom, mom, mom, Aunt Ellen, mom, mom…” Like that.

They are asking Aunt Ellen about her kids and whether either of them had kids, and one of them does have a daughter whom he’s never parented (What’s the politically correct term for “illegitimate”?)  This leads to my fielding a couple of unexpected “my dad” questions from the boys (blog post of its own) Then Evan asks if we could go to one of the two museums in our town. Um, not today? We’ve just laid out the agenda for the day here, kid, have you met your carseat hating brother (also blog post of its own)? It’s going to take a while…

Eggs boiled, lists and sacks compiled, children and Aunt prepared, baby changed again and sung into the (Devil) carseat (from Hell), we commence our journey to the city 30 miles from where we live. I stop for a snack in a town 7 miles away because I realize I have not eaten breakfast. Evan sits next to Oscar in the van, because he takes his baby tending job extremely seriously, and vigilantly shakes rattles and replaces pacifiers, whereas Asa tends to gaze out the window and scratch his nose while the baby screams bloody fucking murder. Our next stop is a gas station because I need cash and it is the nearest ATM, and the baby is starting to freak out a little. I get him out of the hot seat and carry him in to get the money, change his little butt again, buy the boys some Tic Tacs to break a twenty (they are obsessed with Tic Tacs. Like, obsessed. It’s because of the movie Juno).

I decide I don’t want to nurse the baby in the seedy gas station parking lot, because our next stop is to pick up a wrap on a nice mama’s front porch while she is at church, and it is less than 5 minutes away.  We get there, I get the baby out, but, oh, shit, we’re at the wrong address! Baby back in the carseat, now flipping out, Evan is asking me if I buckled his carseat straps. I say yes. He says because it doesn’t look like you did. (I didn’t fasten the chest clip, we’re driving 5 mph eight houses down) I’m getting pissed, but saying, wow, thanks for looking out for your brother. At the correct house, I do say EVAN loudly as I UNbuckle the carseat straps. I nurse the baby, grab the wrap, leave the money, put the baby back in his torture chamber, and am instructed by Evan to play the white noise now. So I find the app on my phone and play over the van’s stereo system what is actually a combination of “Large Fan” and “Brown Noise” and “Air Conditioner” and “Heavy Rain” and who knows what else, and the baby goes to sleep.

Next stop is the farm store for chicken food, but I go in alone since I have another adult to contain the mayhem to our own vehicle, and the baby stays asleep. We move on to the grocery, where I pull into a parking slot just as Oscar loses his shit again. I put him in a baby carrier and we’re off. The grocery trip is actually uneventful. It takes forever, but we are all content and conversing. “Mom, mom, mom, Aunt Ellen, mom…”

I decide that lunch is in order before the drive back to our own town. We go to a restaurant, and it’s pretty enjoyable, aside from some mild scolding of the, “Please don’t do that with your food” variety. Actually, at one point, I told them to act their age and not their shoe size, which they thought was a.) ingenious and that I had thought that up on the spot, b.) completely hilarious, and c). so spot on because they are almost 8 and 10, but their shoe sizes are 1.5 and 3-4. Go me! I do more nursing and changing of the baby, and he is super sleepy because he’s missed many hours of napping at this point. I need to pee, and Aunt Ellen wants to hold the baby for me, but I know that he’s going to freak out (blog post of its own about his mommy-only ways. Boo.), so I just take him with me. As I’m peeing with him on my lap, I think about chimpanzees and how I’m pretty sure mama chimps don’t get to hand off their nurslings to their female relatives  or anyone else, ever, for any reason. And I feel a little better, because we’re all animals, like the Kimya Dawson song we’d heard shortly before this in the van.

We drive home. Evan asks me on the way if I will help him create a logon for an online gaming site, and I respond that it’s honestly not my top priority because I really need some time where I can rest and not be having a conversation. This makes say mom slightly less often, and the white/brown/fan noise is playing, so it is quieter, and the baby sleeps. Although, Asa did sing the theme from “Reading Rainbow” for at least half of the drive home. Oh, and Evan hears Aunt Ellen talking to me about how “the days are long but the years are short” (ironically), and pipes in, “Like Mercury.” Which he says every time he hears that expression. Because, on Mercury one day is actually longer than one year. The time it takes for the planet to spin on its own axis is longer than it takes for it to orbit the Sun.

They are immensely helpful at bringing in and putting away groceries, and then ask if they can watch a movie in their playroom, which, hell yes. It’s after 3 p.m. once I’ve gotten things situated, fed the baby again, and go into our bedroom to put him down. Heather wakes up, gets up to pee, comes back and says funny sleepy stuff to me – she doesn’t know what time it is, and I get in a dig about the many hours she’s been sleeping in a completely quiet house with zero interruptions and how I am jealous. I tell her I love her and she says I love you too and I say I really love you and I’ve been missing you. She pokes me in the ribs and snuggles me and reminds me I’m “supposed to” (I offered to) stalk the Tula wrap conversion stocking at 5 (whole other blog post, but not from me because poo on that). I set an alarm and then can’t really go to sleep because I feel under the gun to take a nap in the hour and fourteen minutes that I now have.

I wake up to the alarm and sneak out of our room, sit on the couch in the living room refreshing the computer. The whole point of this is to be fast, because these things sell out in a matter of seconds, so I cannot do anything else for a few minutes. During those minutes, I hear the boys having altercations about farting on each other’s heads, saying I’m going to kill you, and other extremely very naughty goings on. Also, OF COURSE, the baby wakes up. Screaming his head off. Mommy-only situation. Chimpanzee. Not cool.

This is a thing he does sometimes (its own blog post). He is so pissed that his idiot mommies did the wrong thing that he must now read me the baby riot act and refuse to nurse until he feels I have felt enough of his wrath. Then, he’s sort of done, but nursing, nursing, nursing. I talk to Heather and Ellen. The boys are having a thinking moment until I can address their shenanigans. The baby wants to go back to bed, but only for like two minutes. I’m serious, this is a thing he does. Then he will wake up and pretend that his giant tantrum never happened and be the happiest baby in the world.

I run downstairs to talk to the boys about saying terrible things to their brother and putting body parts on one another with murderous intentions. Disappointing choices, etc. Baby wakes up a new man, spends the next two hours singing happy baby songs, playing with Ellen, hanging out in his swing, or with me in a ring sling. Evan and Ellen play backgammon on the deck. Asa helps Heather make dinner, with actual help and contribution. I put away forgotten things, tidy up, change the baby. We all eat dinner. Heather is running late, which means I have to tend to some things she’d normally do.

Heather gives me and the baby a quick kiss and is off to work. The baby wants to take his short evening cat nap. In the thirty or so minutes he sleeps, I rush around like a mad woman to complete necessary tasks. Turning duck eggs  in the incubator, chasing chickens and ducks back into their pen for the night (this takes Evan, Asa and I all three together), watering my wife’s dozens of tomato and pepper plants, switching out some laundry, putting away food from dinner. The boys ride their bikes and show off to me, “popping wheelies” (they don’t actually get any air) and turning their handle bars around backwards. Asa looks beyond adorable with his helmet and his new glasses, and I make a mental note that he needs a strap to keep his glasses on his face.

I wash my hands just in the nick of time to pick up the baby. I nurse and watch a short TV show with the boys before they go to bed.  I have to trim the baby’s fingernails, and I cut the top of his thumb and he cries and it sucks. Ellen tries to hold him while I say goodnight to the boys, and he’s freaking out, and she thinks it’s because he has a wet diaper, but we cloth diaper and she can’t figure it out. That’s not his problem, anyway, it’s the whole mommy-only situation, so I take him with me to lock up the chickens and ducks for the night. Then she and I give Oscar a bath which is completely sweet and hilarious. He stomps his foot constantly and splashes water all the way across the kitchen.  He never wants to get out of the tub, and I tell him that all good things must come to an end.

I give him a little massage and put on his jammies and nurse him again, more for my comfort than anything else. Goodnight, sweet baby. It’s 9:30.

Ellen and I talk for an hour, about baby wearing and car seats and how different things are now than when her kids were babies. About my parents and me as a baby and my worries about Isaac’s impending adulthood. She goes to bed at 10:30.

Heather texts me from work telling me that another of our friends, also with a toddler, has broken her ankle.  I send a message to the first injured friend, another message to one of Oscar’s donor siblings’ mom (blog post of its own), and one to a lady who wants to buy some cloth diapers from me (only, actually she wants to trade really bizarre things for my cloth diapers like Transformers toys and a mirror). I start writing this blog post, and eating snacks because I haven’t eaten nearly enough during the day. I take a bath. I literally stare at a wall for ten minutes, just thinking, which is glorious. Before I know it, it’s 1:06 a.m. and whole new day.

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