A Really Typical Day at My House

OK, so that last post described an ideal but completely unrealistic typical day at my house. I don’t know that there ever is a completely typical day at my house, but there are few things to be expected. For instance, inevitably the first one up in the morning will be DD#2, usually around 8:00. She might lie quietly for a few minutes before insisting that she wants to go downstairs, watch some television, and have some juice. I will try to cajole her into being quiet so I can maybe get a few more minutes of shut eye, but I will finally resign myself to fate and get up, bringing the baby with me. The baby will also wake up and have a really big poop that she’s been grunting to get out for the past hour in her sleep, but she will only do her business when awake.

When we get downstairs, I’ll turn the t.v. on Nickelodeon or PBS and pour DD#2 her cup of 3 oz of apple juice mixed with 3 oz of water. I’ll set the baby in her bouncer and start unloading/loading the dishwasher while my computer boots up and my water kettle heats up. I change the baby’s diaper (from disposable to cloth), get DD#2 a second cup of juice, and take my decaf. instant coffee (3 tsps sugar and milk) to the computer. I will then nurse the baby while checking my e-mail and reading various blogs.

On a good day I will throw a few pork sausages on the Foreman grill and some English muffins (for me) and toast (for DD#2) in the toaster oven to later be smeared with cream cheese and peanut butter respectively for some breakfast. On a bad day, DD#2 will have a third cup of juice for breakfast, and I will eat nothing. It usually depends on how lazy I am feeling. In the meantime, my husband usually heads off for work after a quick cup of something to drink; he doesn’t care for breakfast.

If DD#1 isn’t awake by 10:00, I go wake her up. I try to get some sort of grunt of awareness before telling her to get dressed and brush her teeth before coming downstairs. On a good day we all get dressed and have teeth brushed before going back downstairs. On a really good day I also get to take a shower. On an average day, the kids get dressed and I get dressed later in the day. On a bad day, I have to fight with everyone to get them dressed for the day.

Then we have the following conversation every morning:

DD#1: Mom, I’m hungry.

Me: What do you want for breakfast?

DD#2: What do we have?

Me (frustrated): The same choices we have every morning when you ask me that–cereal, toast, or fruit!!!

DD#2: I don’t want any of those. Don’t we have something else??

Me (more frustrated): Cereal, Toast, or Fruit!!

Eventually we come to a decision and both girls are given something to eat. On a good day it takes five minutes. On a bad day, I listen to about an hour of whining about how hungry she is but how she doesn’t like her choices before I make the choice for her. I then start doing chores around the house (on a good day) or wasting more time on the computer (on a bad day).

Then the rest of the day kind of varies. The two older ones both go through weeks where they veer towards one activity: playing on the computer, watching television, drawing and coloring, playing with toys together or apart. Sometimes we have appointments or errands to run when my husband gets home with the van. On a really good day the television is off most of the day, but honestly it’s usually on. I figure it’s a good day if the kids don’t fight too much, if DD#1 can keep the number of times she screams at the top of her lungs under 5, and if DD#2 doesn’t use crayons or pens to write on things other than paper (like the walls). If I make the time and have the patience to do an educational activity with each of them it’s a very good day.

Lunch and snacks are grazed throughout the day, alternating between healthy and junk food. I usually cut them off around 4:30 and start cooking dinner around 5:00. After dinner they usually watch television or play some more. DD#2 gets tired around 9:00 and I take her and the baby up to bed. The baby isn’t ready to sleep for the night until about 10:30, though. My husband takes DD#1 up for bed sometime before 11:00. I usually get to sleep somewhere around that time. Then I’m usually up changing and feeding the baby one or two times through the night.

Most days are fairly good even if they aren’t very structured. And despite the lack of structure, the kids keep busy and seem to be learning a lot, proving the philosophy of unschooling.  On Friday they did some writing and coloring as DD#1 made invitations, decorations, and a schedule for a pretend birthday party for DD#2. Then they played with some blocks together making birthday cake and a roller coaster. Then they had the Twister mat out, having some fun. They also did some dancing to Swan Lake and then to Miley Cyrus, and the television was off most of the afternoon (we did have some of the British Open and then the Stations of the Cross from the World Youth Day in Australia on in the background at times). I even managed to be productive getting the kitchen cleaned up and (gasp!) mopping.

This has kind of been the way of things over the past four or five months as we prepared for and adjusted to the new baby. But our routine changes every few months depending on my husband’s teaching schedule (I say we live our lives in semesters), the girls needs at any particular time (like changes in sleeping), and what bad habits I am trying to overcome in me and them. But that is part of life…”a time for every purpose under heaven” and all that.

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One Comment on “A Really Typical Day at My House”

  1. Laura Witten Says:

    Thank God. You almost gave me a complex reading your previous post! LOL

    I made a revered trip to Barnes & Noble yesterday to let DS play with the Thomas the Train set while I browsed. I got the second novel in a series by Michael Stackpole, Cartomancy (The Secret Atlas was the first). I am proud to say that I know him personally. Anyway….while I was there, I also purchased The New Strong-willed Child by Dr. James Dobson. After reading several antidotes that sound remarkably like my DS, I decided that I definitely have a strong-willed, typically non-compliant child. Some changes are getting made ASAP – apparently if I don’t help him learn submission/obedience by the time he’s 4 it will be much more difficult. It is a good book.


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