hanging on

It’s early in the morning. Our flat is hot. The bedroom is hot. I feel hot. I mean, really hot. Not in the sexy sense of hot, but in the heat wave-14-kilos-too-much-weight-and-hormon-samba kind of hot. I try to roll from one side to the other.

At 5:30 the little one wakes up and demands a fresh diaper. One of the “firsts” that I’d welcome during the day, but please, not before 6am. It’s Karsten’s turn to play the hero and I can hear the sounds of a changing diaper. Shortly after, the little one seems to go back to sleep, but both Karsten and I are only halfheartedly snoozing away. About one hour later, the little one decides that she slept long enough for today.

The little one joins Karsten in the shower. Afterwards she wants something to drink and from what I hear something is wrong and she starts to rapidly jump up and down while tipping over her full glass of water. Karsten uses the “sh*” word which we agreed not to use anymore after our kid shouted it out loudly in the stairhall. I have a slight impression that it’s not going to be the best day for the little one (and consequently neither for me). Oh, how right I can already be at 7am in the morning….it’s a blessing and a punishment, I tell you…

The next two hours are characterized by two things: crying and slapping. Mind you, both coming from the little one. In five-minute intervals. Nothing is going right, according to her. Nothing is going right in my opinion neither. The temperatures rise.

After two hours, we walk to our friends flat as I have agreed to babysit the little one’s two older friends today. Already yesterday it sounded a bit like a kamikaze action considering the late pregnancy, my swollen feet and the heat. But I really like the kids (and so does the little one) and it is also a promising prospect that the little one might at least stop throwing tantrums for two hours.

The kids start the upcoming two hours with a wild jumping session on the sofa aka guest bed in the living room. Somehow I doubt that it is normally allowed to jump on it, but on the other hand I don’t feel like playing the bad cop in case it is allowed after all. After ten minutes the little one hits her head. I feel one or two drops of sweat on my forehead. In order to calm down the kids a bit, I decide to start a game that always worked incredibly well with my cousins, my nephews and my former babysitter kids: treasure hunt. First we make a treasure box (10 minutes of calm and quiet drawing!). Then I fill the treasure box with a treasure and hide it in the flat. And the following minutes, the kids are busy looking for the box. This is only the beginner’s version of the game, by the way. My proper treasure hunt involves several written hints which the kids have to solve. It takes some time to prepare, but it is still the most awesome way to keep them busy without risking injuries and tantrums. My one cousin was especially keen on treasure hunts. When he was twelve, I put an end to it as he decided that it was more fun to design them for me instead of me designing them for him and I wasn’t able to solve his equations with three unknowns…..

Well, the treasure hunts keeps us busy for another half an hour. Then the one kid is suddenly throwind a tantrum because I put something to eat on the table and he got the feeling that there weren’t enough snacks in form of small dragons for him (I assure you there were enough! But he can’t understand what I am saying because he is crying so loudly). After ten minutes of shouting, crying and angry tears, I decide that it is time for a halfway decent telling off. Which results in the fact that he grabs the plate with the snacks and bites it while wildly shaking his head so that the rest of the snacks are flying into every direction. One quick look to the side assures me that the little one is watching quietly but keenly. Yay.

Two minutes later, when everything is fine again, we start playing hide and seek. Until the little one hits – what? her head? her leg? her toe?…no idea, I am already hidden – and the game comes to an end. Instead the kids start jumping on the sofa again. We also have a tea party with small cups and plates designed for gnomes. It escalates when the oldest girl decides to empty the whole tea-pot of water on the table in order to “clean”. And the younger brother decides to do exactly the same,

Finally we are playing with building bricks when the older girl decides to use the cross trainer (another forbidden thing which I am unaware of) and tells the little one to step back so that she doesn’t get hurt. Which causes the little one to be inconsolably sad. While she is crying loudly, I hear the liberating sound of the key in the door. Phew.

We stay for lunch (funnily enough as soon as the parents were back it is completely fine for the kids to just sit on the sofa and read a book with me…) and afterwards the little one and I make our way back to our home. Just thirty metres, but the sunshine and the heat make us almost crawl. At home, the little one falls asleep right away and I followe ten minutes later.

After one hour, the little one wakes me up again. Her hair is sweaty. So is my whole body. One quick look and I know that her mood from this morning hasn’t really changed. I tell her to go back to her bed in order to snooze for some more minutes. It is indeed quiet for another 15 minutes which give me enough time to somehow roll out of bed and into the kitchen. As soon as I have an iced coffee in my hand, the little one joins me and starts, surprise-surprise, a small tantrum. I notice that my feet are so swollen that half of my toes don’t reach the floor anymore.

We have something to drink. She enjoyes the ice-cube in her cup. Until she tipps the glass over again. (oommmmmm).

I call my mother in law. When I finish, the little one throws another tantrum because she wanted to talk to her as well (she had her chance though, but she wouldn’t speak on the phone..). (Oommmmmm).

I try to call the health insurance to ensure that the registration for the baby is correct. The little one repeats non-stop that she wants to sit on my lap. The registration wasn’t registered (I try to escape the little one by going into the next room, but she follows, insisting that she wants to sit on my lap) so I have to do it again (underlined by a crying little one because she can’t sit on my lap. (Ooooommmmmmmmmmmmmm).

We sit down and have some chocolate ice-cream in order to make everyone happy. The little one is so eager to eat the ice-cream that she falls of the chair. (Ooommm).

I write Karsten a text that the person with the least mental breakdowns tonight wins and has to tidy up the flat. I write a second text that I just noticed he already won.

We go to the balcony and I try to convince her to play in the small paddling pool. She insists that she wants to go to a playgroup. As I wanted to make that call anyway, I try to call the playgroup team to ask whether the little one could join although she just turned two (playgroups are normally starting at the age of three. Before your kid turns three, your only chance of a social surrounding is the daycare which is far too expensive for us.). Unfortunately, I don’t reach anyone. While I am on the phone, the little one empties a whole bucket of water from the paddling pool into our living room. Is that a tear on my face or just sweat running down my cheeks??

In between, she suddenly grabs the bowl with the snacks, bites in it and shakes it wildly to all sides. Wait a second, that’s something I have already seen today…..(Ooommmm).

On the bright side, she uses the potty about ten times. I am still trying to figure out how to manage a day without diapers if my daughter apparently needs to pee every two minutes.

When checking my emails I find out that the postdoc position that Karsten and I had our hopes up for didn’t work out. Which means that we have basically no idea where we will live next year and whether or not one of us will have a job. Well, those are definitely tears on my face now. My desperation is even more increased when I notice that a turned down post doc position probably weighs more than the 50 or so mental breakdowns of today and that it is now up to me to tidy up the flat. Damn it.

Desperately waiting for salvation I start to read books to the little one. The one of the hedgehog and the mole who are saving all the animals from the torrential downpour. And the one of the hippo in the night train which looses its earring in the drain and Egon, the worm, takes a deep breath and dives into the drain to catch it. All of them feel very suitable considering my mental condition. I wonder whether our friends are up to the challenge to dive down the sewage pipe for me to make me happy again?

Then the little one makes a number two on the potty! For the first time since christmas Hooray! It’s the little things that make your day.

When Karsten comes home, it starts raining. There are even a few thunders and it feels a little bit cooler this evening. Maybe I will fit into my shoes again tomorrow.

Now we’ll eat more ice cream. I have tidied up the flat. And I was even generous enough to let Karsten choose which Ben&Jerry’s ice-cream cup he wants to eat. He went for cookie dough. That leaves peanut butter cups for me. It’s the little things, I tell you. And with these little things I keep hanging on.

About erdhummel

Familial entropy - that's an insight into our current life which has been fundamentally changed last summer when our daughter was born. Having studied in Cottbus, Germany, and worked/studied in Edinburgh, Scotland, we momentarily live in a small town in Switzerland where Karsten is trying to save the environment and Freddie is trying to save our sanity. Since there is not much time for elaborate, long emails while doing that, we thought a blog might be a good option to smuggle ourselves into the lifes of our friends.
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8 Responses to hanging on

  1. I wish you a better day today with lots of little things delighting you (and the little one:-)!!

  2. caro says:

    maybe it is time to introduce the little one to youtube…..for me it was the last resort when I was pregnant and exhausted…

    • erdhummel says:

      Funny coincidence; since yesterday the little one knows about a certain mouse and an elephant (and is, since then, constantly asking about them…)…..

  3. Cécile says:

    Aoutch… bad days happen… I understand your feeling, we lived quite the same while I was pregnant with Eléonore : no jobs, no house (we stayed both at our parents’ place…), no idea of what the future would be. And that’s probably harder with the hormons 😉 But suddenly everything went fine and life gave us the greatest opportunity (from now on) of our lives! So I do trust that it will be the same for you, and that after disappointment and discouragement will come hope, new exciting projects and great achievement for you all!
    Let enjoy these lasts moments before the arrival of the new little one 😉 We think of you a lot and send you all big hugs and kisses!

    • erdhummel says:

      Thank you so much!! We still have our hopes up for one or two possible options, but they would include leaving good friends behind (again) and it’s all just planning, no real chances yet. I just wish that one day we’ll be able to settle somewhere (in case that is still possible in today’s world)….And everything seems easier with ten degrees less anyway 🙂

  4. eingehirner says:

    It’s not only about friends wanting to dive down down sewage pipes, I assume there’s plenty of them and we, too, would be happy to do it (taking with us an ActionCam to document the adventure, if this doesn’t strain the metaphor to death)… if a job for Karsten was to be found down a sewage pipe the problem would be rather easy to solve. Unfortunately it turns out that more often jobs lie down (or up) human “sewage pipes” but that, again, is a metaphor one doesn’t want to strain too heavily… It’s also not about money alone as money doesn’t solve things either, it just postpones them. I assume this time it’s really down to praying and waiting what comes along. We would be so happy if you four could stay in our neighbourhood so we will definitely take our share in the praying!

  5. Pingback: late July garden update | familial entropy

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