The night is short. A few days ago, we moved the hobbit to his own bed – a decision which I was a bit afraid of since he has been sleeping much more calmly next to me than in his bassinet, but which we made anyway as he has turned into a very active sleeper. The last nights were fine except for the fact that I have to put back the pacifier around five or six times. This night at t 3am, he wakes up and starts crying. I suspect stomach pain. He cries for a bit more than an hour. Then I can finally get him back to sleep. An hour later (at 5am) he wakes up again to have his mouthful of milk and to bustle around a bit. Final wake-up call: half past 6. I have had better nights before….
From 7 to 8 am, we follow our morning procedure. Everything is a bit more relaxed on Wednesdays as the little one is going to her playgroup in the morning and Karsten usually drops her there on his way to work. Which means that he starts work a little bit later on Wednesdays. I get the hobbit dressed, Karsten dresses the little one. Then I prepare her breakfast box for the playgroup and simultaneously prepare the hobbit’s formula. While Karsten is feeding the hobbit, I am having a shower and afterwards we have a quick breakfast (bread with honey and a coffee for me). The Karsten and the little one are off to the playgroup.
The hobbit is slightly more happy than during the night, but just slightly, really, and is lying on his baby blanket while I collect dirty laundry from all around the flat. Then I put him in his baby chair in order to clean the windows (and hoping for a full diaper to end his stomach pain. He normally fills his diaper as soon as I put him in his chair to drink my coffee.). My plan works out: while I erase the art work that the little one and her friends draw on our windows yesterday, the hobbit fills his diaper. It now calls for immediate action: ever since we introduced formula, full hobbit diapers are a potential hazard in our household! (I didn’t know that shitty diapers can actually drip, but since we accidentally dripped on the carpet of the night train I am well aware of this new dimension!).
Shortly before 9am, the hobbit takes a nap and I write some emails and prepare my bag for this afternoon. Going to work with two children calls for a bit more stuff to take along than just wallet, keys and mobile phone.
When the hobbit wakes up 30 minutes later, we enter a rather exhausting time of the day. He is not amused, not at all. The rest of the morning is dominated by some very loud cries and an unhappy baby. Maybe he is growing?
At 11 am I dress the hobbit and we go outside to pick up the little one. The hobbit falls asleep and I am walking to the playgroup while being a bit frustrated by the rain and snow. At the playgroup, I manage to get the little one dressed relatively fast (normally we are the last people to leave) and we go home together with our friends. At home, I place the hobbit in our bedroom (he is still sleeping – yay!) and I decide to put some mini-pizza in the oven. Days like today don’t hold the potential of great cooking experiments, I think. Also, my last dishes have caused some astounded comments by the little one (“Mama, what are we eating today??”), so pizza seems to be a safe option.
After lunch, the little one and I read a book (Pippi celebrates her birthday) and then she takes a nap. Since a few days, we have the agreement that she can leave the light on and read a book while listening to me bustling around in the flat. That normally puts her to sleep quite quickly – today is no exception and I breathe a sigh of relief: the afternoon is going to be much easier with a well-rested little one. The I take a painkiller as I have a terrible headache and a sore throat today.
At 1:30 pm I wake up the hobbit in order to feed him some milk and to change his diapers. Half an hour later, I have to wake up the little one because we have to get ready to go to the bus station. It takes a bit of convincing to get her dressed but on days when I have to rely on a cooperative child I think promising a piece of chocolate is tolerable. At the bus station I secretly argue with the weather god again.
At 2:45 pm, we arrive at the family centre. The event today is a clown workshop where kids learn how to dress and act like a clown. It’s an easy event for me as it is conducted by someone else – I merely have to open the doors, collect the admission, prepare snacks, pay the clown and clean up afterwards. Thank god the little one is allowed to join the workshop. Two of her friends are there as well and I think it would have been quite a challenge to convince her to sit in my office while her older friends are having fun. Not even chocolate would have helped, I assume. After the workshop started, I take the hobbit with me to the supermarket to buy some snacks (apples and crackers). After I prepared it and put it into the workshop room, I sit down and drink a coffee (the hobbit fell asleep in the supermarket). Then I talk to one of the mothers who is new and wants to know more about the family centre. Ha, I manage to recruit a new member! Then I start working on some decoration for the carnival event next month. After a while, the little one comes and joins me for some time, but goes back shortly after.
At 5am, the workshop is over and everything is slightly chaotic with children running around and mothers talking. Karsten comes in order to pick up the kids so that I have time to clean up. Unfortunately, I miss the bus (it only runs every half an hour), so that I am only home at 6:30pm. When I open the door downstairs, I already hear a child crying. I take a deep breath, enjoy the cold air for a second and then enter the usual evening havoc.
It’s the hobbit who’s crying. While Karsten and the little one eat their dinner, I carry him around trying to cheer him up. Then the kids and I lie down on the floor and cuddle a bit before I start making the hobbit ready for the night. While I feed him some milk, Karsten tries to convince the little one to change her diapers. Not an easy thing to do these days. I put the hobbit to bed and lie next to him until he falls asleep. While I am lying in the dark bedroom I can feel every muscle in my back.
At 7:30pm, the hobbit is sleeping and I start cleaning the kitchen. But then the little one is starting to throw a tantrum while getting her teeth brushed and I switch tasks with Karsten. He cleans the kitchen, I put the little one to bed. At 7:45pm, I start preparing tomorrows lunch: potatoes au gratin (with apples! It’s the way Karsten likes to eat it and I must say it’s delicious). The little one continues to call us in order to bring her this and that and to sing a song and to look for her stuffed animal and to talk and……At 8:15pm, I make a final announcement: her door only stays open if she is quiet! As she loves to listen to the sounds we make (it calms her down, I guess), we finally have some peace.
At 8:30 pm, I sit down and eat my dinner. Karsten has to read some stuff for work and I write this blog post while listening to classical music. Now, shortly after 9pm, we’ll watch an episode of M.A.S.H. and then call it a night. Sleep well, everyone!