And Now For Something Completely Diff’rent

I am now on the third attempt at this diary entry. If I don’t get it posted this time, it will be lost forever. I suppose I could be smart and start composing in Word so there are more recovery options, but that seems like extra work.

Ahem. Anyway. Now that the spontaneity of this post has been shot to shit, I will try again to be light-hearted and witty.

What was I thinking 18 months ago, when I whispered to Jeff, “It’s okay, my period just ended…” and then we went on to conceive Nina? It’s not as if we didn’t know how this spawning thing works. We have two other (planned) girls to show for our reproductive efforts. We are way past the age of saying, “But I didn’t think I could get pregnant if we only did it once,” (which we didn’t, but that’s another topic). So what was I thinking? Not much in the way of logic, but my heart must have known something, because now we have Nina, 9 months old, and a daily reminder of what’s right in the world.

Nina and I are biding our time in old Bloomington, waiting for Gabrielle to get home from school, and waiting for Jasmine to get better so she and Jeff can come home from St. Louis. A typical day, which is really atypical, considering our current circumstance, goes something like this:

5:00 AM: The dogs, sleeping in the hallway, are awakened by the paper guy, who arrives at the same time every day. And apparently every day they are either shocked, or convinced that today is the day he is going to do us harm, and so they bark furiously, waking me and Nina. It takes me another 30 minutes to get Nina to sleep and if I am lucky, I get myself back to sleep too.

7:15 AM: The alarm goes off. If everything got done last night, I press snooze until 8:00. I know I should just set it for 8:00, but I like to play head games with myself and in this one, I pretend I’m cheating someone by not getting up on time. It’s juvenile, but I’ll take all the cheap thrills I can get.

8:00 AM: I drag my butt out of bed, taking care not to wake Nina. Yes, she sleeps with me, a habit I really hope to rectify when Jeff comes home. I get Gabrielle up, which takes another 10 minutes of cajoling, begging and threatening.

8:40 AM: Gab is jettisoned out the door to cross the street and go to school. I enjoy about twenty minutes of peace and then Nina wakes up. By this time, I’m ready to go back to sleep. No rest for the wicked.

9:00 – 11:00 AM: Nina and I play with her toys, I check my email and read diaries… all to the mind-numbing images and songs of Nick Jr. and/or PBS Kids. Again, tortures I thought were long past…

11:00 AM: Nina naps and I clean. Woo… having fun now and the day’s barely gotten started. Where do I start? Do I scrub the toilet? Wash some laundry? Maybe vacuum the kitchen, since some prior lame-ass owner of this house thought it would be a good idea to put hideously ugly carpet down in there? The fun’s non-stop.

Of course, while all this fun is going down, every time I breathe in the direction of the back door, the dumb dog jumps up and looks at me, as if to say, “Outside? Outside now?” Never mind that that they both (two dogs, another “what was I thinking” rant in the making) just came in. Hades is an eternal optimist and just knows that someday, someday that squirrel is going to drop right out of the tree and into his waiting mouth.

12:30 – 2:00 PM: Nina wakes up and we have more hi-jinx in the living room… sometimes we listen to crazy-mom-music and Nina is amused by my attempts at dancing. Hey, it makes her giggle, which is good for making me giggle. If I can’t be a fool for my baby, what’s the point?

2:00 PM: Nap 2 for Nina. Sometimes I snooze with her. That is absolute heaven. It’s a better mind game than the morning snooze-a-thon. I am really getting away with something when I can sleep while most people are working. (Again, I realize this is petty, but you take your pleasures where you can get them when you’re a thirty-something mom of three, stuck home alone.)

3:15 PM: Gabrielle comes home — yay! Homework first for Gab. I’m a slavedriver. At least that’s what my kids tell me. All the other kids in the world are allowed to stay up till 10 PM even on school nights, mom and they never do their homework and eat twinkies for dinner. How could I be such a Donna Reed? Oh well.

Are you bored yet?

5:00 PM: We start thinking about dinner. If it’s a good day, I was thinking about today’s dinner yesterday at 5. If it’s not, I’m thinking about what kind of take-out my kids will tolerate. We usually eat by 6.

6:00 PM: We hang out for an hour with no real agenda. If there’s still homework to be done, now’s the time. Tonight we might make jello, which Gabrielle is convinced is a magical process. I hope she’s not too disappointed.

7:00 PM: Baths, stories and songs. Sometimes. And always bedtime by 8:30. It takes me till 9:00 to get Nina to sleep and then I finally, finally get some time to breathe. So I use it to clean up.

Okay, enough for now. Maybe more later.

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