It’s Not All Mary Poppins

A Day in the Life…

7:45, Emily arrives, wailing.
Soothe mom, send her to work. Calm baby.
Read her a story.
8:00, Emily down for nap.
8:07, take call from Emily’s mom, who hasn’t calmed down quite as quickly as her daughter. Poor sweetie. (Emily’s mom, I mean. Emily is fine – sleeping like a baby, in fact.)
8:15, Nigel arrives.
8:20, and Timmy. Timmy’s mother warns me that he has a bit of a — Timmy sneezes, sending streams of thick yellow glop shooting onto… his mother’s jacket. I try to twist my face into a smile of sympathy, but I think only manage to get as far as smirk of relief.
8:45, and last but not least, Anna.

9:00, snack for three awake children.
9:15, story time.
9:30, free play, a.k.a. toss babies onto a heap o’toys in livingroom and ignore while I dash about frantically grabbing diaper bag, library book bag, purse, keys, etc. (Both bags packed the night before, I might virtuously add.)
9:40, start dressing tots for outing.
9:45, Emily wakes. Olfactory diaper check. (How much of YOUR day do you spend with your nose in someone’s butt? Not as much as I do, I’ll bet.) She’s fine! Stuff her in snowsuit.
9:50, remove Timmy from his suit to demuck the boy, who is wallowing in mire produced in the three minutes he’s been in the suit.

10:00, start putting tots into stroller.
10:08, Start our walk, drop off books at library (but don’t stop to visit), head to toy store to pick up Christmas presents on order. There is a COOOLD wind coming straight out of the north and into our faces. Timmy, Nigel, and Emily whimper a bit until I adjust their collars and scarves. Anna falls asleep.
10:30, at toy store, Nigel on and on and on about the “daff-un!” “Daff-un! Daff-un!! Daffundaffundaffundaffun, DAAAAFFFF-UNNNN!!” Doll? Monkey? Snakes? Clown? Shovels? Hula hoops? Bubble bath? Finally I see it – how could I have missed that 12-foot-long model suspeded from the ceiling in the stairwell?
“Oooohhh… Shark, hon. That’s not a dolphin, it’s a shark. See all his sharp teeth?”
“Yah. Daff-un!”

11:30, home again. Peel the children out of their suits; tuck mittens into hats, hats into sleeves; boots on tray; suits on named pegs in the entryway. Sit them at the table.
11:45 lunch. (Vegetarian chili and cheese bread with frozen peas as appetizers.)

12:00 singing time. “Free monkeys! Free monkeys! Free monkeeeeeeyssss—NAP!” Nigel demands. I oblige.
The rest of the set list includes:
My father is a garbage man;
If you’re happy and you know it;
I’m a little smelly skunk;
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed;
Five green and speckled frogs.
Then the babies start crawling away. I think singing time is over…

12:20, diaper time.
12:35, story time, all snuggled together on the couch – two in my lap, one on each side. “Bee-bo book! Bee-bo book! Beebobookbeebobookbeebobook, BEE-BO BOOK!” Guess which is Nigel’s favourite? I oblige. (Guess what book he’s getting for Christmas? But don’t tell!) We also hear: I lost my bear; Cloudy; Ruby’s Rainy Day; Leo et Popi, il faut laver Popi; and the perennial FUNNY, funny book, Blue Hat, Green Hat.
12:50, start bedtime.

1:00, all tots down. Minor fusses from Anna, soon soothed, using the work-that-soother technique. Nigel discouraged from singing to his toes. (This highly stimulating pasttime can keep him awake the entire nap-time.)
1:10, everyone sleeping, even Nigel’s unserenaded toes.
1:11, I wash dishes, shovel out under dining table, scrub table, wipe down bibs, do laundry, cut up melons for snack, send a few emails.

2:00, write blog post.

Bet you thought it would be more interesting, huh?

© 2006, Mary P

December 4, 2006 - Posted by | memes and quizzes


  1. Oh, the bee-bo book. Do we ever know and love the bee-bo book. We haven’t revisited blue hat green hat for a while, though, and it might be worth a try, since D’s new fave word is “Oops!”

    Comment by stefanierj | December 4, 2006 | Reply

  2. Boynton rocks my world.

    And the image of Nigel singing to his toes makes me like him even more.

    Comment by Kimberly | December 4, 2006 | Reply

  3. No finger painting today? I’ve always wanted to know how parents/carers cope!

    Comment by Kat O+ | December 4, 2006 | Reply

  4. It’s bad enough having my nose in one little one’s butt a couple times a day. Oh, the butts your nose has seen. Ah, the stories your nose could tell!

    Vegetarian chili and cheese bread sounds wonderful right about now. Perfect cold weather food! I’m envious of your charges.

    I’m always impressed by your industriousness. You certainly do keep busy.

    Comment by snaars | December 4, 2006 | Reply

  5. Now I have Five Green and Speckled Frogs running through my head. And pleasant memories of nursery school! You take such good care of that passel of kids.

    Comment by Lady M | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  6. Actually, I thought it was very very interesting!

    Comment by Jenorama | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  7. are the peas still frozen when the kids have them…? ๐Ÿ™‚
    jenny uk

    Comment by Anonymous | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  8. Stefanierj: Blue Hat, Green Hat is such a fun one. I have fond memories of reading it with Haley, age three, and having her exclaim “OOPS!! Silly turkey!!” at every page.

    Kimberly: Boynton is amazing. I discovered her twenty years ago with “Hippos Go Berserk”, and my fanhood has never flagged. Nigel? He’s an endearing, if obsessive, little dude.

    Kat: I tend to reserve crafts for the days we can’t get out – weather, long nappers, whatever. Last week we made foam Christmas stockings, though – 2D things, good for nothing but yet more fridge clutter, but the parents always seem happy to see it!

    Snaars: “The stories my nose could tell.” Indeed. It doesn’t bear thinking about…

    Impressed by my industriousness? That’s funny, because I often feel lazy. Still, if you ignore a bunch of 13-month-olds long enough, they can create significant bedlam. It’s self-defense, really. ๐Ÿ™‚

    LadyM: I often have bits and pieces of kids’ songs running through my head – which is probably why I almost never play them. When I put on music, it’s blues, jazz or classical, certain favourite un-classifiable others, with the occasional Beatles disk thrown in for fun!

    Jenorama: Really? I’m relieved!

    Jenny: You want to know for sure? Read the first comment and my response to this post.

    Comment by Mary P. | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  9. rise, lather, repeat. Don’t I know it.

    My husband says I’ve been doing this job too long because my olifactory unit is so finetuned that I can not just detect a poop – but WHO pooped the poop.

    This is not something I usually tell people.

    Comment by Karyn | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  10. I was curious about your day. Do the kids sleep in playyards, cribs, on mats?

    Comment by Mamacita Tina | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  11. this sounds very familiar and fun, except that I don’t usually take mine out. There are too many. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Karyn, I’m so with you. I can tell who did it by the smell also.

    Comment by Kelli in the Mirror | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  12. Karyn: Wow! That’s quite the nose you have. There’s a meme out there: Six Weird Things About Me. This ability surely MUST be one on your list of six. If, that is, you want to go so public with it. Heh.

    Mind you, there are some kids whose output is so distinctive that I can pick them out across a crowded room. The others? Nope – and there I am, butt-sniffing yet again, trying to track it down…

    MamacitaTina: The babies sleep in those folding travel beds – which, when I googled for pictures, discovered they are indeed called “playards”, just as you said! Not that that was what they were called when I first started buying them.

    (Incidentally, is a very silly name It’s not for playing, and it’s not a yard. Pfft.)

    Mine look like the very pared-down version in the upper right corner, beside where it says “playard [harrumph] guide”.

    The older ones sleep on cots, little ones that are about four inches off the floor, just like the ones shown, only pale blue.

    Comment by Mary P. | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  13. cool, maybe frozen baby carrots would be like little ice pops! Had never thought of that, my kids will eat fruit but not in huge quantities but i bought a juicer and they drink gallons of the stuff! my son has no idea how many carrots a day he has mixed in with freshly whizzed apple and orange juice!
    jenny uk

    Comment by Anonymous | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  14. I agree, funny name ‘playards’ we call them ‘travel cots’ in the uk
    jenny uk

    Comment by Anonymous | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  15. Do you have the Boynton Philadelphia Chickens CD? We sing and dance to that quite often.

    And we love that belly button book. We also loved Blue Hat, Green Hat–so much that it fell to pieces one day from the love.

    Comment by Susan | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  16. Wow! A day at my work is certainly less stressful than yours!

    And frozen fruits and veggies are great snacks. My boy gets blueberries, raspberries, peas, carrots, and corn (he’s tried corn on the cob frozen too but even he gave up on that) and even helps himself. That involved climbing up freezer shelves so I’m trying to break him of that little habit.

    Comment by Anne V | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  17. WOW…How busy y’all are!

    Such good hands those babies.
    I’m very impressed!

    Comment by kimmyk | December 5, 2006 | Reply

  18. You exhaust me. Tell me you’re on uppers, or something.
    ; )

    Comment by Tortugita | December 7, 2006 | Reply

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