It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The eternal quest

I’m not the most methodical of people. Well, in some respects I am: with children’s behaviours, I tend to have a pretty well-trodden path of responses and counter-responses charted out in my head. But my my own personal habits? I have general patterns, but nothing you could set a clock by.

I get up between 4:45 and 6:00. Between then, and when my first child arrives at 7:30, there are a bunch of things I tend to do: read for half an hour, plot out my day’s activities, maybe give a thought to dinner. I’ll throw in a load of laundry most days. Chat with my youngest as she gets ready for school. I always give the bathroom a quick wipedown and often put away the dishes that were washed the evening before, if they are still in the drying rack. Empty the blue boxes under the kitchen sink into the larger bins in the back porch.

And at the end of that, I always, always make myself a cup of tea, the idea being a quiet 15 minutes before the onslaught of the slavering hordes.

7:40. I sit down with my tea. It’s a little late, but the earliest-arrival doesn’t come on Mondays. I’ve probably got 15 minutes.

7:42 The first child arrives. We greet, chat, exchange information while peeling the snowsuit, boots, hat, scarf, and mitts off the child.

7:58 Take sip of tea. Ugh. Pop tea in microwave. Recover now steaming tea.

8:00 Greet second child, who has arrived with a book of nursery rhymes.

8:12 Sip. Ugh. Nuke tea.

8:14 Arrange self on the couch with two tots to read book.

8:18 Third child arrives, dropped by a dad this time, so deposit takes 93 seconds. Return to nursery rhyme book.

8:37 Sip. Ugh. Nuke.

8:41 We start our Spring Project, planting beans in clear plastic cups so we can watch them grow. We place the planted beans on a low window ledge and gaze with pride on our accomplishment. Well, some of us do:

“They’re not growing!”

9:03 Sip. Ugh. Nuke.

9:06 Settle tots down to free play: hobby horses, castle, blocks, cars, teddy bears …

9:10 Sip. Ah. Very nice. Second sip. “Mary! Anna grabbed my cheeks!” Conversation re: using words and hands being for hugging. Standard stuff. Then, since I’m right there in the construction zone, we have to see whether we can build a house big enough for the smallest teddy, right?

9:37 Sip. Ugh. Nuke.

9:40 Noting the time on the microwave, I set about preparing snack: fruit to be dipped in plain yoghurt. This will take about 4 minutes – the tea will be hot when I’m done, and I can sip while they snack!

Emily and Timmy decide they would like to “help”.

10:00 Snack is delivered to the table, ringed by famished, bibbed toddlers.

10:20 Sip. Ugh. Nu –no. It’s gone! No steaming cup of comfort for me. My caffeine comes in tepid dribs, little slurps of chalky bitterness, a dozen times a day. And for this, environmental me nuked the thing every time?

Oh, the shame.

March 31, 2008 Posted by | eeewww, the dark side | , , | 9 Comments