October 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Bun, Family, Giggles, Lollipop, Me | 8 Comments
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We’ve been in kindergarten for six weeks now.

Some things have been firmly established. We buy lunch on spaghetti-with-meat-sauce day but not on corn-dog day. We return our library book every Thursday. And we play monsters with a boy named Michael at recess.

But other things? Like a routine? Are about as firm as the blue Jello in the cafeteria line.

Caution: Frazzled Mom Crossing

I drag myself out of bed every morning at 6:35 a.m., which is the absolute latest time I can get up and not have a tardy daughter. I collapse — with sore feet and a sore brain — about 10:42 every night.

In between, there is elementary school drop-off. Preschool drop-off. Dogs to walk. Poop to scoop. Grocery trips. Laundry. Sticky babies. Pet hair. Dishes. Permission slips. Bananas forgotten in the trunk. More pet hair. Beds to make. More laundry. Freelance deadlines. Explosive diapers. Cat puke. More permission slips. Diet Coke shortages. Bouncy balls lost under the couch. More pet hair. Spilled spill-proof cups. Missing shoes. Missing keys. Missing permission slips. Preschool pick-up. Naps. No naps. Elementary school pick-up. Explosive diapers during elementary school pick-up. Homework. Mosquito spray. Sandbox tantrums. Burnt grilled cheeses. Ignored broccoli. Baths. Books. Songs. More laundry.

And sometimes? I shower.

My days are like that logic puzzle. The one about the farmer who has to get his chicken, corn, and fox across the river in one small boat. Except it’s about me, and I have to get to the grocery store.

If I go before Bun’s nap, he will get cranky and smash up the tortilla-chip aisle.

If I take both boys after preschool, jars of pickles will suspiciously explode near us.

If I go with all three kids … Let’s just stop there.

But if I don’t go, it will mean Cheerios and scrambled eggs for dinner. Except we’re out of milk, so scratch the Cheerios.

Every day is the same, yet every day is different. I just can’t get the riddle solved yet.

So every night I fall into bed. Thankful that I’m finally still. Finally in the dark. Finally prostrate. Then I remember that tomorrow is corn-dog day. I slip downstairs to make a jelly sandwich and fill the Sleeping Beauty water bottle. I scrub the pot soaking indefinitely in the sink. I add milk to the grocery list.

And I wonder why that damn farmer owned a fox in the first place.

What do you do when the pieces of your life just won’t fit? How many bouncy balls are under your couch? And is corn-dog day as unpopular at your house as it is at mine?



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  1. Shopping is a night time activity. It’s a sanity saver here and another trick? go with a friend. If there’s another frazzled mom friend around? offer to drive or meet at the store, shop together, talk meals, talk nutritional info, talk prices, talk what does she to do to keep her sanity? It’s so worth it! I leave hubbie home with the kids, and I go and get it done. It could take 3hours? b ut it’s 3hours with my girlfriend shooting the shit, or just laughing our butts off because our 12yrold boy brains have kicked in! Really! it’s totally worth the lack of sleep that night. Then you can take a nap while your little one naps during the day. This took me 10yrs to figure out

  2. I have wrestled my to-do list into a routine that everyone is on-board with. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth the pain. I second kyooty’s comment, too: shop at night, kid-free. Unlike her, I send my husband with a comprehensive and specific list. It’s better for both of us that way. I wish you luck!

    • yes! when the sons were very tiny I’d send out the comprehensive lists, details down to each number of grams?

  3. This is when you NEED family in town, yes? 🙂

    Or actually, we’ve lately been shopping at the grocery store that has a 3-8 yr old free kiddo drop off area, with computers, cartoons, coloring books, and a babysitter on staff. I hope your store has that — it’s so hard to do it with 2, I can’t imagine 3…!

  4. Omigosh, my son LOVES corn dogs – that’s the day he BUYS lunch, lol.

    I loved how you wrote this. It’s amazing how much crazier things can be once school enters the picture, even if the children are out of the house for part of the day. It’s stressful having to work toward someone else’s clock, and when you can’t control the players.

    I have a friend in a similar situation as you and she does her grocery shopping at night too. I don’t know if you have the energy to do that.

    I haven’t been able to do a thing for the last 6 weeks, as you know. So I’m watching my hubby try to juggle it all. At first I felt guilty and antsy that I wasn’t in there in the thick of the action, but now I’m getting worried that I might be getting a little too used to this life of leisure…(my one job now is to fill out the permission forms and if it’s any consolation, I screw that up too (teacher had to yell for 3 straight days in bright green exclamation marks on my son’s agenda, “Permission slip!”).

    I do think you will get the swing of this, though!! By Christmas you’ll be a pro 😉

  5. Is it better or worse to say I still don’t get how to schedule it all? I guess this is my first year with two school schedules, loosely bundled by napping baby times… And then the evenings got more complicated by an early and late shift followed by the baby’s later bedtime because well, she snuck in that third or fourth nap for the day.

    I love Cecelia’s phase – working towards someone else’s clock. Though I hate the practice of it.

    I try to go to the grocery on Saturday or Sunday morning. I’m up anyway.

  6. Yes, yes – the days when you couldn’t wait til your kids were in school only to realize that it doesn’t get easier to manage.

    Separately, my youngest won’t eat on pizza day! How crazy is that?

  7. I am totally with you on this, even though I have one fewer child and no elementary school in the mix. I was thinking about writing a post about my typical day in a week, and I couldn’t come up with anything that’s really stuck with me as routine, per se. Like you summed it up so nicely: “Every day is the same, yet every day is different.”

    I like a challenge when things aren’t rooted in routine, but sometimes, it would just be nice to have a familiar rhythm to our day ya know?

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