It’s all TV Watching and Cookie Eating

There are a number of people out there in the world who claim that being a Stay-At-Home Parent is easy.  People will ask what on earth could tire you out so much, when really, what do you do all day?  People who have never been a Stay-At-Home Parent seem to be under the impression that we sit on the couch with our feet up, watching TV, eating cookies.  The children will, of course, bring me the newspaper and slippers while I sip tea on the patio, listening to nothing but the chirping of the birds and my own thoughts.  Of course I’ll also get to sleep in each morning because, hey, if I don’t have to work then I have no need to be up early.  So for all the people who are under this impression, I have compiled a schedule for an average day in our household.
6:30am – Nicole wakes up so she can get ready for work.  I close my eyes and go back to sleep
7:15am – “Wake up Tatte.  Wake up! Wake up! Waaaaaaakkee Uuuuup Taaaatte!” is announced by one or both of the children at such a volume by one or both of the children that I’m sure people who live three doors down know that it is now time for me to arise.
7:30am – Take cup of coffee and sit on the couch while children utilize me as a junglegym.  Try not to spill coffee on new couch.
7:32am – Get paper towels to clean coffee off the couch, and the floor, and Saarah.
8:30am – Have a shower, hopefully without having to listen to Saarah freaking out about something.
8:33am – Saarah’s freaking out and now trying to break down the bathroom door.
8:34am – Finish shower and open the door to see what all the fuss is about.  Turns out she’s out of cheerios and juice.  Mutter to myself.
8:45am – Get Saarah dressed while she is busily trying to make that as difficult as possible for me.
8:55am – Convince Tevye that it’s time to get dressed and that yes, I am aware that his train show is about to start, but if he’d just stop arguing with me and get dressed already he’ll be able to watch it.
9:00am – Sweet, Chuggington is on which means I have exactly 7.5 minutes to get everyone’s breakfast ready while they’re preoccupied with watching trains.
9:07.5am – Damn, I didn’t work fast enough again and now Saarah is tugging on my pant leg and would very much like to inform me that the trains are all done and she would like to have some toast.  I explain that it’ll be ready in a minute, but that explanation doesn’t work for her.  She just keeps tugging at my leg and yelling toast.
9:15am – Everyone sits down with their breakfast.  Phew, that was a close one.  I thought I may have a mutiny on my hands if the darn toaster took any longer.
9:45am – Children finish their breakfast and are very careful to make sure that they’ve gotten as many toast crumbs on to as may surfaces as possible.
9:50am – Children run around playing together, usually in Tevye’s room.  This means that they are taking all of the sheets and blankets off of his bed, taking all of his clothes out of his drawers.  Once the drawers are empty the two of them will stand in them and jump. Meanwhile I busy myself cleaning up the toys in the living room and the breakfast dishes.
10:45am – Saarah goes down for a nap.  If I’m lucky she’ll sleep until 12:30.
11:00am – Tevye and I watch Sesame Street while we talk about the things he’s learning.
12:15pm – Tevye announces that Saarah is awake and I tell him that she’s still sleeping
12:16pm – Saarah wakes up.  How the hell did he do that?  This is not an unusual event by any stretch.
12:30pm – Make more coffee.  Lots more coffee.  So much coffee it’s silly.
12:45pm – Attempt to inquire as to what the children would like for lunch, thinking to myself as I ask “Why do I bother asking?  They’re going to give me the same answer they always do”.  Sure enough Saarah wants a banana and Tevye wants an apple and a peanut butter sandwich, which are to be arranged on the plate to resemble a smiley face, which I’m told, looks like Tevye.
1:00pm – Serve lunch after Saarah has indulged me with much more Pant-Leg-Tugging and inquiring repeatedly as to the whereabouts of her banana
1:30pm – Clean up lunch dishes and realize that I didn’t eat lunch, but I will in just a minute.
1:35pm – Start getting ready to go for a walk.
2:00pm – Head out for a walk only to realize that I forgot to eat lunch.  Tevye will now narrate the whole walk for us, informing us of every vehicle and its colour, whether there are puppies, how fast we should be going, and of course which direction I should be going.  Apparently I push the stroller up the hill too slowly.
3:30 or 4:00pm – Return home from walk with a most unhappy Saarah who most likely has been screaming for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes now.
4:15pm – Prepare snacks for a living room picnic.
4:17pm – They’re not sharing snacks very nicely and now they’re fighting about it.  Holy moley, you guys have exactly the same snacks in your own dishes.  What could there possibly be to fight about?
4:20pm – Do dishes and get supper ready.  Repeatedly ask Tevye to clean up his toys from the living room.
5:00pm – Clean the toys up myself.
5:30pm – Serve supper and make an attempt to get both of them to eat nicely, without arguing or being gross in some way.  Both of them will at this point start asking every five minutes if Mama is home yet.  Did you see her walk through the door?  No?  Oh, well then I guess she’s not home yet.
6:00pm – Clean up from supper and get a bath ready
6:15pm – Saarah has a bath and screams at me when I wash her hair.
6:30pm – Saarah gets out of the bath and we attempt to put on jammies.  She fights putting jammies on as much as she does in the morning while getting dressed.
6:45pm – MAMA!!!!!
6:46pm – Tevye has a bath, and also protests the washing of the hair.
7:00pm – Tevye gets out of the bath, puts on jammies, but cannot decide which ones he wants to wear.  Just pick some already!  You wont even see them because you’ll be a)under your blankets and b)asleep, so what does it matter which ones you wear?
7:15pm – Mama puts Saarah to bed and I put Tevye to bed
7:30pm – Time for a beer

Throughout the day there are also many horribly timed requests from the kids.  Of course it’s just as I think that I finally get to sit down, but that would be awfully foolish of me.  There’s also all of the refereeing that needs to happen when you have multiple children.  There are also all of the bumps, bruises, and scrapes to be tended and kissed better.

I’m not complaining or trying to elicit sympathy from anyone.  I’m perfectly happy doing what I’m doing, and am very thankful for the opportunity to get to stay home with the kids.  I’m just saying that the next time you think that the life of a Stay-At-Home parent is all TV watching, feet relaxing, and cookie eating, think again.

2 Responses to “It’s all TV Watching and Cookie Eating”
  1. mom/grandma/christine says:

    Sounds like an average day in the life of a parent with young kids. The fun is just starting. So keep the coffee pot full, get used to cold coffee as young children have an knack for needing you as soon as the coffee is poured. I get tired just reading about your day, glad I am a Grandma now, my coffee is always hot.

  2. Nicole says:

    It’s creepy when he knows Saarah is awake, always within a minute of her waking up, but before she has let anyone know that she is awake.
    The weekends are at least twice as enjoyable than during the week, and simultaneously at least four times as tiring.
    And Christine, that was a very well written comment. I enjoyed that as well!

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