Friday, March 25, 2011

why it takes so long to do anything with kids

After Anna's friends leave our house after Joy School, I say, "Let's eat lunch and then make Levi's birthday cake." It's 11:30. I pick up Levi to put him in the high chair and notice a stink. I change his diaper while Anna jumps on the mattress on the floor. We head back to the kitchen. 11:40. Anna helps make her lunch by getting handfuls of crackers and raisins while I cut some circles and squares of cheese. Levi is protesting by this point, so I give him a handful of cheerios and when I turn around, Anna is using the knife to cut her cheese bits in half.

Anna takes her lunch to her seat while I microwave some peas and cut up some carrots for something healthy for the kids to eat. Levi has finished the cheerios and I give him a drink of milk. The peas finish and I give half to each kid. I put the carrots in the microwave. I open a cup of yogurt to eat something for myself, but Levi has finished his peas and is yelling again. I give him some dried fruit. The carrots finish cooking. I give half to Anna and chop a few more into smaller bites for Levi. 11:55. Anna whispers, "I need to go potty!"

I tell Anna to go and give the carrots to Levi. He tries a few, but keeps spitting them out (they're still too big) and swiping them off his tray. Anna runs back in the kitchen without any pants. "I need the little potty, Mom. I can't use the big potty. I'm too little." So I put the training seat on the big potty, but Anna cries and fights and says she wants the little potty on the floor. She gets her thumb caught under the seat and hurts it. We cuddle till she calms down and can go retrieve the other half of the little potty (which we'd used as a stool during joy school). I get her seated on the little potty and go back to a yelling Levi in the kitchen. 12:10.

I gather all the carrots off his tray and the floor and put them in the food mill, which has a stuck blade that needs to be fiddled with before it will work. I grind up the carrots. Anna runs in with poopy toilet paper in her hands. "I'm wiping from front to back!" Back to the bathroom (with the food mill still in my hand, for some reason) where I wipe off Anna's hands and bum. Anna dumps out the little potty cup, but the wipes got stuck to the bottom and fall on the floor. I clean that up, washed my hands, and tell Anna to do the same, using soap.

I return to the kitchen (12:22) and mix the mashed carrots with some applesauce and begin feeding Levi, while taking a few bites of my now-room-temperature yogurt. I hear a crash in the bathroom. I go in to find the sink filled with water and the toothbrush holder floating in it. I open the sink drain and ask Anna if she has used soap yet. "Nope" I leave her with the soap and return to Levi. I get through about half my yogurt and his food when I hear Anna say, "Dry your hands and turn out the light." SUCCESSS!!!

Anna comes running in and asks, "Can I get my favorite treat please?" One fruit snack and two M&M's somehow became her potty reward (called "my favorite treat." From Signing Time, maybe?), and I'm not ready to give it up yet because this is the first week we've had without accidents and with Anna telling me she needs to go. "Let me give Levi one more bite." Anna waits expectantly in front of the pantry. "They're up there, Mom." I give her the fruit snacks and M&M's and let her pick out which colors she wants. She, amazingly, puts them away on a lower shelf and I wonder if I can trust her to leave them there and get her own treats after potty. We'll see....

I finish feeding Levi and finish my yogurt. I ask Anna if she's done with her lunch. She is and I tell her to let me and Levi eat the rest of it. Levi eats about seven goldfish and a square inch of cheddar while I polish off three raisins, about a dozen carrot bites, and half a cheese stick. Anna puts her milk and Levi's bottle in the fridge for later. I put the dishes in the dishwasher and Anna fills up the soap. I wash both kids' hands and faces. It's 12:45.

Levi has another poopy diaper. Anna asks me to read her a story. Green eggs and ham. We play with blocks. The cake! I nearly forgot. 1:05. An hour before nap time. Plenty of time! I start buttering the pans and tell Anna to get out the sugar. I trace around the pan on some parchment paper and hear a shaking sound. I see Anna with her hand in the nonpareils. "Please take your hand out and put them away." Anna pulls her hand out fast and sprinkles fly all over the kitchen. "Are you going to clean it up, Mom?" I tell Anna that it's her mess and she should help me by holding the dust pan. I try sweeping them, but they just roll all over. I tell Anna we need to use the vacuum and she hides in the laundry closet. I consider making her use the vacuum to clean up her mess, but that would just be cruel. 1:19. I vacuum up most of the sprinkles and open the laundry closet to get in there. Anna sprints to my bedroom and shuts the door. I finish vacuuming and put it away. "Anna, I'm done with the vacuum, lets make the cake!....Anna! Anna? Where are you?" I wander into her room, the bathroom, and remember she's in my room.

I open the door. "Mom, can you wash my hands?" Anna has climbed on a box and squirted my lotion all over her hands and rubbed it all over the top of our very dusty bookcase. I sit on the bed laughing until I scoop Anna up and take her to the sink. I wash her hands and get back to prepping the pans. I ask Anna to get out the kitchen scissors to cut the parchment paper. She gets out the ice cream scoop. I cut the parchment with the other scissors sitting on the counter while Anna sings, "If you're happy and you know it hammer the door!" *BAM* *BAM* I realize we need to move to the next step in the instructions. It's 1:35.

We make the cake with only moderate amounts of flour and cocoa being flung on the walls and counter. Anna cracks the eggs all by herself. I thank her for her help and tell her to play while I finish with the pans. I butter, paper, butter again, and flour each pan. I pour in the batter and stick it in the oven. 2:10 I go to find Anna. She's in my bathroom, standing on the toilet with a bottle of lotion in her hands. A guilty look and quick smile. "Can you put soap on my hands, Mommy?" This time I don't laugh (thankfully she couldn't figure out how to unlock the pump). I take her to her room and we have a talk about how I'm happy to share my things but she needs to ask first. Levi comes in and starts nuzzling us. He smells again. I change his diaper. We jump on the bed a bit longer, take some birthday pictures, and I put the kids down for their naps, only half an hour late.

9 comments:

Elisabeth said...

This made me laugh so much. Miles has a way of finding trouble that makes my days go a lot like this most days. I'm impressed that with all that they still got down to nap (mostly) on time!

the momma-kana said...

its nice to know that I am not the only one that can't finished on time! Such a good post! BTW, we are going to Miller Outdoor and the last time we went was w yo!

Kathy said...

Levi's birthday cake?!!! Has it been a year already?! Yikes! times flies with days like this. Loved the reality post!

lizzie said...

I'm impressed that you even considered making the cake before naptime when during naptime was an option. And I love those days when every single time you pick up the kid, he needs a new diaper. I think you handled the day much better than I would have. :)

heather said...

Well Lizzie, for some reason, I had this crazy thought that making the cake, the frosting, and our dinner (dinner rolls stuffed with pepperoni and mozzarella) from scratch, all on the same day was a good idea... So there was already another project to occupy naptime :)

Emily said...

Anna and Cassie are kindred spirits! I felt like I was reading an autobiography. :) Good idea to document it all- it's easier to laugh about it later!

Rebecca Holt Stay said...

Pepperoni Rolls!
I haven't made those since I made them with Anna. Maybe when you come visit?

Laurie said...

Sounds like you are a very patient mom! Days like that totally stress me out.

JP said...

whew! I'm tired! You're one good woman!