A Day in November

I think, with this post, I may be committing one of the greatest crimes of narcissistic bloggery excess, but oh well? I dunno. I personally love reading a-day-in-the-life posts. So, here's mine. It's a companion piece to this post. So, if you were wondering why Hugo looked so upset at 5:33, now you know. 

4:45 Hugo wakes up beside me and tires to sit up. I reach over to him, and pull him onto my chest. I try to sing him back to sleep. I’m too tired to sing the words, so I hum. Hugo woke every few hours overnight. He’s not interested in sleeping, but I know he’s still tired. I move him to the hammock and turn on his sound machine. He falls back asleep around 5:30, but I’m wide awake.


5:45 I get up and make a coffee, and take it with me to the couch. I check my phone. Our nanny has called in sick. I scroll through Instagram for a while. 


6:20 I can hear Stella stirring in the other room. Her alarm clock light has just turned green, so she bounds out of bed and comes to see me in the living room. We cuddle for a bit, and then she asks for breakfast. Cheerios. I pour a bowl for each of us.


6:35 Stella asks to Skype with Nannie. She gets the iPad and places the call herself. They chat for about five minutes, but Nannie is going out so she doesn’t have much time to talk.


6:45 Hugo is up, and Mr. Chef brings him to the table. Stella and I go into the kitchen, we both get a handful of Cheerios and bring them to Hugo. I go back to the kitchen to wash and trim a bowl of strawberries. I feed a few to Hugo. It’s his first time with strawberries. He devours them and ends up covered in red juice from nose to belly button.


6:50 Stella asks to get dressed. This is usually a bit of a fight, so I strike while the iron is hot. Mr. Chef sits at the table with Hugo and eats his breakfast.


7:00 I make myself one more coffee and get Hugo some yoghurt. I think, maybe I should go to the gym. But there’s so much to do this morning. I try to finish my breakfast. 


7:05 Stella wants to wear a princess dress. I help her get into it. She does the chicken dance in the living room. I feed Hugo and think about having a shower.


7:10 Mr. Chef starts making Stella’s snack, I entertain Stella and feed Hugo.


7:15 Hugo is working on something in his diaper. He’ll need a bath now. I check my phone. My sister called earlier, so I text her back, promising to call before school. I have to rearrange a playdate for today, so I send another message. And one more to our nanny to tell her not to worry about taking the day off, get well soon, etc.


7:20 I tidy up a bit, Stella plays her cars in her bedroom. There’s a complex narrative about how one of the little cars has been suspended. I wonder what the car was suspended from, what that poor little car did, and anyway, where did she learn the word “suspended”?


7:30 Mr. Chef brushes Stella’s hair. I get Hugo down from his chair and set him on the floor in my room. I start getting his bath ready, but Stella calls me, she needs me to put up her hair. Apparently Mr. Chef has been “fired’ from the task. I fix her hair, Mr. Chef get’s ready for work, Hugo plays.


7:38 Holy cow how is it past 7:30 already. There’s no way I’m getting to the gym this morning. I change Hugo and try to get him into the bath. He refuses to sit down, so I put him in the sink and wash him the best I can. He stands up, holding the faucet, moving it left and right, and there’s water all over the counter. I get him out of the sink, dried off, and dressed. Then I put him in his bouncy chair and get in the shower myself.


8:05 I’m half dressed, Hugo is fussing, he wants out to play. I set him on the floor of my bedroom with some toys. I finish getting ready. Still only half dressed, Hugo is crying. He just face planted on his blocks. I sit with him for a while, and Stella comes in to help cheer him up.


8:10, Stella has run off to the front door, I rush to get a shirt on. Stella opens the door and stubs her toe in the process. It’s bleeding, and she’s crying pretty hard. I pick her up, and cuddle her. I go to get her ice. No, not that ice, she wants the Swiss ice. (It’s actually a wine cooler but I don’t argue.) I pass it to her, and cuddle on the couch.


8:15 The across the hall neighbours hear all the commotion, and two little boys open their front door and run into my house. Thank goodness I managed to get my shirt on. The big one goes to play with Hugo; they have a special bond, those two. The little one shows me his boat. The neighbour boys are a pretty useful distraction this morning, entertaining the baby and cheering up Stella. I rush around getting water and bags ready, shoes on and baby in a sling. I text my sister. I can’t talk this morning. 


8:30 We head downstairs to get a taxi. I have to carry Stella (and the baby), as her foot is still sore. We all pile into the taxi, Hugo, Me, Stella and the neighbours. There’s a demo happening today outside our building, so the traffic is slow. 


8:50 We reach school. We drop off the little one first, and then go to Stella’s school. I greet a few parents, sign Stella in. At 9:00 it’s inside time so I wish Stella a good day.


9:10 Back in the taxi, with a couple of school mums heading home. Hugo is fussing, and I try to hold off feeding him till we are home. He can’t wait. When we reach the roundabout the traffic looks slow because of the demonstration. We decide to get out across the street and walk back. The demo is religious in nature, which is always a bit touchy. We cross the pedestrian bridge, there are about 3000 men in white tunics and white caps below, a few women shout at us as we walk. It’s good natured, of that hey-you-crazy-white-person variety. We comment on how they've just bussed in a bunch of yahoos from the kampung. But still, it's a bit unsettling. There’s razor wire across the entrance to our building, and across the next entrance, and the next one. We have to walk past the shopping mall to get home. 


9:30 I’m back at home. I feed Hugo and put him down for a sleep. I hang out on Facebook for about five minutes, then make a coffee. I check my mail, check in on a couple online courses I’m taking.


11:10 Hugo wakes up happy. He rarely sleeps this long. We cuddle a bit then I set him down to play while I tidy up the bedroom. 


11:30 I should think about leaving to get Stella. I decide to just clean up a few last things. Annnnnnnd, oh dear, Hugo needs another diaper change. 


11:45 Crap. Crap. Crap. I should have left five minutes ago. I’m running around looking for my phone, the pacifier, a chew toy. Crap. Crap. Crap I’m going to be late.


11:50 In a taxi. I’m defo going to be late. The traffic is terrible, we’re staring still in the traffic circle. I call the school and let them know. We sit for 15 minutes, Hugo is getting restless, climbing all over me. I really need to cut his finger nails. I’ve got scratch marks all over me. 


12:15 I arrive at school, collect Stella and her friend who’s coming over for a playdate. I pay my taxi and get in the friend’s car. We drive home, Hugo is much better behaved sitting beside his sister.


12:40 We’re back at home. I take the girls out to the pool-side restaurant for pizza. The friend is a picky eater and I don’t have anything that she’ll eat. The girls play in the grass until the pizza comes. We eat, play some more, and then go up to our house.


1:45 The girls are playing, I sit with them and with Hugo on the floor. I negotiate with the girls to help them work out some sharing issues. Hugo plays with balls and gets into all of his sister’s toys. He loves it. She’s less enthusiastic. 


2:00 Hugo’s getting cranky. I go to put him down for a nap. The girls play in the other room, the friend’s nanny looks on. I read Facebook for a while. I think Hugo’s asleep so I try to cut his nails. He is not asleep. I settle him again, wait a bit longer and try again. Nope. I give up. Maybe tomorrow.


2:30 I make a cup of tea, and get out my iPad. I’m working on sleep coaching Hugo, but haven’t had time to sit down and read the sleep plan. I peek in on the girls. They’re fighting over who gets to use Stella’s potty. I intervene. Potty fights, man.


2:45 We say good by to Stella’s friend. After she’s gone, I suggest some quiet time. I tell Stella I have some reading to do. She gets out some feathers and plays. This lasts about three minutes. 


3:05 I’ve read about two pages, so I give up. I sit down on the couch with Stella and we read some books. 


3:50 I float the idea of making cookies. Stella’s into it. We head into the kitchen and no eggs. Hugo wakes up. Another long nap. This seriously never happens. Maybe the sleep coaching is working? I get him up, and change his diaper. We all play on the bed for a while. Everyone is happy and cheerful and laughing a lot.


4:10 I get Hugo into the stroller, and we go down to the grocery store. We need eggs (apparently) and diapers, and milk.


4:45 We’re home with a tiny bag of groceries that cost near a million dollars. I despair quietly. I set Hugo on the floor with some measuring cups and bowls. Stella and I whip up a batch of cookies. Normally I’m quite relaxed about letting Stella help, but today I’m feeling frazzled and short tempered. I let her stir the flour and turn on the mixer. She’s satisfied with that.


4:50 Hugo is bashing the measuring cups into the metal mixing bowl and scaring himself with the noise. Again. And again. And again.Tears. Gah. Hugo.


5:20  Cookies in the oven, I ask Stella to play with Hugo for five minutes while I do the dishes. Apparently this is the worst. And I am the worst. And everything is the worst. I shout, she cries, and I take her to her room. I set Hugo down in the living room with some plastic cups because I can’t deal. Mr. Chef pops in to say hello, but everyone is miserable. He makes a quick exit.


5:30 I decide dinner is not going to happen, so I order out. I get the dishes done, and sit with the kids. Hugo cries with frustration. He wants so badly to crawl. He settles on mauling me, Stella plays an elaborate game involving feathers and her imaginary friend. I don’t quite follow, but play along anyway. 


6:10 Dinner is here. Stella gladly helps me set the table. She really is a good girl, you know.  We eat, and everyone feels better. Stella asks to be excused, and then entertains Hugo by jumping. Belly laughs. 


6:40 Mr. Chef comes home and sits with us for a while. I let Stella have a cookie. Hugo finishes his dinner. Veggies and mashed potatoes all over. 


6:50 I say goodnight to Stella. She tells me, “You are my best frwiend!”  The defiance and crying from earlier is long forgotten. Then I get Hugo into the bath and quickly wash the mashed potatoes off him. I put on a diaper, apply minyak kayu putih and get him into his pyjamas. I give him a bottle and sing a few lullabies. Land of the Silver Birch, because he’s Canadian. We read a story, he’s really quiet. He must be tired. 


By 7:15 he’s in bed. I sit next to him and scroll through Instagram for longer than is strictly necessary. Mr. Chef is putting Stella to bed. She’s asleep by 7:30. 


7:45 I tidy up after dinner, and do a few dishes. I sit down and check my email. Mr. Chef goes back to work. 


8:10 I decide I should do something productive so go to fold some laundry. I put on a movie.This also never happens.


9:00 Mr. Chef comes home. We visit for a while, but we’re both too tired really to be human. So. Off to bed.


9:30 I read blogs on my iPad, but can barely keep my eyes open. I’m asleep by 10. 

(PS, I never remembered put those damn groceries away. The next morning I had to throw out a container of milk and one of yoghurt and I despaired again at the waste.)