At the moment I’m working a four day week as I’m providing Maternity cover for a different role to the one I was doing until the summer.
I was lucky enough to have a three day week after my return from Maternity Leave, something that I never really imagined doing but I absolutely loved, mainly because of my Tuesdays. Tuesdays were the days when I had twelve whole hours just me and the Noodle.
I’ll admit, the first few absolutely terrified me!
But when he was tiny it was actually pretty easy, and he tended to ease into the difficult phases (you’d have a couple of bad days, then a good one to lull you into the false impression that he’d gotten over whatever leap in development that had stopped him sleeping/got him climbing the walls/having the mother of all meltdowns any time you offered him a piece of cheese/etc.) so at least you were able to adjust as he did.
Our old Tuesdays are my model of what the perfect day with my son are, just the two of us. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy our current Fridays as a family, where we visit the town or explore the mainland, but for days when we’re just a pair, Tuesdays are the gold standard.
A typical Mummy-Son Day would probably look something like this:
Laurie wakes up. He’ll cuddle into me and babble a little bit. I’ll probably end up scrolling through my phone, eventually he’ll fall asleep. If I don’t have to get up for anything, by about 6am, I will too.
The spousal unit wakes up and starts getting himself ready quietly so as not to disturb Laurie and I. Inevitably, as soon as the spousal unit mentions he’s going to go as soon as possible to give me a lie in, Laurie will wake up and decide it’s time to get the day started. When he was a newborn, I’d sit in bed feeding him and watching ER. Now, we relocate to the living room.
Radio on, kettle on, graze plate out for Laurie. Breakfast for me. Usually halfway through a mouthful of squash from the night before I remember that I boiled the kettle half an hour ago and still haven’t made a mug of hot chocolate yet. Laurie eats the fruit from his graze plate, picks at some of the cereal, and gives a cheese twist to the labrador.
Time for housework. I’ll try to tackle either washing up, laundry of vacuuming. Laurie plays in the living room if I wash up (and visits me in the kitchen); he helps sort the laundry (though we have vastly different systems of sorting clothes); he has a complete meltdown if I do the vacuuming (unless we each take it in turns for a count of 10)!
I can guarantee that by this point Laurie will be showing signs of being ready for a nap. He only ever has a morning nap when he’s with me. If he’s with his dad he’ll just charge on through. This is a nice time for me to go and have a lie down with him on the bed. He’ll fall deeply unconscious until the first time I try to move, then he’ll start to stir and set me in a panic.
Head through to the living room. Contemplate doing something that I should be doing, like more housework or OU. Instead read a knitting magazine, or knit, or scroll through Facebook, or do one of several other things that I probably could put off until later, but don’t.
If I’m feeling really dedicated, I’ll switch what I do every twenty minutes or so. Twenty minutes of reading followed by twenty minutes of rearranging laundry on the airer. I like to check stuff off the To Do List.
Worry that I’ve not heard from Laurie for a while. Double check the baby monitor is plugged in. Hover at the door to the bedroom and debate whether I should go in to check on him. Start to open the door, panic when it creaks. Peer in anyway. Confirm I can see him breathing, relax for a little bit.
Message the spousal unit that if Laurie doesn’t wake up soon, he’ll have a very late lunch.
Seconds after sending the above message
Laurie wakes up.
Get lunch on. Let Laurie ‘help’. Spent twenty minutes helping him empty the bin, fishing things out of the bin that shouldn’t be in there, forgetting to set timers or check the clock when I put food in and getting annoyed at Jeremy Vine on the radio.
Once it’s all ready we sit down to eat. Laurie eats all of his favourite thing from his plate and then tries to pinch the same thing off my plate. Depending on what it is, I can sometimes be convinced to share. Know he’s had enough of the meal when he decides to take his leftovers to the dog. Fine if I’m sitting with him when he does this, not so fine if I’m taking my plate out to the kitchen and he gets slightly cold mixed veg all over the floor!
If I’m feeling like a true domestic goddess, I might wash up at this point and do other housewifely things, like emptying the washing machine. It’s been known to happen.
If the weather’s nice we go for a stroll on the estate where we live. If it’s bad this might be the time when I set up a arts and craft activity in the kitchen.
If it’s the latter, you can pretty much guarantee that within half an hour Laurie (and I) will be in the bathroom, him having been manhandled up the stairs trying to avoid contact with him as much as possible until I can get him in the shower and hosed down. Invariably, whenever the paint comes out, Laurie has to paint himself!
Clean up Laurie’s work of art in the kitchen. Scrub paint off the floor, cupboard doors, oven, stairgate and all other surfaces in the kitchen. Touch something and notice it’s got a smudge of paint on it. Clean that off. Touch it again and notice another smudge. Do this three or four times before I realise the paint is coming from a blob on my thumb!
A short while later
Realise that Laurie is getting tired and it is far too late for an afternoon nap now, so try to keep him going for as long as possible with toys, games, silly songs and stories. If we didn’t take a walk earlier, you can bet we’re going on one now, whatever the weather!
Sit down for a cuddle with him on the sofa and think about getting tea. An hour passes and I realise that suddenly bedtime is looming very close and I really need to get tea.
Head to the kitchen, rifle through the cupboards and put together something snacky for Laurie’s tea. He eats most of it and tries to feed me the rest. Depending on what it is, I might let him.
Begin the wind down for bed time. Try to encourage quiet games and toys. Laurie does not get the memo and runs around the living room like he’s on a total sugar high, everything is hilariously funny and Tara must be cuddled. Balloons are thrown, blocks are knocked over, we each have to have a book and he has to make sure I read mine properly.
He doesn’t show signs of tiring any time soon. I could drop where I stand!
Vitamins, teeth, nappy, jammies, story, into bed for cuddles and to sleep.
Head through to the living room and wonder what to do with myself. Feel at a bit of a loss because I’m all by myself and my little companion from the day is unconscious. Pull out some OU and reward myself with five minutes online at the end of every section.
The radio will be on and playing songs that all sound like Laurence is crying for me from the other room.
The spousal unit shows up, hopefully bringing some chocolate or a nice treat and we catch up with one another before deciding we’re both absolutely exhausted and head to bed.
As if Laurie knows his dad is back, before we’ve even left the living room, he’ll stir a little, even if he doesn’t fully wake up, and we end up all snuggled together in bed by 10:30pm.
I’m exhausted and can barely keep my eyes open and it doesn’t sound like a very impressive day when it’s all written out, it’s not a day where I’m making scientific discoveries, or saving a life, or changing the world, but for me, it’s the sort of day I dreamed of for almost a decade.
This blog post is the ninth is a series for Blogtober 2019. You can see my prompts below:
What does your perfect day look like? How different is it from a normal day?