Monday, January 03, 2011

Kids Are Exhausting. But Also Cute. News at 11.

Today was Pumpkin's first day back at day care after the holiday break (day care is closed the week between Christmas and New Year's Day). It would have been Petunia's first day back, too, but she got a fever yesterday, so she stayed home with me.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit how happy I was to see Pumpkin head off for day care, and how annoyed I was that Petunia couldn't go, too. Some of this was because I really do need to get a job talk together- I had an informal lunch interview with the hiring manager for a job last week, and I suspect I'll be asked to have a real interview, complete with seminar, soon. Some of this was because the combination of Petunia's previous sick days and the closure of day care the Wednesday before Christmas due to rain (the roads into day care flooded) have left me feeling like my big plans for my time off are slipping away into a jumble of sick days, errands, and housework.

But mostly, I was just exhausted from a week at home with my kids. And my parents were even in town to help! I know that many, many parents are home with their kids every day. I suppose (hope?) that if push came to shove, I could make the necessary changes in my outlook and expectations to handle that well, too. But right now, my kids wear me out. One Tired Ema has a really good comment about the intensity of the under 4 set on my recent post about how intense I find parenting babies and toddlers. I think she really nails it- some kids just need your presence. I have two kids like that, and after a week of that 24x7, I want a break. Particularly since Petunia is still sleeping part of the night in my presence, too. OK, not just in my presence- snuggled right up against me. I was looking forward to a few hours when no one needed anything from me. I did not get that today. Maybe tomorrow.

In an attempt to make myself feel better about the sudden change in my plans for today, and my less than gracious response to that change, I spent some of the three hours Petunia required me to hold her for her nap thinking about the cute and wonderful things my kids have been up to lately. (Petunia, who usually takes a nap in her crib without trouble, insists on being held for naps when she is sick. Which is sweet. Until you need to pee or its lunchtime or something like that.) Anyway, in no particular order:
  • Pumpkin, who mostly says words properly these days (ah, how I miss the days of "bobbin" for "bottom"), still says "stank you" instead of "thank you" about 50% of the time. I think this is adorable.
  • Petunia will applaud any achievement, no matter how dubious. I find this impossible to resist. So we applaud stacking blocks and putting blocks into buckets. We also applaud climbing onto chairs, even though I'm really thinking "oh my God, child, you are going to give me a heart attack or break your head open or both."
  • Pumpkin likes to read stories. She will get one of Petunia's picture books- you know, the kind with a picture and maybe three words on each page- and tell long, involved stories about tigers saying "hi" to zebras and asking how their days are going. 
  • Petunia has graduated from her little walker to her sister's doll stroller. She's pretty good with it, but every time I see her I think of those little old ladies whose heads are barely visible above the steering wheels of their cars.

  • Petunia's preferred walker is actually a person- she likes to grab your index fingers and steer you around. (She is very effective at steering.) This is hard on adults' backs, but Pumpkin has been eager to help out. Recently, Petunia finally consented to that, and my heart just about melted when I saw them walking down the hall together, both grinning from ear to ear.
  • Pumpkin came out after my mom gave her a bath one day last week, and asked if she could sleep with just underwear, no pull ups. She's been waking up with a dry pull up for awhile, so I took a deep breath and said "yes." And who would have thought it would be that easy? She's yet to have an accident in her bed. Actually, she hasn't been having accidents anywhere recently. After all the angst about potty training her, that is pretty amazing.
There, I feel better. 


  1. Wow!! so cute post.

  2. paola4:18 AM

    Great news about the potty training!

    Don't feel embarassed. That's how I feel a lot of the time when I plan a run or something and someone is home sick.

    Oh yeah, December was pretty exhausting here too. We had a 5 day weekend at the beginning of the month, plus the kids are home for 2 whole weeks over Christmas, New Year and the Epifany. There was one day last week that I told my kids if I heard the word 'muummy' once more I would scream (they wre all, 'muumy do this, mummy can you do that') To get around this, Noah started calling my 'Paola', which I didn't twig to until I heard it used at the same frequency as 'muummy'.

    It's as if 'daddy' isn't even in their vocabulary!

  3. I am unemployed as well (since August) and I am not embarrassed to admit that I was impatient to get the kids to school yesterday. I really needed some solo time. My 20 month old is in a clingy/bad sleep phase and going a few hours without someone yelling 'Nurse, Nurse' in my face was a delight.

    The kids are only going 3 days a week to save a little money, so I'm dealing with exhaustion of today and looking forward to another day alone tomorrow. :-)

  4. Don't be embarrassed to admit it!! This parenting gig is just plain hard - and with 2 kids under 4?? Yikes. I totally hear you on the exhaustion! I've been alone with my kids for only one day and let me tell you I can't wait until out sitter comes back on Wednesday! When she does I probably won't get any actual work done because I'm so hungry for 'me time.'

  5. I am with you! Christmas vacation used to be relaxing - now I can't wait for it to be over so DS can go back to preschool. His preschool doesn't go back in session until tomorrow - which I didn't twig into until yesterday. I've been at home alone with DS and newborn for three days in a row, it's too cold to go outside, and the ice means DH has been using my practical CRV instead of his flash sedan which is useless in bad weather (so I have no car). DS is bouncing off the walls, and I can't really blame him but I can yell at him for it nonetheless. So, it's 10 am on a Tuesday and he's watching a Disney movie. If I was his nanny, I would fire me.

  6. Anonymous3:43 PM

    I'm saving this post to remind me of all the great things to come. :)

  7. People couldn't understand why I kept my toddler full time in daycare when I was home 4 months of maternity leave for his sister. Thanks for your post!!

  8. Oh, this was adorable. I love the part about Pumpkin consenting to be "steered" by her little sister down the hall; it's just so wonderful to see when the kids are actually playing nicely together =)

    And don't feel embarassed about feeling relieved to see the kids off to daycare! I was in and out of the house during Christmas break, popping into work, letting my family watch the kids... and the week STILL wore me out. A regular weekend with them wears me out. I'm with you--I find working with adults far less tiring.

    Happy New Year, and good luck with the job interviews!

  9. I love the cute little stories about your girls! My Annie is currently working very hard at the progression from her walker to Rosie's doll stroller, but so far the stroller is too fast and results in faceplanting. So yay Petunia!

  10. I LOVE the cute stories! Especially Petunia consenting to let Pumpkin use her as a walker, and how cute they were when they did that. Oh, and the image of a Petunia as a little old lady behind the wheel! HA!

    You know my kids are also very intense and in constant need of physical proximity. It's so hard to find time to yourself when the kids are young. But we all need to try and find that time. Hopefully Petunia stays healthy for a while so you can get what you need to done!


Sorry for the CAPTCHA, folks. The spammers were stealing too much of my time.