That's right ladies, I sit on my tuckus all day long in front of the televisions with bonbons. Then I take nice, long luxurious bubble baths. Complete with wine, of course. Okay, in all seriousness, I am lucky if I get to pee by myself. Yep, for real. If Toddler Bear and the menagerie of fur babies are not hanging with me in the bathroom, I end up with tiny little fingers under the door and a "mamamamamama!"
and "Meow!" scratch-scratch. Alone time is rare. As is sitting down. Oh and getting to eat a meal without sticky little fingers with long grasps grabbing at my food on the plate. . .
|Her arms are longer than they look. They can reach just about anything.|
Here is what really happens for all of you non-mommy friends out there. Mama Bears, you know exactly what I am talking about!
The (early) morning:
First, I wake up at a completely ridiculous hour because my daughter inherited the very-early-riser gene from my father. There is breakfast complete with food throwing and Nutella in the hair and a whole lot of coffee (for me, no coffee for the hyper toddler bear). Then there is the battle to wipe down the Bear and then brush Ellie's hair. I do this in her high chair with a ton of detangler because I do not want her to escape.
I admit that I stick my kid in front of Signing Time! so that I may get dressed and slap on some concealer so as not to scare anyone with my horrific sleep-deprived looks. I may even let her watch the whole episode while I check my email and check Facebook in case I happened to miss a very important status update.
Then we rush off to therapy #1. This is either music, speech, or occupational therapy. Upon arriving to our destination, we do a some pre-therapy heavy work and tooth brushing so that Ellie Bear can focus about 50% of her attention on the therapist. (If it is Wednesday, we have playgroup! This is the BEST part of the whole week and the closest I get to eating bonbons. It is a chance for Ellie to play with peers while I get to carry on an adult conversation with adults!)
Lunch time! A repeat of breakfast, but typically with peanut butter crackers and raisins because that is ALL the chunky chicken is eating right now. I scarf down a Zone bar in which Ellie pitches a fit because apparently she wants a Zone bar too. I break off a piece, she tastes it, and then hurls it. Nevermind, peanut butter crackers it is. While she is in her high chair, we practice her consonant cards.
Nap Time! Ah, the best part of the day. The part where I drink more coffee and deal with insurance companies. The part where I fill out forms for partial reimbursement of the 30,000 therapies my child is in. The part where I cut out and laminate various educational flashcards or PECs. The part where I contact x,y, and z -ologist (ENT, endocrine, cardio, etc) and set up follow-up appointments or discuss Ellie's incessant spitting up. Nap time is the time I could really use some bonbons as I am often on hold and listening to annoying elevator music and then hitting a gazillion prompts before I am in contact with a real live, breathing person. Sometimes, if I am feeling especially productive, I get the bathrooms cleaned :-)
Toddle Bear wakes up fully re-energized. I try to spend some time teaching her important things like colors, shapes, how to build a tower, how to point, how to make sounds, and whatnot. Sometimes she is a willing participant and other days she isn't. I also try to take her to a park to let off some steam before her afternoon therapy. During that time, I try my best to not have a heart attack as she climbs up the playscape and rushes down the slide.
Rushing off to therapy #2. This is either ABA therapy or developmental therapy. We do a repeat of the heavy work and tooth brushing. If it is ABA therapy, I get to sit in the waiting room for some of the session and read. You know, read a book or a magazine AND sit. Pure bliss.
You all know the drill--make dinner (in go out to dinner which we do half the week since I am a horrible cook). Eat dinner. Clean up dinner. Teach Bear how to eat using a fork/spoon. Also add in corralling Ellie into the bathtub and attempting to get all food remnants from hair. Then we start the bedtime routine.
Fortunately, the Bear goes to bed early so I do get a few hours with Andrew (and to do laundry) before I get to hit the sack. It is also when I finally get to shower--that's right, uninterrupted "me" time!
I believe my day is more busy now than it was back when I worked full-time. While I would love to eat some bonbons, I wouldn't trade my days with Ellie for anything. Staying home with her is more full-filling than any job. After all, I am there to receive all of her hugs and snuggles. I am there to comfort her when she falls. I was there when she took her first step and uttered her first word. I cannot imagine not being with her.