As those of you that are my close friends and confidants know, SwampDaughter was quite worried about the accidental new arrival, Lila. She was worried because little Lila would cost $250/week in day care, and she was already paying day care costs for the two boys (before and after school care) and full-time day care for little Zoe. All in all, the day care costs would run between $1,800 and $2,000 per month. The additional $1,000 a month cost was a budget buster for them.
“No problem!” I said. “Y’all can move in with us for as long as you need. We’d LOVE to take care of the kids! ” However, I sorta forgot about the part where babies don’t sleep at night and if you do not attend to them immediately, they wake up the entire household. Not being a new mother for 30 years kinda dims that memory of sleep deprivation. Daughter has to drive an hour one way to work in the early a.m., so she can’t be up all night with a grumpy little baby (my decision, not hers). Somehow I completely forgot about colic. I forgot about the horribly rude noises babies make in public. “Oh, what a pretty little baby!” somebody says. She responds with a huge toothless grin and a roof-raising fart.
But there’s the happy giggling when she sees her feet waving in the air. There’s the smiling and cooing when I stagger blearily to the crib at 2 a.m. after finally putting her down for the night (or so I thought) at 1:30 a.m. Even with a dirty T-shirt, hair standing straight up, and bags under my eyes that Samsonite would admire, Lila thinks I’m the second most beautiful person in the world (the first being Mommy). There’s the little fingers wrapped tightly in the neck of my T-shirt or around my fingers. There’s the sleepy grin and unconditional love and trust when the baby is cuddled close and falling asleep.
The boys are up at 6:30 a.m. and leave the house to catch the bus at 6:55. During that time, I pack their lunch boxes, fix their breakfast, pack daughter’s lunch and breakfast, and pack SwampMan’s lunch and breakfast. There isn’t much in the way of convenience foods for us; we can’t afford ’em. Breakfast is oatmeal, scrambled eggs and bacon, or a homemade baked good like pumpkin muffins. I walk up the driveway with the boys to the bus stop while Mommy heads to work (unless it is one of her early days which is leaving at 6 a.m.) I walk back to the house, feed and change Lila and, as soon as I put her back down for a little cat nap, Zoe wakes up for her breakfast. When Zoe eats her breakfast, I try cleaning the kitchen, then Lila wakes. I run throw a load of clothes in the laundry, throw some soap in the dishwasher, and run grab a grumpy baby. I’m a lil’ grumpy myself, because I had hoped to get a nap in!
Before I know it, it’s time for Zoe to have lunch. I’ve managed to mop the kitchen but not the bathroom. I hope to have a shower and maybe a nap before the kids get home from school at 1:30 today, but it ain’t looking good. Zoe wants food, but the kitchen is wet.
And Lila starts to cry.
And the chickens haven’t been fed yet. And neither have I.
I have about five loads of clothes awaiting folding, and another load on the line. And another load in the washing machine.
Somehow, we all need to get to the grocery store. I spent $200 on food this week, and didn’t get any meat for dinner tonight. How did that happen?
It has been five hours since I started trying to write a post. (grin) Now y’all know why no updates…sheer exhaustion!
In retrospect, menopause was a darn good idea the powers of the universe came up with.
Poor daughter is run even raggedier than I. When she gets here from work (about 5:30 – 6:00), she goes over homework with each son, gives Zoe the Mommy attention she is craving, nurses baby, and attempts to change clothes while I’m cooking dinner. Then it is time to send the kids off to bed, and she checks email with one hand while bouncing grumpy sleepy baby with the other. By the time I’m done in the kitchen and can take baby, it’s usually around midnight. Then she’ll get five or six hours of sleep, and start all over again.
An emergency beckons. Zoe has just informed me that there is a fly in the toilet, therefore she cannot go potty. I advised her to flush it down the toilet, but she just looked at me with big tear-filled eyes because that fly may possibly extend its evil fly appendages out that toilet and grab her and suck her down with it. *sigh* Probably a tiny little moth.