We Have Achieved Bedtime

6:20 p.m. We arrive home from a trip to the park. Meredith is crying. Jacob is fussing. I walk into the door ahead of Jacob to remove the vacuum cleaner monster from his view and hopefully avoid a night of meltdowns. Now, what is the correct answer: A) Nurse Meredith. B) Fix Jacob dinner. Answer: They’re both wrong. C) Mommy has to go potty, y’all are just gonna hafta deal.

That attended to, Meredith is now crying harder and Jacob is sitting patiently bewildered and melancholy in his highchair. I stir Greek yogurt into his oatmeal+pureed pears and test to make sure it’s not too hot. Yum. I could use a bowl of that myself. I give Jacob his oatmeal and now comes the second question: What is the best place to feed Meredith? A) The rocker expressly designed for the purpose. B) The comfy sofa. Answer: They’re both wrong. C) Tonight I’m feeding her on the kitchen floor in case Jacob needs help with the oatmeal. It’s a step up from yesterday afternoon when I brushed my teeth and helped Jacob build his train while she nursed, so I’m not complaining. (Actually, Jacob didn’t need help. Hands work great for eating oatmeal. But the big dilemma was how to put Meredith down in her chair after getting oatmeal all over MY hand when I helped him scoop up the last bites and he thoughtfully guided my hand through the process.)

Apparently Meredith’s tears were not of the hunger variety because she opted for yelling instead until I gave up trying to feed her, changed her diaper, popped in a pacifier, and took her to be swaddled for bedtime. Also, I’m going on record with her official first word here, unfortunately. In all of her distress and tears she definitely swore at me, as distinct as could be.

Meredith now calming down, I dash back downstairs to make sure Jacob’s silence is of the still-healthy-and-breathing variety. It is, so I turn around to re-insert the pacifier. After Jacob is wiped up from dinner I had to decide whether to take him past the vacuum cleaner monster to help me calm Meredith or leave him behind hoping he wouldn’t do the obvious thing and follow me, discovering it himself. Correct answer: Let him carry the tummy medicine so he doesn’t even notice as you climb the stairs right past it.

The medicine is working its magic and Jacob is deposited in his bed, too, and my trips for paci re-insertion are becoming farther and farther apart. Piano students arrive in 40 minutes. Question #4: Is it now time to A) blog or B) eat some dinner. Answer: C) It’s time to put my shirt back on!

Now I think I’ll go eat dinner and make a couple grown-up phone calls I’ve been putting off to spare my unsuspecting friends the baby chaos. But first one more anecdote. Jacob and I made a home-made two-piece puzzle with two magnets, a tractor picture from the internet, crayons, cardboard, and tape. I told him to take it to the kitchen, intending to show him how it worked on the fridge. That was my mistake, because when Jacob hears “take it to the kitchen” he cheerfully runs off to put the object in question in what’s known to the rest of us as “the kitchen sink.” But a little water never hurt a cardboard puzzle.

File this under Keepin’ It Real, too. Hope you didn’t come here looking for tasteful, my Gentle Reader.

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