March 12, 2007

Timing

Our daily schedule keeps changing as we adapt to this evolving quicksilver of a plum. Here is a snapshot of a day. (Tip of the cap to Ames.)

6 am - 9 am: I get up with Elliot in the 5:30 to 6:30 range. Sarah, who has been up dealing with one or two night feedings, catches up on sleep for a while. Sometimes if I'm tired I'll lay on the couch in his room and let him loll around on my stomach and chatter at me, or chew on some plastic rings, until and unless he gets bored of it all.

When I'm awake enough to have sharp reflexes (this may need some P.G. Tips tea), I enter into the delicate operation of feeding Elliot some baby food (current roster: sweet potatoes (homemade by Roxanne), green beans (homemade by me), prunes (Gerber), peas (Gerber), carrots (Gerber)). Maybe a little rice cereal, mashed in with a tip of a banana, thinned with a little bit of milk (homemade by Sarah). Feeding this stuff in the morning is new this week. It's part of an attempt to provide him with a concentrated burst of calories right before and right after his sleeping hours. The theory, put forth by our pediatrician, is that this is how you extricate yourself, over time, from those troublesome 3 AM feedings. We'll see.

I spend time talking with him and playing with him, or if he's in a tranquil mood, I'll let him sit in his pink chair and do experiments on something crinkly -- perhaps a loaf of bread in its plastic or paper wrapper. His mentality -- the pure mindedness and mental appetite of him -- is now such that while you're dealing with him, it's become very tough -- or maybe just unrewarding -- to try to accomplish other things such as cook, do email, or sweep the floor. So I stick close & don't do a whole lot else. On Fridays, I might try to sneak a look at the paper.

After a while, I take my shower while he bounces in his chair in the bathroom and enjoys the racket and the steam. Elliot is someone who respects a big noise. There's an English expression, dunno where it came from: "Well, aren't you a big noise!" It's to be said drily, in mock appreciation of someone's real or imagined importance. But it's funny how literally Elliot takes the fact that we are the Big Noise around here. Accidentally drop a pan to the floor, and he's unafraid; but you'll see his gaze locked on it. He won't look away.

He sits in his chair and babbles and wheezes, and cheeps and chirps. When he chooses to say something syllabic, like "ba ba ba", I make a point of turning around, sticking my head out, and repeating the syllables to him, in the form of a Big (Fun) Noise. That always gets a good reaction.

Sarah tends start her work day somewhere in the morning time frame, if she can. She also goes out with Ada to stretch legs. (Perhaps Elliot and I will take part in this someday, when spring comes.)

After my shower, Sarah nurses him, and sometimes this leads to a quick morning nap for him. While she is nursing, I make us all a smoothie with plain whole milk yogurt, a mess of berries, and two eggs. That's my new, simplified smoothie recipe. Yes, Virginia, they are raw eggs, but we get the pre-pasteurized kind for this purpose. It's a step both Sarah and I think is basically unnecessary (gob knows we've both eaten enough cookie dough and brownie batter in our lives to float a battleship, and lived to tell the tale). But there's something to be said for not having to think about it.

9 - 9:30 am: I get him and myself ready for work. I try to take point on dressing the boy, out of a mutual agreement. I get to avoid some gender cliches by actually making choices about what he wears. Sarah gets to avoid some gender cliches of her own, and it saves her time and mental energy. We both make out well.

We leave the house and I walk him to May's house, where he dwells til 2:30, when Sarah picks him up. I catch the train to work. (If it's really cold (single digits, low teens), Sarah gives us a ride to May's and then drops me at the train.)

In the afternoon, Sarah and Elliot hang out and get each other's undivided attention.

6:10 pm: I get home from work, have a little reunion party with Ada, and catch up with Elliot and Sarah. We feed him more baby food, then give him a bath to clean up the mess. Sarah and I eat some hummus and crackers, or maybe have some wine.

7:30 pm: Sarah nurses him, gives him some lotion on his little body, sings to him, reads him Goodnight Moon (which she has memorized and to which I believe she is addicted), and puts him to bed. He's still awake when she leaves the room, or at least that's what we shoot for. He settles himself down, and at some point he falls asleep. If there is trouble, it my job to go in and calm him back down.

Somewhere in here, we've started making our dinner. Sometimes we try to eat it while Elliot is resting between courses. Other times, we eat after he's in bed.

8 - 9:30 pm: We finish cooking, and then eat our dinner, and then clean up. Then do any outstanding household chores. Also in here: processing photos, uploading them, blogging, email, phone contact with family and friends, pay bills, watch John Stewart, watch Grey's Anatomy, etc.

9:30 pm: I walk the pooch, who deserves some exercise. Unless I beg Sarah to do it for some reason.

10:00 pm: Bed.

-blwh

P.S. T.H. we miss you! Where art thou?

2 comments:

Henrie Family said...

I too watch Greys Anatomy, but I may switch to Men in Trees, because I think GA jumped the shark with the recent Meridith nearly dying bit...I wish we had cable, so that I could watch the Daily Show. Maybe they will put some more out on DVD.

Anyway, sorry that I have not been around recently. I have been adjusting to full time work and applying for jobs around here. Then my Dad had major surgery. Everything is fine now.

Next time your family comes to SL we should get together.

W

Brandon said...

So true about jumping the shark. But once we resolved that Meredith's, uh, not going to . . . .die (whew, glad we got that straight...what a cliffhanger...), they did go and make the next episode a pretty good one.