a day in the life - may 2006

I've decided to have a category A day in the life to encourage myself to try a different sort of writing. Banal, realistic, rambling maybe. I think sometimes that it's through banality that some of the best stuff emerges. We'll see.

Monday morning. I wake up to the sound of G turning off the alarm on his mobile phone. As I do most weekday mornings. It's annoying but less annoying than the ring & I understand the need for an alarm even if you always awake before it goes off. Then I go back to sleep until almost 7.30 when he came into get dressed for work. Grace is stirring, he says. I hide under the doona but then force myself to get up, put on my dressing gown & ugg boots. I go in, say hello & open her curtain & go out the back door to the toilet. (yes, we have an outside toilet, we don't mind, the view is great & it's one of the reasons this house is cheap to rent) It's bloody cold. The coldest morning yet, I think. This time last year it was still warmish.

I get Grace up just in time to wave Daddy off. This has become part of our weekday ritual & seems to have improved the early part of the week when she misses him terribly.  Weetbix with milk & bannana follows. Bannanas are terribly expensive at the moment, due to the cyclone in Queensland. Someone must be doing well though, $2 each and rising. Each week, I debate whether to buy them, but they seem to go so well with Weetbix, which incidentally I can't stand. I almost gag when Grace eats them, but she seems to like them, particularly with bannanas. Today she does well with putting the spoon I load into her mouth, not so well with loading the spoon. I can't bear to see her eat Weetbix with her hands. Almost any other food yes, but not Weetbix, so I guess it will be a while before we can eat breakfast together, both eating at the same time.

After her breakfast I put her on the floor to play while I have mine. Grated apple, oats, yoghurt, sultananas, a few walnuts, a teaspoon of honey & enough water to make a loose consistency. Yum. I eat this almost every morning & almost never get sick of it, especially when apples are in season. I also have stovetop espresso coffee & milk, orange juice & soda & my pills. Thyroid pills, multi vitamin & the disprin to stop my blood clotting if I were to get pregnant again. Not that we're trying, or trying not to. I would love another baby but at my age (42) chance would be a fine thing. But I take the disprin just in case. It worked last time & has become almost talismatic in preventing early pregnancy loss, even the losses unrelated to my blood issues.

As I eat my breakfast, Grace plays with the recycling (dangerous items removed), strewing paper everywhere. She trys to catch the cat for some ear pulling but he's having none of it. At about half eight, the gym rings to say they have a childcare place in the last morning session. Oh goody. Not. I thought I might get out of it today. Grace bumshuffles towards me, the smell says it all. I change her nappy. It's a stinker. Everything goes in the bucket & I take it out to the toilet for the scraping. Women I know who also use cloth nappies all bemoan the scraping but I think I've become quite efficient at it. Grace has stuck her head out the cat door & is crying. If it wasn't so awful it would be funny, actually it is kind of funny in an awful kind of way. After sorting out the nappy soaking for the day & washing my poor cracked hands with the gentlest stuff I could find, I go back to the kitchen to finish ny now cold coffee. Grace sits on the floor in the scullery pulling out pots & pastics. She's happy now that she can see Mummy. Oh god, not another small child separation anxiety day.

I get dressed in my daggy gym outfit, do the mountains of dishes, fold washing, pick up, wipe down, put Grace to bed for her morning nap, look up smocks on the web, consider whether I could do one for Tie one on , sweep the Cotoneaster berries of the front path, talk to my Dad on the phone about a piece of furniture he's unloading, make Grace's creche snack, put the mountains of dishes away. Grace has woken, oh shit, I'm running late for the gym, the vacuuming will have to wait. Get Grace up, dress her, plonk her in the stroller, chuck on beautiful tweed coat that makes even my gym wear look stylish & head off. We walk fast & Grace is excited, but this changes once we get to childcare. The tears start the moment we enter that room.

The lovely childcare ladies push me out the door & I can hear Graces' howls in the corridor. This is not fun at all. They stop. I still feel awful. Then I remind myself that a) they will come & get me if Grace doesn't settle b) I need to do this to loose weight & improve my health so I'll be a good role model c) I want to be around for as long as possible d) I need time out e) Grace is being well cared for & f) this will never get better if I don't stick with it. I do quite a good workout & enjoy it once the anxiety settles, even though I haven't lost any weight since last time. When I get back to childcare, 5 minutes before the end of the session, thinking I would be early, all the other kids are gone & Grace is in tears again. Apparently it starts once mums start collecting their kids & everytime the door opens she gets upset. My little girl, an ocean of emotion. Oh well, I'll just have to try & collect her earlier next time. By the time we are half way home, Grace is enjoying the walk despite the cold & seems to have forgotten all about the horror that is childcare.

This doesn't last, Grace becomes discombulated when I have a shower. Normally she just watches from the doorway or plays on the floor, throwing plastic toys into the bath. Today she just cries. Afterwards I sit down with her in the rocking chair in her room for a cuddle, but she's not really interested. I make lunch, low fat chicken stirfry. I keep the marinated chicken in the freezer, so it makes for a really easy lunch. G is a vegetarian & I'm not, so I try to eat flesh foods for lunch a couple of days a week. To keep my iron levels up, as I find my life tiring enough without being borderline anemic. Grace happily eats a bit more lunch. She really likes the spicy chicken pieces. These are picked out. Other bits get thrown to the cat.

During Grace's afternoon nap, I once again wipe up, wipe down etc. I clean an old lamp that I use for making things during winter nights in front of TV. Yesterday, it blew a fuse when I turned it on. Tomorrow I'll take it to get rewired. It's a beautiful old desk lamp so it's worth doing. Then I start the vacuuming. Mid vacuum I pause to check out the rag rug basket I started to make last night. I love making rag ruggy things in winter. It's a great way to use scraps & old clothes. When I get a digital camera from Dads' pile of no longer up to the minute technology, I'll post a photo.  I go back to vacuuming & I'm afraid she will wake up in terror at the vacuum but she doesn't & I get the whole house done except for her room. I start blogging. I'm not allowing myself to check out other blogs until I have done my own. This prevents faffing & makes me write truer to myself ( I think).

Grace wakes up & needs lots of snuggles & a story before she is ready for independent play. I don't mind, I quite like it when she is snuggly. We have a chat & she astounds me with the conversational tone of her burbling. Then we go into the study, I give her half a muffin & some water  & she plays happily on the floor with her books and toys ( & not with the cabling, the hard drive or daddy's bass guitar) until I see G get off the tram across the road. I hold Grace up on the window seat to look out the window, she gets so excited that her whole body vibrates.

G reintergrates into homeworld & puts on some music. We debrief in the study. He'll bathe Grace while I schnorfle around in the study then we'll all hang out, maybe watch Neighbours of which G is a long time fan. I'm kinda into it now too, it's hard not to be after six or so years. Then Grace will go to bed & I'll make dinner. I'm thinking mild vege curry with eggplant, cauliflower, peas & rice. This is a good Grace meal. We freeze lots of little containers for her evening meal, because it's too hard to eat & feed her at the same time. I always try & have lunch as a social meal with Grace and I think as soon as she can mange a spoon it'll be time for family dinners too. After dinner, I might watch some TV & make my basket, or sew or go on the internet. Then it's off to bed for lots of zzz s before doing it all over again. But Tuesdays are different...

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