Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Persistence of...

3 stories in one day? Someone notify the authorities... but don't tell my boss.

One of the interesting things about having a small child is the way that your own personal concept of time changes. Before Gaby was born I had my schedule down to a T. I could wake up at a certain time and know exactly how long it would take for me to accomplish all of the things I needed to do to get out of the house and get to work on time.

Now? I wake up at least 1 to 2 hours earlier than I used to and have no control over myself anymore.

Here's a brief look at my latest morning where I was taking care of Gaby by myself.

I wake up when I hear Gaby fuss in the morning. From there, I go to her nursery and make sure all is well with her. This morning, for example, she'd managed to spin herself out of her little padded elevated sleeping pad and had spun herself over to the head of the bed. Add to this that she had managed to get her left arm and leg stuck out of the rails and it made for an interesting start to the day.

(Side note: Ok. This is a bad situation for Gaby to be in. She's stuck, she can't move and she's getting a bit upset about the situation. What's the first thing I do? Go and grab the camera. Sure I could have fixed her issues quickly, but damn, I need all the pictures like this that I can find.)

(Another side note: Have a camera around at all times when your kid is with you. Sure they have lots of cute moments every day, but some are cuter than others and you don't want your spouse to miss something because they're not there at that moment.)

From there it goes to the diaper change. Diaper changes haven't been a big issue for us lately (for the people at daycare, that's another matter). Other than Sarah and I alternating who gets the duties when we're both home together, diapers have been a relatively painless process.

After that, it's feeding time. This is where the morning can really go out of whack. Gaby's bottle feedings with me can range anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. It's all a matter of what she feels like on that given day. Today, she was done in 15 minutes.

(Side note: Can someone get HBO or Showtime to put something good on at 6AM CST? Due to a promotion that my wife and I got in on we get both of these channels free for 6 months and I believe I've seen 1 decent movie on at 6 in the morning. On the good side of the dial though, Discovery HD runs a great show called Sunrise Earth. Basically it's just HDTV footage of a sunrise. No music, no nothing. A very nice show for first thing in the morning.)

Once that process is complete and she's been burped, I can actually start "my" portion of getting ready. I put her in her bouncy seat, where she will hopefully entertain herself for a little while, and I head for the shower.

(Side note: Sarah and I have a kick-ass shower. If you're considering re-doing your bathroom or building a home, take some time and think about how you actually use your shower every single day. We went with a Water Haven from Kohler and it's easily worth the money we had to put into it. We put in a Whirlpool tub and I've used it exactly 2 times. Just to put it all in perspective. Seriously though, I actually look forward to taking a shower in the morning now. This thing rocks! )

After the shower things can get a bit tricky. Typically you would just get dressed and get started on things after that, but now you have other things to consider. You have to look at the fact that, while your child has been burped, you could be looking at a potential clothing disaster the next time you pick them up. This can lead to situations where you're walking around the house in your robe up to the last few minutes before you leave.

If you were lucky, you took a bit of time after getting your child into their car seat and actually grabbed a bit of food for yourself. Remember, your child woke you up to get breakfast, it's probably a good idea for you to follow their example.

So, your child is in their car seat and ready to go. Time to head out the door, right? Nope. Now you have to begin the process of determining what they'll need for the trip. In today's case, it was a light day for her. I just had to grab the diaper bag for Sarah, as we were doing a baby swap at my work place in the morning.

Day care days involve labeling all of her bottles, documenting her morning for the day care workers, and getting multiple outfits for her (for when she has diaper issues during the day.)

After that, you have to try and plan for yourself. For me, I had to grab my bag that I take to work. Add to that the gym bag that I had to take, because of a volleyball game later in the evening, and I couldn't forget my water bottle.

When you're all done and carrying all of these items to the car, you can't help but feel like you're a pack mule that is preparing for some sort of epic journey that could take months. Not a journey that would be taking you 30 minutes, by car, to your workplace.

What's funny is that I actually enjoy this whole process. Gaby.19w is really a very good kid and doesn't complain all that much. She makes my mornings alone with her go very well due to the fact that she doesn't mind being left in her bouncy seats and being left to entertain herself. Hopefully she'll see, in time, that Sarah and I are both very solitary people that also happen to enjoy each other's company, and maybe she'll find herself in that same isolated crowd as well.

So, to any of you out there that do not have kids yet, and are planning to, and think your schedule is busy now, you're going to be in for a lot of fun.


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