New Hampshire in Early March: A Day in the Life

March 4, 2014 by Jennifer Carsen

12:31 am: Am roused from a dead sleep by a variety of regal princess noises generated by one of Lorelei’s toys that has courageously – and independently – overridden its “off” setting. Stumble through the dark living room in an attempt to silence it before it wakes up the entire house.

12:32 am: Locate the toy on the stovetop of the kids’ play kitchen in the living room. Have dim memory of putting it there before bed.

12:33 am: Riffle through the kitchen junk drawer in search of the sole Phillips head screwdriver in our possession small enough to unfasten the miniature screw securing the battery door to the still-chirping toy. Cloister myself in the master bathroom until, by the dim glow of the nightlight by the sink, I manage to prise the damned thing open.

12:35 am: Triumphantly deposit the component parts of the toy, along with the batteries, in the bathroom trash (despite clear evidence that the batteries still have plenty of life in them).

6:35 am: Awaken to the dulcet tones generated by one gloppy-eyed toddler and one congested preschooler.

7:00 am: Get everyone downstairs and situated in the living room. As this happens to be the first day of our new weekly routine – 3 days at home with Mommy alternating with 2 days at daycare – I announce that there will be no TV, in stark contrast to the countless mind-rotting hours of SpongeBob we all find ourselves watching on the weekends.

7:02 am: Nicholas, sitting on Eric’s lap, picks up the remote control and holds it out to Eric. “Pee-vee?” he asks, hopefully.

7:38 am: Realize that being cooped up in a house in 4-degree weather with two small children without TV is vastly different than being cooped up in a house in 4-degree weather with two small children with TV (the latter moving in a sort of accelerated TV dog years as compared to the former).

8:02 am: Cave on the “no TV” rule on grounds that there are sick children in the house. Feel simultaneously guilty, mentally weak, and enormously relieved.

8:07 am: Remove a variety of incomprehensibly tiny Sofia the First picnic accessories from Nicholas’s mouth.

8:30 am: Call Nicholas’s pediatrician to find out if we need to bring him in due to extreme eye gloppiness. Await return call.

9:00 am: Lorelei requests an omelette for breakfast but balks when she realizes there is cheese in said omelette. Is unmoved by Mommy’s argument that Mommy has put cheese – this exact type of cheese, in fact – in every single omelette Lorelei has ever consumed.

9:15 am: Attempt to separate Nicholas from a bagged fortune cookie (from a Chinese take-out dinner long past) that he has been squeezing and crumbling for the past 15 minutes as he roams around the living room. Eventually give up, secure it in a large, hopefully toddler-proof Ziploc, and return it to him. Catch a glimpse of the fortune inside: Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

9:30 am: Pediatrician calls back. Says there is no need to bring Nicholas in, and that if it’s pinkeye, we can call back and they will call in a prescription. Look over at Nicholas, who looks more chipper and dry-eyed than he’s been in days.

9:45 am: Pop into the kitchen for more coffee. Hear Eric ask Nicholas, “You got your witch hazel, buddy?” Decide that this is one of those times it’s better not to ask.

10:00 am – 12:30 pm: Repeated exhortations of “bum on couch!” to Nicholas (who has recently discovered the joys of standing up on said couch and plopping himself down on it) from Eric, me, and eventually Lorelei as well.

12:31 pm: Realize that one of Nicholas’s eyes looks newly gloppy again and maybe a little pink. Or maybe not. Lorelei has some goop coming out of one of hers now, too.

12:32 pm: Mail arrives, including our new insurance cards. There is no reason for Blue Cross/Blue Shield to be sending us new insurance cards at this juncture except for the fact that we’ve been using the wrong ones (due to their error) for all of 2014 to date. This is why we also receive a past due notice from the kids’ pediatrician in the same batch of mail, as Blue Cross/Blue Shield has denied all existence of our coverage. Call the pediatrician’s office for the second time today.

(An added bonus in today’s mail: A 1099-MISC tax form for freelance writing work I did in 2013 that a) misspells my last name and b) classifies the income as “fishing boat proceeds.”)

1:47 pm: Discover that Nicholas has a new personal talisman: His 1-oz. bottle of baby ibuprofen. The fact that he refuses to relinquish it for any reason, for even minute periods of time, tremendously complicates the proper adminstration of said ibuprofen.

4:00 pm: Realize, horrified, that Lorelei has not gone to the bathroom in approximately 22 hours. Mildly panic and start Googling “3-year-old no urination” on the iPad.

4:03 pm: Eric shuts off the TV and tells Lorelei it won’t go on again until she pees.

4:03 pm: Lorelei pees. Crisis averted. (Note to self: Spend more time learning child psychology and less time Googling scary medical things relating to the children.)

4:04 pm: Make an end-of-day gametime decision that Nicholas’s eye looks sufficiently pink to warrant getting a prescription for pinkeye drops after all. Call the pediatrician’s office for the third time.

4:08 pm: Run out to pick up prescription. Realize that I have not left the house since 11:30 am yesterday. The cold air feels refreshing, yet foreign.

4:27 pm: Return home to discover that both kids have been involved in various mishaps involving requests for ice packs. How long have I been gone?

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Baths and bedtime. Decide that Lorelei’s eye looks gloppy enough to warrant throwing a few drops in there as well. (Will get her a new prescription in her own name tomorrow.)

7:01 pm: Debate with Eric the inevitability of all four of us eventually succumbing to pinkeye. Wash everything the kids may have handled, sneezed on, or slobbered over today – i.e., every single thing we own – on the hottest cycle.

7:20 pm: Dither back and forth between a) going to bed or b) crying in a corner but wind up doing neither as I am interrupted by a potty request from Lorelei.

8:00 pm: Opt for going to bed. Realize I have caught the kids’ cold. Shoot some Nyquil and pray for the strength to make it through Tuesday.


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