Well, just long. Not tough so much, but being ON BABY DUTY for so many hours really wears on me after a while. Katrina often has times when she's quite happy for long stretches, but I never know when those will be or when they'll end. But more often, she has stretches in which she pulls herself up, gets stuck, and cries and has be to redirected or distracted again. It's frustrating not being able to follow an impulse, to make a phone call as I think of it, to send a message when I want to, to do anything at my own pace or on my own time.
I need more baby care. Sanity for $15 an hour, please.
Katrina had a grand time tonight playing with the handle on this footstool that Grandpa Jim made so many years ago. My father's footstools are all made with legs attached at a 90-degree angle to the tabletop part, which means that they're highly liable to tip over if you stand too close to the edge. Julian's fallen off this one enough times to refer to it as "the scary footstool." Still, they're precious heirlooms.
Today I took Julian and Katrina to the Y, then home for Katrina's nap, and mine, and, as it turned out, Julian's. Then a late lunch, and it was juuust late enough not to make it to pick Gabriel up straight from school. In addition to the screwy "PM" schedule, every Tuesday the schedule is earlier.
So I took Julian and Katrina shopping before picking Gabriel up from CDC. Of utmost top priority was a scrapbook store because I was urgently, critically, desperately low on yellow cardstock. I mean really, I can't get caught with my pants at my ankles without the exact right shade of yellow! I averted a crisis in the red and purple departments too. Katrina didn't make this easy, wiggling and screeching in the stroller, so I had no time to think and just had to grab whatever looked like it would fill the gaps in my cardstock spectrum, while keeping Julian away from the sticker wall. Going to a scrapbook store before picking up Gabriel was calculated, as I figured all three in there would be completely impossible. As it was, bringing two came at a hefty price, since I couldn't afford to be discriminating: $82 worth of "construction paper." I can just see Julian and his handy little fingers in scissors with my expensive scrapbook supplies. ~shudder~
No less important, but perhaps less urgent, was a trip to Trader Joe's with my curtailed brood. Because a week can't pass without a trip to TJs.
Then, Gabriel pickup. I didn't see the boys for the rest of the afternoon; they went right to work in the backyard on "construction," (bicycle) helmets and all. Ah, brothers. I daresay they miss each other, with Gabriel being in school so much more now.
It didn't occur to me until Dave got home, right before dinner, and reminded me, that Gabriel now has homework to do. "Didn't he have time to work on it this afternoon?" Well, yeah, if he had one of those on-the-ball involved mothers. Not one who's perpetually exasperated with carrying around a touchy pre-toddler.
The homework itself isn't hard, and they're only supposed to spend about 10 minutes a day doing it, though whoever said that doesn't know Gabriel and his painstaking meticulousness. We managed to squeeze in a little after dinner, and he'll make a good stab at completing his week's assignment by Friday, when he has to turn it in.
Love my dear baby as I do, I was all too happy to put her to bed and be able to think for more than 30 straight seconds. And what do you think it is I think about when I finally am baby-free? Paradoxically, baby!
Newsflash! Katrina is now waving! It's the first gesture she's made that has consistent meaning, if "hi and/or bye at any random moment" counts as consistent. But there's no doubt she means it as waving, and does so in delayed response to grownups cooing foolishly "BY-YYE! BYE-BYE! BYE!!" again and again at any random moment.
Dave's also been signing "more" and "all done" with her at mealtimes, and she makes some attempt at imitating the gestures. I'm still not sure why so many parents think of signing as a communication panacea for babies. Katrina has always very clearly communicated "more" with a piercing SCREEEEECCCHH, and "all done" with projectile spitting. Who needs ASL?
Maybe I'll find a few minutes tonight to rifle through my new stash and put together July's scrapbook page, now that I have the exact right shade of yellow. It's so much fun looking at photos of the kids -- when they're in bed.