Kristen Chapman is a stay-at-home mom to Taylor, 2 1/2, and David III, 9 months. She and her husband, Dave, have been married for five years.
6:30am My husband, Dave, quietly gets ready to leave for work, trying to not wake the household. He kisses us all and makes his way across town.
6:45am Taylor-Tot wakes up, moves into our room and our bed with her milk to "watch cartoons." What this really means is Tot comes into our bed to spill juice on the sheets and poke Little David’s eyes while I’m nursing him. During this time, Tot inevitably finds crayons, markers, pens or pencils that I have hidden away from her and proceeds to mark on the walls, the bed covers, herself or my library books. After I discover she’s done this, bedtime is officially over, and Mamma ain’t gettin’ no more sleep.
7am Tot and I leave the baby asleep and go to the kitchen to get some breakfast. Tot has toast; I eat Fiber One. Tot sneaks some of my berries and by the end of the meal has stained her face, her pajamas and my floor.
8am Little David wakes up, and we nurse while Tot watches cartoons. During the one-hour nursing session, Tot climbs all over my legs and most often tries to come and sit in my lap. Unfortunately, the baby pretty well takes all that space up, which leaves Tot frustrated. She vents this frustration by stealing my water bottle and shaking it all over the carpet. Whether or not this is actually in retaliation is up for question; however, she seems to really enjoy it.
9am David is finally done nursing and seems to be asleep. I lay him down in his car seat (his current favorite place to snooze) and make Tot a small snack while chatting with Dave on the phone.
9:08am David wakes up and needs a diaper change. Then he wants to eat some more. I sneak in a Tot diaper change and some snuggles to let her know I really do want to play with her, but her brother is being difficult.
10am David is actually done now, and I take him and Tot outside for an “air bath," as my grandmother calls them. I let Tot run around, dig in the dirt and tire herself out, and I let David sit in the sun/shade and get some fresh air. It does all of us really good and usually isn’t freakishly hot at this point in the day. Tot brings me sticks, flowers, dirt and sometimes old chew toys from our dog, Bear. I accept them with the utmost of gratitude. There really is something sweet about your baby giving you a present, even if it is a bit of rusty old pipe that came from who-knows-where and has who-knows-what on it.
10:30am I bring the babies in and wipe the Tot down, change her diaper and get her some juice. Then she goes down for her nap. It’s always a guessing game as to whether or not she goes willingly.
10:35am David and I settle in to nurse. This is one of the quietest times of the day and what I look forward to most. He and I just rock and rock and rock. Sometimes I read, sometimes I watch TV, and sometimes we lie down on the couch and I nap while he eats. It’s a pretty good time.
11:30am David is full and asleep, and I have about an hour until Tot wakes up ready for lunch and David wakes up wanting to eat again. I have three options: a) clean, b) nap, c) waste time on the computer while talking on the phone and eating some frozen meal. I choose option "c."
12:30am The Tot wakes up and is quite famished. Quick diaper change, then I slice up a hot dog, a piece of cheese, some grapes and some bananas. Odds are that she will only eat the hot dog, but I’ve done my best. You can lead a horse to water … and all that.
12:35pm David wakes up, and we nurse while the Tot finishes up lunch. By the end, she has indeed only eaten the hot dog, and the rest of the food is scattered around the floor in tiny heaps. I think she does it on purpose, but at least the dog will probably clean it for me.
1pm I load the kids, the diaper bag, the cups and the pacifiers up in the double stroller, and we take a walk around the block a few times, enjoying the sunshine and the neighbors revving up their drag racer. So peaceful.
1:45pm We arrive home feeling both glad to have been outside and very ready to sit and watch some cartoons and get in some fresh diapers.
1:50pm I set the Tot in her stuffed chair to watch Blue’s Clues and top off David with a quick nurse. Then I lay him down in his crib for a nap and prepare for the “Get-While-The-Gettin’s-Good” clean up time.
2pm I rush around the house like a Tasmanian devil, washing dishes, making beds, folding clothes and sweeping floors. I get only part of all these jobs done before the Tot comes up to me and wants to snuggle and watch another cartoon. Of course, I agree.
3pm David wakes up, we do a diaper change, and then he and I sit down to nurse and watch Ellen while the Tot plays in her room.
4pm Snack time. I sit David down on a blanket and make Tot and myself a snack of animal crackers and juice. Tot prefers the juice and I prefer the crackers, so we share.
4:30pm We all head off to Tot’s room for more play time and more lessons on why we don’t hit the baby with the toys.
5pm Another mad dash through the house to straighten up before Dave gets home from work, and then it’s nursing time again.
5:30pm Dave gets home and gives us all kisses and takes the Tot outside to burn off some energy while I get dinner ready. I order out.
6pm The pizza arrives, and we all sit down to eat. Inevitably, I wind up needing to nurse again (I swear the child has a radar), and I eat my pizza in the living room while balancing the plate on Little David.
7pm Bedtime! Hurray! Dave and I split the kids: He gets the Tot into PJs and a clean diaper, and I get the baby into PJs and a clean diaper. We rendezvous for the family prayer, and then it’s curtains.
7:05pm Or maybe not. Tot is up again, asking for juice. We usually only give her water, but by this time I’m exhausted and relent. She falls right to sleep.
7:10pm Dave and I settle in for our favorite time of day: TV snuggles time. Sweet grown up time, you never last long enough.
9pm Little David wakes up wanting the last nursing of the night, so we nurse while Dave falls asleep on the couch.
9:30pm Little David and Big Dave are both asleep, so I get them both to bed, lock all the doors, turn off the lights and make my way to bed, ready to repeat this all again in the morning.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.