Week ten, back to work!
Armed with a diaper bag the size (and shape) of Guam, Nora and I set out to see what needs doin' in the world of two to seven year olds. Apparently, a lot lot. Eggs need scrambling! Hair needs to be braided- evenly- and/or clipped back with appropriate bows (but not too matchy-matchy.) The stegosaurus' tail needs to be found...on a puzzle piece the width of pencil eraser. Stories need to be performed with the correct accents and correlating hand motions. Tents need to be blanketed, boats need to be shored up with cushions, lunch needs to be CRUST-FREE, and naptime needs to become a one-strike-you're-out-offense-yes-laying-there-with-your-eyes-closed-counts endeavor.
Not to mention the poops. You wouldn't believe me if I did. I think everyone within a five mile radius of me has pooped their diaper or potty seat off in the past four days. AT THE SAME TIME.
I do, however, think Nora's getting the hang of this nanny business. She's strict but fair. And veeeeery cute. (Believe it or not, this helps. To get one kiddo to brush her teeth I simply turned Nora around in her sling so her chubby cheeks were facing outwards. The 'aw' that it elicited was perfect for reaching molars.)
The hours for a couple of the days are superbly early- I'm getting ready at 5:45am and WAKING my daughter (something the books say you should nevernevernever do) at 6:20. The first morning when I put her in her carseat, fully jammied and sleepsacked, she actually laughed at me like I was insane.
Maybe I am. So far this week she's taken the business end of a hard juggling ball directly in the face and made that startled newborn OMHMYGODOHMYGOD wince at least three times. She may also be part possum, as her favorite new sleep position is facing my sternum while in the sling, hands gripping the sides of her head.
On the plus side, I've never held her more!
On a more negative side, I've never held her more. The left side of my body where the sling places the most pressure may just give out one of these days, rendering my arm eternally noodle-like and reducing my authority to ineffective flopping about.
Thankfully, Tuesday was my day off.
That is, until the upstairs furnace broke Monday night, turning our bedrooms into an Artic tundra. (Thanks, negative-degree Chicago!) At least we had the first floor bedrooms, which were on their own, oddly-zoned boiler system! The boiler, of course, being stuck on SAHARAN temperatures! Nora slept in a diaper, sadly not for the last time, given her parents' obvious ineptitude at adulthood.
So, Tuesday was the day that our heating and cooling guy came and quoted us 600 bucks (to fix a part) or 2.2k (to replace the since-discontinued furnace.) Oh yeah, and they'd have to rip the wall apart to get it out- apparently the wall was built AROUND the furnace. Of course it was! We chose the 600 buck option, telling ourselves we'd upgrade to an A/C and furnace unit soonish. (Of course we would!) Then the guy left, saying he'd try to replace it soon, maybe by that night, maybe by Thursday.
WELL. Knowing I couldn't face another night on the surface of the sun downstairs, I started to move my main floor office around to accommodate the bed in P.J.'s office. Two hours later, I had just finished hooking up all the computer plugs, lighting and anything else needing an outlet...when the heating guy came back with the repaired part. Rendering the afternoon spent swapping things about needless, ha hah!
But at least my office looks fabulous.
And, sadly, Nora is now in the thick of her first real cold. It is tragic. For those of you who have never experienced the magnitude of an infant's first real sickness- it's a treat. I highly recommend sitting on a bathroom floor in the middle of the night, shower-steaming a baby into a miniature wonton and alternating between suctioning each impossibly long boogie with a bulb aspirator and cleaning up the diaper blowout as a direct result of the ensuing freakout. (Apparently, they do NOT care for this action!)
And somehow, hours later, she still smiles happily at me. Making me feel like even more of a jerk for bundling her into the dark, frigid, Chicago mornings.
There was more I had planned on noting about the previous week...but my darling baby gal, the angelic infant in the aquarium bouncer on the floor beside me, has just chosen to have another poo-splosion in the carefully selected outfit for today's workload. Sometimes I think she plans these. Maybe she's taking orders from a higher baby authority. Like an evil cartoon villain, clad in a diaper and clutching a cigar. I'm slightly tempted to poke a finger into her chubby cheeks and demand WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR, a la Jack Bauer.
But then she'd just smile that famous Schoeny smile.
You know, the one that got me here in the first place?