In case you’re wondering why we change his clothes ten times a day, it’s because I’ve never had the presence of mind to photograph one single day in its entirety. It’s just… not happening. Anyway. Onward!
5.50am: Michael wakes up.
6.15am: He gets his first morning milk (180ml) lounging on the sofa while we change his diaper at the same time. The little guy hates having his diaper (or anything else) changed, so this avoids an overly loud early morning diaper fight.
We also wipe his face down with – get this – Avene thermal spring water. Ha! As unnecessary as it is fancy. But I happen to have a bottle on me, so we are working our way through it.
He sucks on a tooth tissue, while I sing “This is the way we brush our teeth…” Yes, he once nearly swallowed the tissue.
So much for avoiding an early morning diaper fight. Michael poops about ten seconds later and we effect the second diaper change, and get him out of his pajamas. I have no idea why he’s smiling here – maybe because of the camera – it’s usually the opposite and I have to hurriedly close all the windows for fear of waking the neighbours.
6.45am – 8.15am: Play time! He has the run (or crawl?) of the living and dining room, and enjoys picking stuff out of our sideboard to chew on. He usually takes a stroller walk downstairs around the condo premises as well.
8.15am – 9.40am: Nap time.
9.40am: Second bottle (150ml)
10am – 11.45am: Play time! We sing songs, play with his various toys in dizzying rotation, roll balls around. I ask him where various objects are “Where’s the star?” “Where’s Hello Kitty?” “Where’s Fripouille?”
What is Fripouille, you ask?
Meet Fripouille, la grenouille. He could have been Fred the Frog, but no…
His one hundred toys can only occupy him for half an hour. For the rest of the time, we walk around downstairs, hoping to run into our favourite neighbours, so that they can entertain Michael for a bit…
And then we “play on the slides”, which is exactly as awkward as it looks. But it’s novel for him and is good for five minutes of entertainment. The point here is that an hour and a half of play time can feel like a really long time with a 10 month old who is yet unable to remain focused on any one activity for long. I am constantly watching the clock. Does that make me a bad mom?
12 noon: Lunch! His favourite.
1pm – 1.30pm: Nap time. There’s a 25% chance that this occurs in the stroller rather than the crib. Which becomes 100% if he’s teething, which he was today.
Why do you have to do this to me?
1.30pm – 2.15pm: We get ready to leave the house, for his “kai kai“, or “walk walk”. This involves the full suite of Michael’s most detested activities: changing his diaper, putting some shorts and socks on, and applying sunblock. We pack his tea time in a lunch box, and load up the diaper bag, which actually doesn’t contain any diapers (I have a separate wallet for that) but it does contain EVERYTHING ELSE ONE COULD POSSIBLY NEED while walking in a shopping mall with a baby.
2.15pm – 3.45pm: We spend our time playing peekaboo in the mirrors of Uniqlo or handing Michael random items from shops to touch and explore. He has put things in his mouth before, and I have put them back hoping no one noticed. If there’s a couch, we put him on it because being carried gets old, and being strolled gets even older.
3.45pm: Tea time for everybody! Equal favourite with lunch time. Lyn and I usually grab a coffee and some toast, which we do our best to hide from Michael, because he’s a toast seeking missile.
4.30pm – 5pm: Stroller nap on one of the quiet floors of the mall.
5pm – 6pm: We make our way home, stopping by the grocery store on the way. By now, Michael’s impatient and wants to be out of his stroller.
NO! Michael, NO! Not the kitchen. Nooooo. No!!
6 – 6.30pm: We’re home! And it’s wind down play time. Michael crawls around the house in relief and with abandon. We try to get unpacked and dinner started and his bath set up, without him interfering.
6.30pm – 6.45pm: Bath time. The above photo is a misrepresentation. He’s usually really annoyed about being toweled off, moisturized and powdered. We usually let him crawl about naked for a while after this, before wrangling him into a diaper.
6.45pm – 7.10pm: More relaxed play time. Sometimes, a walk downstairs to check in on the action at the playground.
Lyn and Ralph, undertaking Operation PJs. Brave, brave souls.
7.10pm: Operation PJs. Literally, this is how we refer to it. It requires stealth, and weapons of mass distraction. So no, we don’t have a wind-down bed time routine. It’s a wind-up, because this dude hates his PJs and there’s nothing we can do to convince him that they’re not evil. In the meantime, one of us has already prepared his 240ml bottle of milk, which is waiting in the wings.
7.15pm: Milk! Known all around the country as “nen nen“. Glorious, wonderful, bedtime nen nen. I feed him in his dark bedroom, while softly singing Be Thou My Vision, reciting Psalm 91 and saying a prayer over him, which invariably includes “Thank You for helping him sleep through the night”. Once he’s done, I swipe his gums quickly with a tooth tissue, rock and burp him for thirty seconds, and into his crib he goes with a “Night night, mama loves you, night night…” I quickly put his pillow over his face, and duck out of sight.
7.40pm: Asleep. Hooray! Another wonderful, wonderful day over. And it will all begin again the next morning at 6am, if we’re lucky!