Me: I hate these spray sunscreens. I just don’t think they protect at all. I feel like I’m just sizzling. Like they just seem like cooking oil or something, they’re so oily.
My Better Half™: So do you think they just repackage Spam & throw a sunscreen label on the bottle?
Me: Pam. Not spam. Not an aerosolized pork product.
Dawdler Toddler has been learning about the rhythm of the week – which days are weekdays, which are weekends. Which days Mommy is working, which ones Daddy goes to work, and which ones are days when she goes to school. But she’s also getting a handle on the rhythm of the year too vis a vis holidays. For instance, Christmas and Halloween come up in conversation from time to time. So on Monday, we used the day at home all together as an opportunity to talk about the Memorial Day holiday. While we didn’t stray much into the purpose of the holiday, we talked about how on some special days, we all stay home from work and school and spend the day together. Most importantly, we framed our discussion about how sometimes holidays mean special foods – that sometimes on a holiday like Memorial Day, we might have a cook out with burgers and watermelon or even go camping and make foods over a campfire. I told her that after dinner, she was going to help me make a special dessert.
She pestered me the rest of the day (I’m ready for DINNER! aka it’s time to get on that special dessert, lady!) and finally, after dinner, she helped me assemble s’mores, a treat that was new to her. She enjoyed breaking up the graham crackers and carefully placing a marshmallow on each cracker. I did the chocolate part because, let’s face it, she would have just eaten all the chocolate before it even got to the assembly line. When it came time to eat them, she declare that they were sticky, and also “licious” (she leaves off the de-)*.
The next morning, getting her up and ready for school, she asked “Mommy? Is it still s’morial day?” No, sweetie. Memorial Day was only yesterday. And s’morial day is not until August 10.
* also leaves the di- off of “disgusting” so foods she does not like are just “SGUSTING!”
The spring semester has wound down, and My Better Half™ decided after much deliberation to accept an offer of summer archaeological fieldwork. Normally this wouldn’t even be an option, as the typical fieldwork schedule is 10 days away, 4 days at home, repeat. If you’re lucky. But this year there happens to be a project within driving distance of where we live, so every morning he reports to the office at 5 a.m., commutes from there to the site, and then returns home at the end of each day.
I’ll do my best to contain my enthusiasm. Because despite the extra income which is helpful necessary, this still presents many challenges. Here’s just one of them: his 5 a.m. start time, for instance. If the Dawdler Toddler would actually go to sleep when we put her to bed at 8:00 p.m., My Better Half™ would stand a chance at up to 8 hours sleep as long as two additional conditions are also met:
- Baby also cooperates and sleeps through the night (which has yet to happen, ever).
- Fairy Godmother pulls her weight and relieves us of the nightly household work of packing lunches and doing dishes and putting away laundry and shuttling Dawdler Toddler back to bed after each and every attempt to delay bedtime.
All in all, this means on any given night, My Better Half™ can expect to get somewhere between 0 and 6 hours sleep before reporting for highly physical labor. And once I’ve slept in til Baby’s natural alarm at 5:00 a.m., I get to get the kids up, clothed, fed, and loaded in the truck for daycare drop off before I report to work, only to repeat all that in reverse at the end of each day, exhausted.
Maybe I’m just cranky because I’m dreading the rest of fieldwork season unnecessarily. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t yet had any coffee. Or maybe it’s more that last night presented what I know to be a typical case study. We were up 4 times between 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. with Baby, who was uncharacteristically fussy and inconsolable. By the time Baby finally got up at 5:20 a.m., desperately needing a diaper change, I discovered that we had no diapers. None. Not in the house, not stashed in the back of his sister’s closet, not in the diaper bag, not in the truck. So poor Dawdler Toddler also got to wake at an unnaturally early hour to start her day, because last I checked Child Protective Services doesn’t look too kindly on me leaving my kids at home to dash to the store to grab diapers. This may be just the kick in the ass that I needed to change my outlook on adjuncting to note how accommodating it is in allowing for co-parenting and equitable division of household duties. Or maybe it will just make me hate fieldwork more than I already did.
Baby has been sick since last weekend January but luckily, My Better Half™ and Dawdler Toddler have been fine. In fact, Dawdler came up to me last night and said “Mommy? My tummy hurts!” That’s her way of saying “I’m hungry.”
Usually, anyway. But this time, it was her way of saying “Mommy? I’m about to barf in your lap in 3…2…”
Oh man. I just stared at My Better Half™ in disbelief, both of us frozen, not knowing what to do. I knew if I freaked out, she would just feed off that and also get all freaked out herself, so I kindly asked him to please relocate her to the bathroom while I figured out what to do about my barf-covered lap. And the couch. Luckily, our slip cover is both machine washable and bleachable, so I took the cover off the cushion, and thought, well, as long as we’re doing a disgusting load of laundry, I might as well wash my barf-covered shorts, too.
So when I entered the bathroom to check on them, I told My Better Half™ “Sorry. I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do!”
Him: “Taking your pants off and walking away. That sounds about right. Totally appropriate for the situation.”