Two days working at the group home. Two days dissertating. Two days of homemaking and childcare.
One day called “Family Day” for me to be exhausted and for Attic Man, who has been caring for the Snapper all weekend, to race to school to catch up on work.
I can’t tell whether it’s ‘balanced’ or crazy, this radical, constant role-switching. The group home is two very long days in a row, but the other days are mixed up–one buried in books and writing with kisses at the door, one in pajamas until midmorning frantically trying to catch up on laundry and dishes, one back to the books, one morning at home followed by an afternoon at work. There are no transitions. I put on a hat and set off running.
Two times I am really, really tired: Thursday night, after we’ve all been away from home for 11 hours, and Sunday, after my two long shifts. Sunday is the bad one–I just can’t be needed any more, but there is a child and two dogs who have missed me, so that isn’t an option. I feel grateful for my life on dissertation days and to a certain extent on homemaking days, and for moments at the group home. I do not feel grateful when the exhaustion that has nipped at my heels all week finally catches up with me. I cry, pick fights, get despondent.
We tried something new yesterday that confirms to me that we have now entered the “chopped liver” phase of parenting which I believe is supposed to last until the child turns 35 or even 40. I have noticed that on daycare days our midday nurse is getting shorter and shorter, and that while morning drop-off goes quite well, pre-nap midday drop off does not. The Snapper is also taking soy milk well now. So I thought that although it has been a nice interlude for me and a chance to reconnect, it might no longer be worth it for the boy. So yesterday I dropped him off at 8 and didn’t return until 5. His teachers reported that he drank two whole sippy cups full of soy milk, and didn’t cry before or after his nap for the first time since starting daycare. He was happy to see me but didn’t act like I’d been gone for decades. I am happy for him but sad for me. We’re almost certainly entering a time of increased weaning, as we’ve never gone this long in the daytime without nursing (as for pumping, if I’m going to put up with the time loss and inconvenience I might as well nurse him–and no way can I pump enough to equal two sippy cups at this stage). I don’t think he’s ready to fully wean, thank goodness. I hope he continues to nurse for a good long time.
At any rate I think this all means that he is nicely attached and emotionally doing quite well. This makes me pleased and proud as a parent, of course, but also a little sad that he doesn’t need me as much. I will probably be getting over this soon. I am already moving in that direction, especially since my productivity increased noticeably yesterday.