Oh look, there’s the seven-year-old next to me in bed. Huh. I didn’t notice him. Thank god he no longer kicks me in the face while he sleeps. I guess he’s getting taller and is not that flexible anymore?
Nurse the baby. Think about Samuel L. Jackson and his “Go the F*** to Sleep” book but not because, of course, I want the baby to go the fuck to sleep, but because oddly Alexa the evening before suggested this book to read aloud to my five-year-old when she asked it about reading suggestions.
Remain awake but in bed with the also awake and also in-bed baby and sleeping seven-year-old for the next two hours.
Finally after 6:00 I called my husband from the seven-year-old’s room to take the baby.
Sleep for about an hour.
Get up and get ready for a video visit with the pediatrician to address why the baby’s cheek hasn’t fully healed from the impetigo he had and then learn that we will have to take him to a dermatologist. Great.
Vacuum the rug in the “school room” (dining room turned classroom for the distance learning we have been doing for almost a year now) so that all the other seven-year-olds on Google Meet don’t judge me for having crap on the floor.
Get the first grader onto his first meeting.
Take the baby’s first outfit of the day off as it has been encrusted in food and then put him down for a nap.
Get the five-year-old on her Zoom class.
Engage in first fight of the day — nee, year! — with the first grader who doesn’t want to do any of his work and begins to cry because I won’t give him a break after the very first class of the day — nee, year! — because that baby is asleep right now and damn it if we don’t try to be productive while that is the case.
Give the first grader and five-year-old lunch early because the first grader says he’s hungry and he doesn’t want to do Social Studies.
Oh look, the baby’s awake.
Feed the baby and wonder why I bother putting clothes on him.
Coerce the big kids into their 1:00 classes somehow.
Keep the baby from pulling down the still-standing Christmas tree.
Listen to the first grader begin his list of what he wants for his birthday coming up in August while not realizing he hasn’t even unboxed most of his Christmas gifts. I’m so glad I went overboard on presents this holiday.
Shit, I haven’t eaten yet.
Go find the baby next to the Christmas tree.
Yell at the first grader that he needs to do all of the SeeSaw activities even though he has decided he wants to take up napping again.
Let the first grader nap while I put the baby down for one, too.
Fully realize the mistake in the above decision.
Continue letting the five-year-old watch YouTube Kids.
Do a small percentage of work while the house is fairly quiet.
Coax the first grader awake with the promise of a snack.
Get the baby.
Listen to the first grader whine for the next couple hours as I try ignoring him, helping him, doing something entirely separate from him but conclude that there is no way I can painlessly get him to finish his work. He flops on the couch, and then he flops on the other couch, and then he flops on the floor to find a comfortable position in which to finish his one last worksheet of the day. The baby crawls over and drools on the iPad, and so the first grader complains about that and finally finishes his last activity after 5:00 PM.
My husband comes up from working downstairs and I do one more pull-the-baby-from-the-Christmas-tree before going upstairs to sit in our room and remember the hit-by-a-truck feeling I’d had when this all started in the fall.