Monday, September 14, 2015

September 2015: A New Era

Last Wednesday, Calliope started PreK.

It's a new era for us. Prior to this, she's been home with a nanny (share) and for the last two years, in a part time preschool co-op, also in our home. She's gone to some summer day camps, but they were short term.

But now, she's in school. Real school. New York City Department of Education school. In my building. Which houses more than 1300 children. My school growing up had 400 children for grades 7-12.

So far, I think she's... okay. She hasn't cried at drop off, though apparently she cried several times during the first day or two. But never when I was in sight. It may be more a sign of her physical exhaustion -- she's having to get up way earlier than she's ever had to do before -- than true distress, though being tired always makes her miss me.

After a childcare snafu last week -- daycare suddenly said they couldn't pick her up, on my last weekday before returning to work, ugh! -- and my nanny's son picking Calliope up from PreK one day (which gets out at 9:40 AM for these first few days!), Calliope's been hanging out with another little girl and her nanny during the day until I'm done working. We met this family at a PreK playdate in the park before school started and Calliope and this child, Maya, really hit it off. So that's been working out great.

But this adjustment? It's HARD.

Partly it's coming back from summer, and from maternity leave. That's bound to be hard. And having a kid on a much more rigorous schedule is hard. And putting the both together? Very very hard.

I'm so grateful that we have this Monday and Tuesday off for Rosh Hashanah. Normally I'm annoyed to be forced to use vacation time so early in the year, but this time, I'm profoundly grateful.

My new schedule:

5:45 get up, brush teeth, get dressed (no morning shower, for the first time in my adult life. Also no morning workout, for the first time since I got pregnant with Calliope.) drink a small glass of kefir to tide me over.

6 nurse baby, play with her, gush over her gorgeousness

6:30 wake Calliope, hold her or sippy cup while she drinks and slowly rouses from a deep stupor. dress & sunscreen Calliope, walk her to the bathroom, brush her teeth, load her lunchbox (from the fridge) into her backpack, instruct her to put on her backpack

6:50ish nanny arrives (of her own volition, she started coming early, instead of at 7:15, god bless her). hand her the baby and give a quick update.

7 grab my backpack, breakfast and lunch, breast pump, child. leave the apartment and hurry to the car. (first time commuting by car on a regular basis.) load slow-moving child into car. start driving.

7:35 arrive near work and frantically look for parking, knowing that with each passing minute, it's harder to find, since school starts at 8:10. find parking and practice deep breathing as slow moving child takes twenty minutes to walk two blocks.

8:00 clock in. walk to my office. unpack our breakfasts. hurry slow moving child through her breakfast -- no time to pump.

8:10 walk Calliope to class, four doors down the hall. hang up her backpack, read her a book, give her a hug.

8:25 return to my office. pump. check email. wash dishes and pump parts.

9:00 see a patient or two.

9:38 return to Calliope's classroom. wait impatiently in hallways as class runs ten minutes later than it's scheduled to. hug Calliope and pass her to babysitter.

10 return to clinic. see patients until 12:30.

12:30 pump and eat an unofficial lunch -- we have decided to skip lunch so we can leave an hour earlier. I don't think Calliope could last until my previous end time of 4 pm.

1-2:30 see patients, chart, try to check something off my personal to-do list.

2:30 Calliope gets dropped off. finish charting with her in my lap, or get her to draw pictures with her new-only-at-Mommy's-work-markers. Give her a snack.

3 stop working/trying to be productive. usher Calliope to bathroom, try to pack up and not get frustrated at how long it takes to get out the door.

3:05 -- technically able to leave. sigh as Calliope dances around and does nothing to get us out the door.

3:20 walk out the door and sigh, move slowly towards the car. drive home through worsening traffic.

4:00-4:30 park, head up to apartment, say hi to Susie, cuddle the baby, try to fend off clinginess from Calliope. Try to squeeze in a workout while Susie feeds the baby her solid food (new as of a few days ago!) and Calliope clings. Offer her another snack.

5:15 serve Calliope dinner.

5:30 put baby down for nap

5:45 cajole Calliope to finish eating. She ignores me and generally eats nothing.

6 get Calliope ready for bed, then 10-15 minutes of Special Time -- legos or Littlest Pet Shop

6:30 Amelie wakes up. Read stories to Calliope (and Amelie).

7 Calliope goes to bed. I wish it was earlier. Nurse Amelie and play with her.

7:30 put Amelie to bed. Walk to kitchen and feel overwhelmed by Calliope's dinner sitting out, dirty dishes, and the fact that I need to cook and eat myself. Cook. Eat. Clean up. Make breakfasts and lunches for Calliope and me.

8:30 or 9 Finally finish in kitchen. Sit down to pump while I drink my "dessert," kefir, sometimes with fruit. Pump for 30 minutes then wash the parts.

9:30 Put away milk and leave the kitchen at last. Get into bed.

10:30? Go to bed.

It's a long, long day. I can check email or the SMC Forum while I eat, which is awesome, but otherwise, I try to stay on task.

Complaining about all this and how tired I was, my friend Elizabeth asked, "Isn't there a way you can throw money at this problem?"

That made a lot of sense. So now I'm paying Susie a tiny bit more money to help make breakfasts and lunches and help with dishes (unlikely I will leave dishes -- I feel too guilty -- but I will try). Feeling a little better.

Today she came to work and I didn't have to work so she helped me sort baby clothes and get out the 6-12 month stuff and pull out the 0-3 month things (Amelie is small so she's still wearing mostly 3-6 months stuff at just shy of 6 months) and move them into Calliope's room. Calliope has been eager to have a roommate so Amelie's crib was moved into Calliope's room, which should now be called the girls' room. And now Calliope wants Amelie's clothes in there as well. So today we made good progress. It was amazing to have help with this project. And hard for me to ask. But worth it.

So much more to say and I'm really missing blogging but just too hectic and tired to write any more.

(And I don't know how to post pictures once they've uploaded from my phone to the computer. Where do they go once they are uploaded? Too tired to research it, always.)

So that was totally disjointed but... good night. xoxo


  1. Oh my gosh, that really does sound exhausting! Just about every day I ask myself how do we do this. And I sure am not missing fiddling with pump parts, reading this!

  2. Phew! That is a crazy schedule! Very clever to pay Suzie for extra help. Well worth every dime, I am sure.

  3. Transition is tough! I am glad the other family could help with the pick-up snafu! And good idea to pay for help!

  4. Hang in there! That's a tough schedule but I hope it will get easier. Just keep breathing, and take care of yourself first so you stay healthy. (I deeply sympathize with the slow-moving, not-eating, clinging stages - sucks that she's hitting all three at the same time, but it will pass!)