Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Uncontained Chaos

I've joked before about how I feel like my whole job is barley containing the chaos surrounding me. It's not really a joke. I often feel like things around here are just a hairsbreadth away completely overwhelming me. But I've gotten pretty good at keeping it together. Dare I say most days things around here run quite seamlessly.

Until they don't.

See, the thing with barely containing the chaos is that it only takes one leeeetle thing to throw everything out of whack. Like, say, both of my children refusing to nap for two days straight. Technically, that's two things, but I'm equipped to deal with one non-napper. I am NOT equipped to deal with two non-nappers. As has become painfully apparent this week.

The problem is, they NEED TO NAP. Not only because napping makes Oscar and Miles happy and fun and pleasant to be around but because it also makes ME happy and fun and pleasant to be around. It gives me a break, time to breathe, relax, read, blog, whatever. Even when they don't nap at the same time having one less kids is akin to having a million less things to do. It makes a HUGE difference.

The way things usually work is that I get up first, shower, eat, make Nelson's lunch, put away dishes, etc. until the boys wake up. Sometimes one or both of them will get up early, but I can still get most of my crap done.

During the day, I vacuum and toss in loads of laundry throughout the day; I vacuum while they play; I do loads of laundry at the beginnings/ends of naps; I fold clothes while they play. I start dinner shortly before Danny's mom come to get him, usually with all three crowding around me in the kitchen or running up and down the hallway. This system works well for me. It really, really works.

With my boys not napping, this system just does not work AT ALL. Miles, he needs to take like three or four naps a day because he is still very wee. And when he doesn't? He's a whining mess that wants to be held CONSTANTLY.

Oscar is a different story. Oscar will be fine with no nap, until like 4pm. Then he turns into some kind of demon spawn that won't listen to a word I say, pushes and shoves Danny and Miles, cries at the drop of a hat over nothing, falls down and cries like a million times, demands chocolate and chips and movies and AHHHHHHH! And, on top of this, Miles is a whining mess who must be in my arms at all times and totally freaks out when I put him down to, say, change his brother's poop explosion of a diaper. Oh, and the house is disgusting because I can't vacuum with one hand and I'm on like my last pair of clean underwear because I can't do laundry because that would involve leaving the toddlers unattended for five minutes which I can't do because they might kill the baby or themselves and the sink is full of dishes and ants because I also can't load/unload the dishwasher with one hand and ohmygodwhatthehellisgoingonsomeonesavemeahhhhhhh!

Example: Yesterday, Oscar did not nap for the second day in a row, and neither did Miles. I was determined to have a good day anyways so we broke out the pool and played outside for like two hours. We came in and watched Sesame Street, since Oscar and Danny were both too exhausted to do much else (but would not nap, OHMYGODNONAPNO!)

Shortly after Sesame Street ended ended, Danny began jumping on the couch. This is expressly against the rules as they could fall off the couch and sustain a major head injury. So, when they jump on the couch, I take them off the couch. So as I was taking Danny off the couch ("We don't jump on the couch, Danny") Oscar began jumping on the couch, "I JUMPIN! I JUMPIN! FUN!" And with that, "FUN" Oscar flung him self backward,thinking he'd land in a heap on the couch. But what he did was land on the arm of the couch and do a back flip onto the floor, landing squarely on his head.

You can imagine how that went over.

(Also, please keep in mind, Miles is totally whining the whole time and absolutely lost his shit when I had to put him down and get the boys off the couch and spend time comforting Oscar. I had to pick him up immediately upon putting Oscar down.)

I comforted him (no major injuries sustained) and he chilled out. Until Nelson got home. Then he began totoally freaking out. He wanted chips and chocolate and chips and chocolate and WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaH!

Thanks be to god that Nelson arrived home and rescued me. That's not to say things went more smoothly. In fact, the situation declined quite rapidly. I got all teary, "They haven't napped in TWO DAYS!* I'm so exhausted, I've gotten nothing done, bah!" He swept up Miles and went to find Oscar, who was wrecking something somewhere, with Danny in tow.**

Danny's mom arrived shortly after Nelson and scooped up Danny. Nelson was holding Miles and we were all in the kitchen, Oscar included. I was trimming fish for dinner. Oscar was demanding chips (we keep a case of Baked Lays in the house and he knows it.) Nelson obliged but NOT THE RIGHT ONES! WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAA! We ignored him and he flailed about on the floor.

Then, Oscar proceeds to wedge himself between me and the counter and cling to my legs, sobbing, "Momma hold you! Momma hold you!" While I'm trimming the fish. I finish, wash up, and pick him up. He is happy. Nelson finishes preparing dinner (starts the rice, puts the fish on the grill) while I nurse Miles and try also hold Oscar.

He hops off my lap and proceeds to go back to the kitchen and freak out for chips again. Nelson gives him the same exact bag that he so violently rejected 5 minutes prior, and Oscar gladly accepts it. I tell Nelson to pop in Cars and sit with the boys while I finish making dinner.

We don't even invite Oscar to the table for dinner. He turns his nose up at the veggie burger I offer and just watches Cars while Nelson and I enjoy a relatively quiet dinner, passing Miles between us. It's downright pleasant.

After we finish, we find Oscar, passed out in his chair, covered in chips. I put him to bed, unabated and fully clothed. Miles passes out 30 minutes later. My darling husband picks up toys and cleans up from dinner.

It was a long, long day.

Today is already better. Miles napped this morning. Oscar is napping now. I've done laundry and dishes and vacuumed. The pest control guy should be here any minute. I'm reigning it back in and I feel good.

I can't think of a good way to wrap this up. But, the next time Oscar doesn't nap, I'll be wearing ear plugs. And Oscar will be wearing a helmet.

*Danny napped well both days
**They were just in the kitchen, playing with measuring cups and spoons, which I knew.


Heidi said...

*snort* I've sooo had your day. Thankfully, not today. How do single moms do it?

Casey said...

You're stressing me out here. Seriously though, that's my day EVERY DAY. When Graham does nap, it's only for 45 min max and he's such a joy to be around these days. I'm sorry about the non napping, I hope the kids get with the plan soon.

Keely said...

Ugh WHY do they do that? There's never any rational explanation for why they don't nap. They just...don't. Even though they CLEARLY NEED TO.

Glad there was nappage today.

Veronica said...

Yeah, me too.

Kat said...

It does eventually get when they go to college I am told...

is it coincidence that my word varification is: brati (not lie, seriously)

Susanica said...

Oh Jenni. Can I tell you something that will make you laugh if it doesn't make you cry? Susanne said that last night Danny did not even want to leave your house. Not even bribing him with "if we go in the car we can go see choo choos" worked. So your exhaustion is like an elixer to them.

I don't think we thank you enough for all you do Jenni. You're a great mom and "day mom" to Danny. Talk to you soon.-M

Cameron said...

Have you tried locking them in their rooms? Or straight jackets? I joke. Our daughter won't always nap, but we make her lay in bed as long as she'll let us. Sometimes we'll let her take some books to bed, it's down time for us anyway. our youngest almost always takes one nap a day, no questions asked. He'll whine for 30 seconds and then out like a light. I gotta say, we're pretty lucky, usually the entire house is sleeping at 1pm on the weekend.

blissfully caffeinated said...

Oh, I hate those days. I don't have nappers anymore, but we still have chaos many days. Not infant-type chaos, more like crafty preschooler chaos.

Hang in there sistah, all you can do is get through it and pour yourself a cocktail at the end of the day.


Captain Dumbass said...

I wept openly when nap time was over. Today was one of those days when it all slipped out of control. My beer is trying to cheer me up, but I think he needs help.

Mrsbear said...

Naps are such an integral piece of the puzzle. Jeez. Especially when they're as little as Miles. Days when my two year old doesn't nap, I'm a wreck, not just because of the brief break it gives me, but because he's a friggin nut-job if he doesn't. NUT-JOB! Glad you're getting back in the rhythm of things. Phew. I got tired just reading about it. ;)