Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunday sleep-in saved

Nelson and I alternate Sunday sleep-ins.  This just means that every other Sunday, we swap off getting up early with the kiddos so the other can get a couple more hours of  shut eye.  This Sunday was Nelson's sleep-in, but he agreed to let me sleep in yesterday (Monday, MLK's birthday) since I have to forfeit my Sunday sleep-in next week because he has to work.

The idea of the Sunday sleep-in was, unsurprisingly, suggested by Nelson.  That man loves a lie-in.  I automatically agreed to this too, because while I do not love sleeping late, I do love lying in bed, reading my book in peace, taking a quite shower, enjoying some kid-free moments that are few and far between when you are a stay-at-home parent.

In theory, this sounds like an excellent arrangement, right?  The sleep-in parent is usually up before 10AM (9AM in my case) so there's a maximum of maybe four hours of solo early morning child care for the wake up parent.  Not too bad.  This arrangement has been operating for about six or eight months.

Except that it wasn't working well for me.  Yesterday (technically a Monday) was a perfect example.  The kids and Nelson woke up around 7 and I got up around 9-ish and came downstairs.  Nelson is on the computer; the kids are playing.  I look around the living room and dining room.  I see no cups, no plates.

Nelson: Good morning!

Jenni: Morning.

Children: Mom! Mom! Mommy! Momma! Momma! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Momma! Mom!

Jenni: Did you make coffee?

Nelson: No.

Children: Mom! Mom! Mommy! Momma! Momma! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Momma! Mom!

Jenni: Have the kids had breakfast yet?

Nelson: Uhhh, no, I was just going to do that...

Children: Mom! Mom! Mommy! Momma! Momma! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Momma! Mom!

Jenni: Have they had any juice or water?

Nelson: No, not yet...

Children: Mom! Mom! Mommy! Momma! Momma! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Momma! Mom!

Jenni (looking over at Miles, who is limping under the weight of his diaper): Have you even changed Miles' diaper?

Nelson: No, I was about to.

Children: Mom! Mom! Mommy! Momma! Momma! Mom! Mommy! Mommy! Momma! Mom!

Jenni: I'm going back to bed.

Nelson: Well, fine!

So, my husband had been up for more than TWO HOURS with our kids and had not fed, watered, or changed sodden diapers.  Let me be clear, yesterday morning was not an isolated incident.  This has pretty much become the standard state of things when I wake after my sleep-in on a Sunday.  I come down to hungry, thirsty, dirty diapered children and am immediately set upon to rectify all these situations, on top of need to unload/reload the dishwasher and make coffee and a thousand other things.

All of the urgency and immediate needs that need tending completely ruin my sleep-in.  It's basically the same as when I get up early, but with louder and more hungry children.  I come down feeling relaxed and well rested and am immediately stressed out by the state of disarray and all of the fires that need tending.  And you can be darned sure when Nelson gets up after his sleep in, the kids have been fed and changed and coffee made and the kitchen tidied.  I mean, feeding the kids and changing the baby in two hours time, is that really too much to ask?

No, it is not.  It's really, really not.

In the beginning, Nelson did these things.  He fed and changed the kids.  Some days he even made coffee AND breakfast!  Pancakes,even!  But, slowly, as the weeks passed, he gradually stopped.

I'd been stewing over this for several weeks and trying to think of a way to handle the situation without coming off and a total jerk or a martyr and yesterday was the final straw.  I nearly lost my cool, which is why I just turned around and went back upstairs.  I resolved that when I came down, I would simply cancel sleep-in Sundays for the near future, because they were really only working for one of us, until we could figure out a way to make them work for both of us.

I came down about 45 minutes later.  I'd promised the kids I would make bagels so I came down and went directly to the kitchen to get to work.  I noticed Miles' diaper was changed.  There was coffee in the pot.  Even the dishwasher had been unloaded.

Nelson came into the kitchen looking sheepish.

Nelson: I'm sorry.

I though for a minute about staying angry.  About lecturing him.  About explaining to him how terrible it is for me to come down on Sundays where he does nothing. About telling him how close I was to cancelling the Sunday sleep-in. None of that really seemed necessary, though, or worth it.

We hugged and I forgave him and made homemade, whole wheat cinnamon raisin bagels.  The Sunday sleep-in was saved.


Anonymous said...

Have I ever told you what a wise wife and mother you are? Well, you are.


Michele said...

What a wonderful strategy.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Good! He apologized! Now about that whole wheat cinnamon raisin bagel....

Amanda said...

I hope he remembers this for at least a few Sundays!
(By the way, you are a better woman that I - I would have LOST it!)

VandyJ said...

Awesome that he clued in on what was wrong.
Nick and I have a deal--sometimes--where we trade off weekend days to sleep in. Sometimes I get annoyed at him because he only goes to the same room with them and then doses in the couch and lets them watch TV until I get up. That's cheating.

gretchen said...

Men are pathetic, aren't they? I'm relieved that your sleep in was saved, because you deserve it. What I hate most is when Jimmy is "babysitting" Jude (when I'm home with the kid it's just my job, when Jimmy's there it's "babysitting") and when I get home the house is absolutely turned upside down. All the furniture has been moved around. Toys and food debris everywhere. ARgh!

Captain Dumbass said...


Keely said...

Well at least he's smart enough to realize he dropped the ball! They aren't all so trainable ;)

Patty O. said...

I agree with Amanda. I would have lost it too. Good for you. I'm sure the way you handled it will yield better results than my psycho screaming that would have probably scared the kids.

Susanica said...

Aww...Jenni...But since I have the honor of knowing you all IRL, I must say that a sheepish and apologetic Nelson is adorable. And I bet you'll have a few more good sleep in Sundays til you "lather, rinse and repeat" this one. Gosh, maybe Su and I should try this arrangement. My problem is that I like to be downstairs with my coffee and newspaper early. Right where the children end up usually bright and early...


Hilarious! I've been there sister. Even the best men will totally overlook a diaper changing!

Michele R said...

Nelson was totally busted!
One day you will both not see the kids in the morning because they will be sleeping in on a normal basis. I swear it is true! And then you and Nelson will take turns who has to pick up a 14 year old from social activities at 11:00 at night.