Monday, August 31, 2009

One Day Down

The first coherent words out of Celeste's mouth when I woke her this morning: "The weekend isn't long enough."

She is in the habit of staying up later than she should reading each night; we can go in and shut her light off and tell her to go to sleep, but unless we're watching under her door for the light to click back on she often will turn it back on to read for a little longer. This is great (despite Junie B. Jones books being favorite reading matter), but it does mean she has trouble with the necessary 6:30 a.m. wake up time.

After a few tears about having to get up so early and protestations about not wanting to go to school, she cheered up when I suggested she go see where Quinn was sleeping.

Shift back a few hours: Quinn was up for a while in the middle of the night after a bad dream. When Evelin went to check on her, she found Quinn under the PoƤng chair in her room … hiding from the wolf that was trying to bite her. It took a while (and a few more wake ups), but eventually she went back to sleep in her bed, or so we thought. After waking Celeste, I went to check on Quinn and there she was, back under the chair.

Celeste, seeing Quinn in that position, started cracking up and her mood improved dramatically from there.

Breakfast and dressing everyone managed to go well, and we were on the way to school at close to the proper time, and we made it to school just as Celeste's class was headed in from the playground. Next, Quinn was dropped off with a friend for babysitting (nursery school doesn't start until 1 September) and then it was off to work.

The three big differences in going to work at 8:00 a.m. versus 5:00 a.m.:
  1. Where did all these cars come from?
  2. Hey, that's my parking place
  3. There's no easing in to the morning's problems

Another Lifechange ...

Five years ago on Friday, Celeste was born, kicking off a lot of changes in every aspect of our lives.

On the work front, Celeste meant Evelin cut back from full-time to half-time, part telecommute, part in the office; and I shifted around my hours so that I was able to be home two afternoons a week to cover Evelin's in-office hours. At first, I worked standard 9-hour days (with an hour for lunch), I just shifted the start time on Tuesday and Thursday to 3:30 a.m. That worked out pretty well, especially since it synchronized my hours twice a week with my colleagues in Europe. We probably didn't take full advantage of that, but it did make a few calls easier to schedule.

Eighteen months later, after Quinn was born, I adjusted my schedule again to have a more consistent wake-up time. The shifting of the alarm back and forth between 2:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. was wearing on me. Instead, I began working three long days and two short days — at my desk by 6:00 a.m. every day, but leaving Tuesday and Thursday at noon.

Today, that all comes to an end, as well as my time as a part-time stay-at-home father.

Evelin's been approved to go back to work full-time (well, 80% time) and after a lot of looking at schedules and childcare options, we're trying a new schedule. She's the one who will now be at her desk for 6 a.m., and I will get the girls up, dressed, fed and to school.

For me it means a return to a fairly standard 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. job. (We'll see the exact in-office hours once I see what traffic is like at that time of day … it's been a long time since I've had to commute in the thick of rush hour.)

When we broke all the changes down for the girls, I was kind of hoping for them to be more upset; Celeste at first didn't seem to realize that this meant I wouldn't be around two afternoons a week the way I always have been, but she seems okay with it. Quinn just nodded through it all.

I'm a bit bummed, but this will be good, and it definitely makes it easier for Evelin especially since the school is moving its administrative offices in a fortnight or so and it would have make her schedule really, really tight on days that she had to pick them up from school.

So, again, life has changed. I can't claim to be a SAHD (albeit a part-time one) anymore, but I'll have breakfast with the girls every day, so that's a plus!

And now I need to go rouse some sleepyheads ...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Channeling Beavis

Quinn and I were in the car. NPR is on the radio. The commentator or presenter says something about "member of Congress." Then I hear from the back seat: "Ha ha ha. He said 'member.'"

Friday, August 28, 2009

What Every 5-Year-Old Wants

This morning, I picked up one of Celeste's birthday presents -- her very own SmarTrip card. A while ago, we'd checked, and kids 4 and younger get to ride on Metrorail (and Metrobus) for free with a paying adult, but 5-year-olds have to pay the adult fare.

She's been talking about being old enough for her own SmarTrip card ever since ...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Doing Something Right

This morning, Quinn asked if she could have candy for breakfast. I told her no, but reminded her that she'd been promised a post-breakfast dessert last night if she went to bed without crying.

I asked if she wanted oatmeal or cereal or an egg and Quinn replied ... "Broccoli!" ... and she ended up with a broccoli-cheese omelet for breakfast.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Jokes and the 4 (almost 5) year old

Celeste needed me to sit with her a little bit before she fell asleep tonight. While we were talking about various things, the subject of humor and jokes came up.

Celeste told me about her favorite way to play knock-knock jokes. "You say 'knock-knock.' Then I say 'Nothing!'"

I decided to reach back in my memory to my old first-grade joke book and asked her, "What's red and goes up and down?"

Celeste wasn't sure, but she giggled at the answer: "A tomato in an elevator." She also wanted to know if it got stepped on and was squishy.

I then tried, "What's black and white and red all over?"

She thought long and hard before asking me for the answer, "A newspaper," and then we talked about the differences and similarities between r-e-d and r-e-a-d.

Then Celeste said she had a joke, "Why do kitties stay away from poodles in the rain?"

I tried to think of an answer and finally said something about fizzy hair.

Celeste just smiled and got all zen about it, "There is no answer."

Then she cracked up laughing.