Wednesday, June 29, 2011

And I thought grocery shopping was hard back then

There's a bloggy-type website that I found when I was pregnant with C called "Baby Bunching", which is about having 2 kids under 2. (And for the record, 2u2 from here on out will mean 2 kids under 2.) One of the things that Baby Bunching mentioned was that it would probably be a good idea if longer errands (such as grocery shopping) were done either on your own or with just one kid.

To which I say, good luck with that! As much as I would adore the chance to grocery shop alone (or do anything alone, for that matter), it doesn't appear that that will be in the cards for at least 15 years. Which, now that I've actually put that little truth nugget in print, seems rather bleak to me.

So last week was one of those times where I had to do the bi-weekly grocery shopping by myself, with the kids (and if that isn't the biggest oxymoron I've ever written or read, then....I don't know what.). I always do my grocery shopping on a Thursday. We get paid on Thursdays, and there is no way in heck I am sacrificing one red little second of my weekend at the suburban jungle known as Kroger. So no matter how busy I am on the Thursdays we get paid, I am going to the grocery store.

I used to have the luxury of being one half of the good old American dream called the DINK (dual income, no kids) and would wait till D went to work and go grocery shopping at around 7:30 on whatever Thursday night. I loved it. The store was always relatively empty and there was something satisfying in being able to linger over the produce to select the least bruised apples without worrying about getting out of the way of fellow shoppers or stock boys. (It's funny how your idea of paradise changes when you have kids. Before kids, paradise is a tropical vacation. After kids, it's the ability to go out by yourself after 7 p.m. to grocery shop without having to arrange a babysitter or rush back home because your husband is "babysitting" and is counting the minutes till your return.)

These days, now that I'm a DITK (or a DICK if you change "two" to "couple" ha ha ha. I'm such a child.) I have to come home from work and immediately get the kids in the car to go. If we wait even 10 minutes after I get home, we are in trouble because we are nearing the danger zone of dinner time. But the benefit to this plan is that D is almost always available to come with me, which is great because he can distract L and I can focus on wearing C in the carrier and selecting our groceries. Plus, D always unloads the cart so I can sort through my coupons while we're checking out. Our team effort of grocery shopping is one of my favorite things about being married to him. Which is way less depressing than it sounds, I promise.

But on this particular Thursday last week, I happened to have the day off. And since D is in the middle of Kamikaze Season (aka lawn season), he was exhausted. He had worked the night before and had gotten only 2 hours of sleep before he went out to do lawns. I knew the last thing he'd want to do was go grocery shopping, and that by the time he was done with lawns, it would probably be dinner time anyway. So I braced myself and decided to take the kids in the morning.

I have gone many places by myself with the kids, but the grocery store is by far the most challenging. If you are going to just pick up a few things, you can put the big kid in the seat up front of the cart and put the baby's car seat in the basket of the cart. But if you're going for a big trip....I'd turn back if I were you.

But, it had to be done. So I wore C in the carrier and put L in the cart and off we went. Of course, I had selected a cart with a wonky wheel. But I didn't realize this until my cart became so laden down with food that I would have preferred to poke myself in the eye with a pencil than transfer both groceries and toddler into another cart. Instead, I chose to deal with it and throw my entire body weight into turning the cart. Not an easy task when you're wearing a 13 pound baby on your front.

So we went to the fruit first. L is crazy over fruit and would probably live on blueberries, peaches, bananas, strawberries...basically any fruit (and graham crackers) if we let him. He loves fruit. And it was really cute because he was pointing to all the fruit and saying his version of their names.

Now, in the old days before C was born, I often went grocery shopping with just L. I used to give him whatever grocery I had just selected to hold, and then I'd say "Ok, let's put it in the cart!" and take it from him and put it in the basket. Or sometimes I'd let him hold it and thank him profusely for helping and tell him what a good boy he was. I liked doing that and making him feel involved in the errand. Plus, it kept him interested and prevented boredom from setting in, which is always disastrous.

So we went to the first display and got two plastic boxes of blueberries. You know the kind of boxes, right? The ones that have the little slots in the bottom so when you wash them the water drains out? Ok. So I got those and put one on either side of him in the seat. Then we went directly to the apples and I got a bag and started counting them out to him as I put them in the bag. I got two bags of apples and put them on top of the blueberries. Then we headed for the bread.

As I was trying to find the very specific brand and type of bread that my not-at-all-picky husband likes, I kept up a running "dialogue" with L. But I wasn't looking at him. I walked about 5 feet away from the cart to get the bread, and as I turned back, I saw him throwing the bags of apples in the basket. And then I remembered how D keeps L entertained by giving him things to "put" (aka throw) in the basket. And just as I remembered that, it suddenly occurred to me what was about to happen.

I saw him lift the box of blueberries and as he swiveled in his seat to toss them in the cart, I tried to say "L NO!" But it was too late. The blueberries hit the mostly empty bottom of the basket and the container popped open, exploding like a blueberry nuke. And little, tiny blueberries rolled EV.ERY.WHERE like little blueberry prisoners who finally had their chance to make an escape.

I remind you that I was wearing C in the carrier. This is more awkward than being pregnant, because when you're pregnant, you don't have to worry about your baby falling out if you bend or move the wrong way. Plus if you fall when you're wearing your baby in a carrier, the chances of them getting hurt are much higher than if you fall while pregnant since there is no placenta or huge boobs to help cushion the fall.

So what was I supposed to do? I couldn't just push the car at warp speed to make a quick getaway, since there was a blueberry graveyard under the cart. If I moved the cart even a centimeter, I would have run over the blueberries and squashed them, leaving a trail of evidence in the form of blueberry juice.

I briefly considered walking 10 feet away and looking disapprovingly at L and saying loudly, "UGH! Who does that kid belong to??" But I'm pretty sure there were witnesses who could place me at the scene of the crime, and I've never been a good liar anyway. Plus it would totally blow my cover when L looked directly at me and said "wa-wa-la-la, mama!" as he pointed at the watermelons.

So I just looked around helplessly and prayed that a Kroger employee would happen along my path. In order to make them not totally hate me when they did happen along my path, I made the effort to squat down and try to balance and pick up blueberries at the same time. It didn't go great, but I managed to pick up a handful.

Poor L, he just looked at me like "What did I do wrong Mama?" So I summoned some real effort and drop-kicked the annoyance and the "arrrrrrgh!!!" out of my head. Instead, I called up a smile and said, "That's ok baby, I know you were just trying to help. But next time we won't throw the blueberries, right?" And he slowly shook his head "no" because he doesn't know how to say "yes" yet, but I took it as a yes anyway.

Finally some poor Kroger employee happened upon us and mercifully told me she'd clean up the berries. I told her I didn't want to push the cart away because I didn't want to leave the blood of the slain blueberries in my wake, but she waved me off, told me not to worry about it and even went to get me a new package of berries. I was so appreciative that I even plan to write a letter to Kroger about her. And I hope this plan is more successful than my plan to start toning my arms up, which has been in "plan" mode since, oh probably April.

Anyway, we finally got to move along and continue with our shopping. By this point, I was pretty wary. When something goes so wrong like that right at the beginning, it doesn't really bode well for the rest of the trip.

On we went, the bockety cart wheel growing bocketier by the minute. By about aisle 5, I realized that C seemed to be sinking lower and lower in the carrier. I put my hand under her butt to boost her, and felt an adorable little foot peeking out from the bottom of the carrier. Which is when I realized that I hadn't adjusted or otherwise tightened the straps on the carrier since I had adjusted them back in February when I was 22 pounds heavier (thank you Weight Watchers). And then I realized that these realizations were really kicking my butt that day.

But what the heck was I going to do? I had to take C out of the carrier and use both hands to take off the carrier, tighten the straps and then put her back into the carrier. There was literally no place I could (or wanted to) lay her down so I could do the necessary tightening. I even briefly considered telling L to hold her and then laying her in his lap. But I dismissed that bright idea as quickly as it had occurred to me because I'm pretty sure if I asked her, C would tell me that she prefers to never fall from the cart to the floor of the grocery store.

So instead, I had to make the tough choice and do something that would eternally mortify my husband if he were with me. (Except, if he were with me, I wouldn't have been in that pickle in the first place.) I stood there for a second, watching people walk by. And when I saw the right kind of lady walk by (old because old ladies love babies, not old enough that she'd drop C, friendly looking, and not in a hurry) I stopped her and said, "Excuse me, but would you mind holding my baby for a second?"

She gave me a look that said that she knew I was talking but couldn't believe that I'd said what I said and asked me, "What?"

"I'm sorry," I stammered. "I know this is really weird, but my carrier is super loose and I really need to fix it but I can't hold her while I do that. Would you mind holding her for just a few seconds?"

"OHHHH HONEY SURE!!!!!!!!!!" she squealed. Like I was asking her if she wouldn't mind if I gave her 10 million dollars. And then I got a bit nervous. But the carrier needed to be tightened, so I handed C over. And then the really sweet old lady proceeded to chatter to me at a speed of approximately 30 words per second.

"Oh my daughter has five kids she adopted three of them you know and she has every carrier you can think of oh are those kids ever sweet so I know just what you're going through with that carrier she has every stroller you can think of too and why I bet you are the same way with these precious little ones and oh how old is your little boy why what a sweetie he is too but oh I bet he gets into mischief bless his heart and look at him that big boy helping you with your shopping oh now make sure you get that carrier tight enough honey we don't want this little angel falling out I bet they keep you busy bless your heart and look at you you look like the sweetest little mommy ever just like my daughter with her five precious ones she lives in Florida you know so I don't get to see them often but I sure do love seeing them and you know when I'm done with my visit I am ready to be done because five sweethearts is a lot you know but I bet you know that because two babies this little must keep you hopping!"

By the point she stopped for breath, I had tightened the carrier, replaced it on my body, baked a cake and went with L to pick out a coming-home outfit for the birth of his third child. I had been standing there with my arms out to have C returned to me but the very sweet lady wasn't even paying attention. She was just staring at C the whole time.

After holding my arms out for about a minute, it dawned on me the reality of the situation. I was standing in the middle of Kroger while a complete stranger was holding my baby and not giving her back to me. I began to get a little alarmed.

As if reading my thoughts she smiled at me and said, "Now don't you worry, I promise I'll give her back. I thought about taking off with her, but I think you could probably catch me" Ha. Ha. Ha. Not a very funny joke to make when you're actually holding my baby. Maybe funny if I'm holding her and you're walking by and saying "Aw, she's so sweet, I wish I could take her home with me!" NOT funny when you actually are in a position where you could probably take her home with you if you tried hard enough.

Just as I was about to reach out and snatch C back, the lady handed her over to me. I quickly put her in the carrier, thanked the lady, resisted telling her that I was sorry, she couldn't have the baby but was she interested in my toddler? and took off.

By the time I finished pushing the bockety-ass cart through the store, I was literally sweating. I wearily dragged myself to the checkout, where I realized that I had forgotten at least 30% of the things that had been on my list. But I was not pushing that cart back through the store for ANYTHING.

I loaded the groceries onto the checkout belt (missing my husband keenly at that moment) and tried not to punch the checkout clerk in the face when she asked for my ID as she scanned the beer. I mean, I know that wasn't a rational reaction because it's her job and everything, but I felt like she could have helped me out by seeing any of the following:

1) I have 2 kids and clearly need the alcohol, so even if I wasn't 21 she should throw me a bone.
2) I am sweating my kiester off so maybe she could scan the beer last so I'll have time to get my ID out.
3) My outfit is an assortment of Land's End and Kohl's so I am CLEARLY over 21 (but still as hip as the day I was 18, booyah!).

(And the sad thing is, I don't even drink beer. It was for D.)

While I was fishing my ID out of my wallet, C decided that it would be the ideal time to start melting down. And lately, L has found it fun and/or funny to join in the melee and whine when C whines, sort of like how a dog howls along when someone sings really badly.

So I'm bouncing and swaying and shushing, trying to calm C down before L starts his crocodile tears and pretending like I don't see the laser eyes the cashier is giving me. And this is totally a change of pace for me because usually I get the "Awww how old are the babies?" and "My, your children are so well-behaved! And trust me, we get some bad ones through here." I'm used to people bowing at the feet of my maternal awesomeness, not giving me That look, the one that says "Your kids are really chapping my ass today lady."

So FINALLY the groceries are bagged, placed in my basket and paid for. I muster my last spark of energy and head for the van. I thank sweet baby Jesus for the person who invented the buttons on the key fob that open the doors and hatch automatically and wearily put the kids in car. I load the groceries into the van and then sink into the driver's seat, thankful that the ordeal is over.

And then I get home and realize that I still have to unload and put away the groceries, and what the heck am I supposed to do with the kids while I'm doing that?

Strike 100, you're out.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A day in the life of 2 under 2

Some of you may not know that D works nights.  He goes to work at 7:35 p.m. and gets home at around 8:15 a.m.  He works at the beginning half of the week for 5 weeks, then switches to the end half of the week.  He also owns his own lawn business, which he works "part time" during the spring/summer/early fall.  During the winter, I much prefer D to be working the front half of the week, because that means he has his weekends off.  During lawn season, it doesn't matter which half of the week he works because on his days off, he's doing lawns.  Lawn season means that my husband is a zombie.  

This means that much of the time that I'm not working is spent mothering two children under the age of two on my own.  I know, I know.  I shouldn't want a medal or anything.  So many women are stay-at-home moms to two under two (2u2) and they aren't asking for medals.  But let me tell you, they sure do deserve them.

Approximately 6:30 a.m. - Hear toddler stirring in his crib.  Pray to God that just this once, he'll go back to sleep and not wake up again till 8:30.  Ignore the nagging knowledge that, the later he wakes up, the later he'll go down for a nap. 

6:45 a.m. - Toddler is not going back to sleep.  But, toddler is also not crying yet and has been distracted by the book placed in his crib for this express purpose.   Roll over so you are facing away from the monitor, hoping that somehow this will shut out reality and allow you to go back to sleep for at least another hour.

7:00 a.m. - Toddler has been whining and calling for you and every other relative he can think of for at least 5 minutes.  However, crying has not reached crescendo so you stay half-asleep for a bit longer.

7:05 a.m. - Whining has turned to crying and you realize you can't delay the inevitable any longer.  Look at the clock and realize that you have successfully squeezed an extra 35 minutes of half-sleep out of your morning and try to take solace in that fact.  Gaze longingly at your still-sleeping infant and try to convince yourself that it is depressing and wrong to be jealous of a 3 month old.

7:06 a.m. - Open the door to toddler's room.  Toddler who has been crying and calling for you for the last 30 minutes suddenly wants nothing to do with you and runs to the other end of the crib, throwing himself down flat so you have to stand on your tip toes to reach down and get him.  Use every muscle in your body to haul his purposely-dead weight body up and bring him to the changing table.

7:07 a.m. - Lay toddler on changing table.  Toddler suddenly springs to life and decidedly does not want diaper or clothes changed.  Desperately grab any object within reach and try to distract toddler with it.  "Ohhh look at the book!  Read the book while mommy changes you!  No, we don't throw books at mommy!"  (Book hits floor, narrowly missing your toes.)  "OOOOOH!  Look at the teddy bear!  Do you want to hold the teddy? ....Oh, you don't want the teddy?"  Patience begins to expire.  Resort to simply trying to overpower toddler.

7:08 a.m. - Overpowering didn't work.  Decide that it's ok that you've only managed to change toddler's diaper and were unable to get clothes put on him.  Reason with yourself that it's better that way since toddler will probably make a mess of himself at breakfast anyway.

7:09 a.m. - Time to go and wake up infant.  Try to muster enthusiasm out of your still-sleepy body and excitedly tell toddler "Let's go get sister!"  Bring toddler to your bedroom and put him down.  Try to find clean clothes for infant.  Meanwhile, also attempt to intercept toddler from somehow having a knack at grabbing the things in the room you least want him to have.  Curse silently that you'll have to figure out how to re-program your TV to get rid of the Chinese subtitles your toddler somehow added to the bottom of the screen.

7:15 a.m. - Marvel at the achievement of somehow managing to get infant dressed while preventing toddler from using your cell phone to call 911, flinging himself face first off the bed, pulling out dresser drawers on his toes or stabbing himself with the retractable blade that your husband uses at work and carelessly left in the pocket of the pants that he tossed on the floor.

7:15 and 25 seconds a.m. - Pay the price for stopping to marvel and comfort both toddler and infant who are screaming because they got frightened when the full-length mirror slammed to the floor because toddler wanted to see what would happen when he pushed it over.  Thank God for small miracles when you gratefully remember that the mirror is a cheap one from Target and not an expensive one from somewhere fancy like Pottery Barn that you could never justify spending so much money on and would break if it fell on the floor.  Make mental note to ask husband to hang the mirror on the wall once and for all instead of leaving it propped against the wall.

7:16 a.m. - Promptly forget mental note.  Hoist one child in each arm and trek downstairs to try to conjure up some sort of healthy breakfast that toddler will actually eat.  Pray that infant can stave off hunger long enough to get breakfast on the table.

7:17 a.m. - Stare blankly into the bleak-looking fridge.  Remind yourself that this is one of those times you wish you knew a thing or two about cooking and resolve yourself to use part of nap time to research healthy toddler recipes on the internet.  Abandon all hope of healthy breakfast.  Put blueberry Eggos in the toaster and satisfy yourself with the thought that blueberries are fruit, even if they've been dried and processed to within an inch of their lives.  

7:18 a.m. - While Eggos are toasting, try to strap toddler into booster seat.  Remember 5 seconds too late that there's a certain way to finesse the situation and resist the urge to swear out loud in front of the toddler who has begun repeating everything when you realize you forgot the finesse and will be screwed for the remainder of breakfast.  Give up on trying to get toddler into booster seat and resign yourself to allowing him to sit in a regular chair, forcing you to sit vigilantly next to him so he doesn't fall off.

7:19 a.m. - Infant starts crying for her bottle, so you quickly mix one up while the Eggos cool on the counter.  Since infant's crying often causes toddler to cry, you forgo the usual cutting of the Eggos and hastily throw them on a plate in front of the toddler and remind him to take bites (because if you don't, he'll try to stuff an entire waffle in his mouth at once) while you scoop up infant and quiet her with the bottle.        

7:20 a.m. - Momentary peace reigns as you enjoy pleasant "conversation" with your toddler while he eats his waffle and you feed infant.

7:21 a.m. - Look at clock in shock and horror when you realize that you've only been out of bed for 15 minutes.  Swear to yourself that you will not get caught up on Facebook when toddler goes down for a nap (a nap that feels lightyears away) and instead will have a nap yourself.  

7:23 a.m. - "Toddler, eat your waffle.  No, don't feed the dog.  Eat your waffle.  No, don't throw it on the floor.  Please don't slam your cup on the table so that juice leaks out everywhere.  No, stop slamming your cup down.  I said stop!  Don't make me take your cup away.  Look, you have a waffle!  Show mommy how you take a bite!  Toddler, show mommy how you take a bite.  What, are you done?  You've only had a couple bites, eat some more.  ::Sigh::  Ok, I guess you can be done."  Toddler gets down from chair and runs into living room to play while you finish giving infant her bottle.

7:24 a.m. to 10 a.m. - "Toddler, let's play with your blocks.  See, they go together like this.  No, no don't throw blocks at your sister.  Book?  You want to read a book?  Ok, bring me your book.  Toddler, bring me your book.  Come on, bring it here!  Toddler, bring it here and mommy will read it to you.  Don't you want mommy to read to you?  Oh you don't?  Ok.  (Wait 45 seconds to 5 minutes for toddler to decide he really does want to be read to and brings book over.  Read Dr. Seuss book that is somehow a classic, despite the fact that it manages to be 63 pages long with absolutely zero story line.)  Again?  Ok mommy will read it again.  (Reads again.)  Again?  No, baby, we're done with this book.  Go pick another book.  Hey!  Stop that.  You don't hit just because you didn't get your way.  No toddler!  We do NOT drop books on our sister's head.   See, now she's crying, you hurt her."  And on and on while you go stir crazy waiting for Target to open because it gives you a place to go to get out of the house.

10:01 a.m. - "Ok toddler!  Let's go get our shoes on!  We're going to Target!"  Commence with the 15 minute struggle to get toddler's shoes on while he screams as if you are continuously dunking him into a pool of scalding water, then keeping him out of trouble while you try to get infant into her car seat.

10:16 a.m. - Despite the fact that infant is 3.5 months old and you've been doing this since she was born, stand by the front door for 5 full minutes while you try to decide the best way to get both kids out the door.  Realize that you really don't have to take them both at once and leave the easy infant in her carrier by the front door as you maneuver the toddler out the door.  Depending on your patience level at that point, either allow him to walk to the van himself (then proceed to chase him in circles around said van when he inevitably breaks free from your hand) or carry his squirming, unhappy body.  Summon super-human strength to simultaneously hold struggling toddler down while clicking him into his car seat. 

10:17 a.m. - Begin drive to Target, making sure to point out every truck or bus you pass on the way in an effort to keep toddler content and distracted before he remembers that he doesn't really care to be strapped into things.

10:21-11:00 - Wander around Target slowly, putting things in your cart that you didn't know you needed.  Breathe a sigh of relief that toddler seems to share your love of Target, and happily give him something from the dollar bins to keep him entertained while you browse through trashy celeb magazines or peruse the racks of mostly over-priced-for-what-they-are fashions.   

11:01 - Widen eyes in horror as you check out, and ask yourself how in the world you spent $50.  Nothing you bought cost over $10, after all.  Inventory everything you purchased and do the mental math.  Fail at adding everything up exactly and satisfy yourself with rounding up and estimating.  Come to the sad realization that the cash register was not wrong.  Mentally prepare a convincing argument for why you need each item, since you'll need it when you get home to your husband.

11:15 - Arrive home and begin lunch preparations.  Make the grilled cheese, mac and cheese, turkey dog, etc. with full knowledge that only about a quarter of it will be consumed by toddler.  The rest will be picked up off the floor by you or fed to the dog, who has long since learned that the best place in the house is by toddler's seat while he's eating.  

11:16 and 30 seconds - Almost as soon as you get the grilled cheese in the pan to start cooking, infant decides she is sick of being ignored (as I'd imagine most infants of parents who have 2 under 2 are when they are being quiet and happy).  She starts crying for her bottle.  Your brain whirls as you try to figure out how to simultaneously cook a grilled cheese and feed infant her bottle.  The choices before you are: a) burn grilled cheese while feeding infant or; b) leave infant to cry while you mentally urge the stove to cook the grilled cheese faster.

11:17 - Decide to leave infant to cry while you hastily try to get toddler's lunch in front of him.  

11:19 - Infant's cries are no joke at this point.  She wants her bottle and she wants it now.  You grab toddler and try to put him in his booster seat.  He, of course, fights it with every fiber of his surprisingly strong 27 pound little body.  You do your very best to stay calm and wonder to yourself if you could convince your husband to leave for a spontaneous trip to Napa that night so you can drown your stresses in lots and lots of wine tastings.  

11:21 - Finally have toddler strapped in with lunch in front of him.  Make a bottle in record time and scoop up infant to feed her.  

11:22 - While feeding infant, keep an eye on toddler and talk with him while he eats his lunch.  Do your best to not laugh when he squeals with delight as the dog tries to take the food right out of his hand.  Yell at the dog and further enforce toddler's idea that dog is actually named "NOCONNERGETAWAY".  

11:36 - Toddler is still "eating", which means he is taking one bite approximately every 5 minutes.  Look at the clock and wonder how such a small person could take such a long time to eat such a minuscule amount of food.  But also feel slightly happy about this fact because the longer he takes to eat, the closer he gets to nap time.

11:45 - Finally tire of the food games and take toddler out of his booster seat.  Attempt to hold his squirming body up to the faucet and wash his hands but mostly just succeed in getting both of your clothes soaking wet.  Clean up lunch dishes and prod yourself to keep on swimming because it's almost time for the incredible, wonderful N-A-P.

11:55 - Toddler has occupied himself with his toys so nicely while you did the dishes that you are almost reluctant to put him down for his nap.  Almost. 

11:56 - Try not to sound too gleeful when you scoop toddler up and say "Ok, time for your nap!"  Carry him upstairs with a little skip in your step and happily put him in his crib.  Give him a kiss, say, "Mama loves you!" and shut the door.

11:57 - Tell yourself that you'll just go downstairs to check your Facebook for 5 minutes and then you'll take that delicious nap you've been craving all day.  

1:15 - Realize that you've been on the computer for way to long.  Feel sad inside because you know that if you took a nap at this point, it would only be for half an hour tops because toddler has some specialized radar that lets him know when you are about to sleep and causes him to wake up.

2:30 - After taking care of infant and wasting the rest of toddler's nap time by being completely unproductive, you hear toddler waking.  Go upstairs to get him and remind yourself that you only have to make it through another hour before you can wake husband up without feeling guilty.

3:30 on the nose - Say to toddler "Let's go get daddy!" and pound up the stairs as loudly as possible so husband knows your coming and that there is no escape.

3:30 - 7 - Blissfully share parenting duties with husband.  Slyly trick him into taking care of toddler while you hold lower-maintenance infant.  Make husband take everyone out for dinner so you don't have to cook.

7:00 - Put toddler to bed and collapse on the couch to watch DVRed shows and waste more time on Facebook.  Pray that infant decides to be easy and veg out on the couch.

9:00 - Think about going to bed but decide against it when just the thought of getting yourself and infant ready for bed exhausts you.

10:00 - Muster the energy to go upstairs to bed when you realize that by the time you are able to actually climb into bed, it will be, at best, 20 minutes later, at worst, 45.  

Sometime between 10:20 and 10:45 - Climb into bed.  Almost start to cry when infant begins fussing and wants to be held and swayed by someone who is standing.  If husband is not working, ask him to please take her just this once.  Punch him in the arm when he pretends to be sleeping and get up with her anyway.  If husband is working, send him a text telling him that HIS child is awake and fussing and ask him if he knows why the universe is against you.  

11:30 - Infant has finally fallen asleep as if nothing ever happened.  Crawl back into bed and pass out immediately, stopping only to pray that toddler sleeps later the next morning.