Today was a ‘quiet day’. It was one of those days which make me feel that I have achieved nothing at the end of the day, yet I am still tired. I wondered why I was tired, having been so unproductive and I thought about what I had actually done with my day:
06.10: Bethan’s 2nd breakfast
07.15: Catrin awake – provide breakfast, change Bethan’s nappy, dress Bethan, wash & dress myself
08.20: scrape the pain au chocolate out of gap between sofa cushions; tell Catrin no, she can’t have another one seeing as she chose to use the first one to decorate the living room with; tantrum…Catrin then shouts “I’m sleepy!” and climbs back into her bed
08.30: persuade Catrin to come out from her hiding place under the duvet and get dressed. She doesn’t like the clothes I have chosen for her; provide alternative garment selection; dress her
08.45: finally get both girls and bags into car, drive to pre-school, search frantically for a parking space within a 1 mile radius, carry Bethan and all 3 of Catrin’s bags with one hand and use other hand to keep hold of Catrin
09.00: Catrin into preschool, breathe a sigh of relief, shake blood back into baby-carrying arm, drive home
Rest of the day: feed Bethan (many, many times) and provide constant entertainment, nappy/ poonami aftermath management (many times), research ways to make more money on t’internet, do several washing loads, hang washing on line, fold and put away dry clothes (several times), empty dishwasher, load dishwasher, remove fox poo from front lawn (again!) and sprinkle with anti-fox slime, fill brown wheelie bin with tree clippings, collect Catrin from preschool, collect husband from work, dinner, put bins and recycling out, bedtime battle…which goes on and on…and on. Bethan finally concedes defeat at 22.45 and Catrin has enough battle left in her to demand “a blanket for my feet” when I put Bethan in her cot.
At 23.00 I was taking the washing off the line in the dark and noticed how noisy the night is. I could hear a freight train, sirens, the roar of the motorway, shouting, music, a television…all distant but sounding very close. I wondered whether any of the people making those noises had also experienced a ‘quiet day’ today.
After actually being quite busy throughout my quiet day I still felt like I had achieved nothing…the household chores and childcare are day-to-day activities and don’t count because they are too routine to feature on my ‘to do’ list. Tomorrow I have food shopping to do, donkeys and pirates to get quotes for, a bathroom to thoroughly clean and a phone contract to sort out…I hope tomorrow turns out to be more productive than today but, because I am not at work or on duty, hacking down overgrown trees or driving hundreds of miles, I will probably still call it a quiet day.