July 7, 2010

An Evening In The Life

Last week I talked about wondering about strangers, who they are, what goes on in their lives. Whenever I read other blogs - which, admittedly, is rare these days - I wonder what they aren't telling me about their lives. Last night, I had a minor out of body experience. Stepping back, watching the evening play out, it occurred to me that our evenings are just plain odd. Here's a typical one:

I get home from work. If time allows, I change and go to the pool where Beth and the kids actually live (the whole house thing is a total sham - they live at the pool). If not, I shuck the suit and tie in favor of shorts and a t-shirt and bathe the kids, ridding them of sunscreen and chlorine. Then we play for a while. Sometimes its a rousing game of Run Around The House Like A Maniac. Other times its Is Daddy Awake? Then we eat. Eating generally consists of Beth and I tackling our meals while begging Owen and Mia to do the same which results in full-scale, unadulterated, Rod Blagojevich-style bribery (our latest tactic to get Mia to try new foods is to give her a buck if she eats three bites of a new food). After dinner, whoever didn't cook cleans up (because Beth is Superwoman, she usually manages to cook a meal each day which makes me the resident dishwasher). Owen asks me to put on some music so he can dance. I put on Lady Gaga (yes, I own The Fame and it doesn't suck...shut up and stop looking at me that way) and Owen puts on his Scooby Doo suit and dances. Then he finds a microphone and sings along to Just Dance while we explain to Mia what a disco stick is (and by explain I mean make shit up). And then, after explanations are made and dancing is done, we head upstairs to bed. Vitamins are taken, teeth are brushed and books are read. And if we're lucky both kids are asleep by 9:00. We'll have to visit Mia a few times. She'll be reading or listening to music and be totally unwilling to sleep. I'll give her a great reason to sleep and she'll say dumbass with her eyes. Eventually she relents. And we are out by 11:00, having watched some crap we TiVoed or read a book.

I'm guessing that's not your typical evening. Strangely, it is in our house.

What's your evening routine? Is mine uncharacteristically strange?

Posted by Chris at July 7, 2010 6:52 AM

I don't think your evening is all that strange. Mine goes as such: Get home around 5 and soon after, hubs and the boys arrive. Change, get eldest boy a snack. Watch something mind-numbing on Nick Jr. Depending on the day one or both of us gets to squeeze in a run. Make dinner. Fight with eldest boy to eat. Have to stop eating mid-bite and go feed the infant. Surrender to eldest boy's whining and let him get down to watch Toy Story. Bath time, bed time, then have about an hour before infant goes down. Then I watch episodes of Bones or Angel on Netflix and hubs plays Madden or surfs the net. We're usually passed out by midnight. All the while, the hours seem harried and chaotic.

Posted by: Claire at July 7, 2010 8:42 AM

Not strange at all, but unlike mine. I am off today, when my girlfriend comes home around 4:30, we will have a couple of beers and talk about her day.

Then, we will turn on Glenn Beck and laugh our asses off at his lunacy as we drink a few more.

We'll then turn on some tunes as we quaff a couple more, and then I will heat up the incredible dinner that I prepared during the day and feed her.

Tonight is a little different because she insinuated there may be sex involved, and then she'll go to sleep and I'll write my post for tomorrow as I Twitter.

Oh yeah baby, just like you...I'm livin' the life of a Rock Star!!

Cheers Cactus!!

Posted by: Matt-Man at July 7, 2010 9:34 AM

Not strange at all. Ours is actually quite similar, including the dinner, bribery (we bribe with chocolate, it's cheaper), and running around like maniacs. I didn't realize Is Daddy Awake? was universal, although in our house it's Is Mommy Awake?

Posted by: jen at July 7, 2010 9:37 AM

I think your evenings sound so fun! Ours usually are the same, but involve some type of me having a meeting, getting home later than planned, dinner being late, dishes shoved into the dishwasher, disney channel, books, baths, bed. Finally, my husband and I falling into bed out of sheer exhaustion. :) I like the dancing though, we should do that more often here. Thanks for the insight and ideas. :)

Posted by: Wendy at July 7, 2010 9:55 AM

i dont think your night routine is very different from mine. throw in some Wii or PS3 playing a ball game on tv and you've got our routine. and actually beths day routine of living at the pool is pretty spot on too. we only come in the house for lunch on some days. other days we eat outside. do you really think we sound odd?? what do you think is a un-odd routine?? im intrigued!

Posted by: Steph at July 7, 2010 11:14 AM

Your routine sounds pretty normal. Ours goes like this--depending on what day of the week it is, I'm either home at 5:30 (if it's my short days at the gym) or 6:30 (if it's the cardio and weight days). If it's an early day, I get home, play barbies or polly pockets or some other game with my 5 year old for about 45 minutes. I then cook dinner. We eat (and bribe--going to have to try that dollar thing, though), and I clean up the kitchen. We then spend 30 minutes trying to get her to settle down and get in the shower, brush her teeth, and go to bed at 8.

On my late nights, she eats before I get home. I get home, jump in the shower and then immediately start dinner. We play some or color while I am cooking, then the adults eat while she yells "ewww, I'm glad I didn't have to eat that," and then I do the dishes. Then it's shower time, time to brush teeth and she doesn't get to bed until 8:30 or 9. By that time I'm exhausted and more than ready for a glass of wine. And then I collapse on the couch for the first time all day with the husband and watch whatever show is on schedule for that night. And we have to be in bed at 10:30 if there is going to be any bow chicka wow wow that night. Otherwise, he has missed the window of opportunity and I'm asleep.

Oh, and the night time chores are all mine because the husband is recovering from a massive heart attack he had 6 months ago at the age of 43. Since he still isn't able to work full time, it's cheaper for him to stay home with her all day. Therefore, I get night duty because after 12 hours taking care of a 5 year old, he's done. Which I completely understand because that's why I work.

Posted by: Michelle at July 7, 2010 11:30 AM

No kiddos here, so it's come home (sometimes with a stop at the store en route) Feed the cats, who are milling around acting like they're being starved. Read the paper, snark at the news, fix something to eat. Get online, check emails, FB or something as mindless, do a couple chores (laundry, dishes or during this time of year something garden related) Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll squeeze in some kind of jewelry making, or if I'm lazy, I'll kick back and read. Bed. It's a sloth's life and I like it.

Posted by: Amy at July 7, 2010 12:12 PM

Life is different when your kids are little. Getting them to eat and off to bed is the priority. Our evenings are quite and simple now. We eat usually around 7 during the week, Harley and Lynn usually read and I watch some TV before bed or sit on the front porch. Only difference now is we are glued to the World Cup and are bonding over soccer.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at July 7, 2010 12:15 PM

Since I am off for the summer, my nights and days blend. On the days that D is not out of town, he gets home around 7 or 7:30. I fix dinner while he plays with Soxy. We eat while watching TV and attempt to keep Soxy from eating all of our food. Then he checks work email and we both surf and Facebook. Usually by this point is it 11:00 or so so we head off to bed.

Your evening sounds much more interesting than mine. Although I wouldn't want a steady diet of it, reading it made me tired, I wouldn't mind it for a week or so on occasion.

Posted by: Krush at July 7, 2010 12:21 PM

When I met Michael his daughter would only eat chicken nuggets and french fries. I immediately put my foot down. I have the attitude of "you eat what the family is eating or you starve." I've heard of people making 10 different things until their kid eats. That's insane! I went another direction with it. We told her that every weekend she visited she needed to try something new. Also, she likes to help me cook. Well if you help cook it, you have to eat it!! 4 years later she eats almost everything!! I find setting a good example helps. If Michael says eww yuck before she tries it, she'll say eww yuck. If he says yum, she 9/10 times likes it. We've found very little she doesn't like. She's a little iffy on avocado's (but yet I can get her to eat guacamole and chips)

As far as our routine - when she's here in the summer, she and Michael live in the pool for a day, come inside, have dinner and then we all go sit in bed and watch a movie together. Usually she crashes 5 minutes into the movie!

Posted by: Rose @Dozenroses13 at July 7, 2010 2:36 PM

i agree, i don't think that sounds all that strange. we have a similar "normal" sounding routine, in my opinion. i think it makes us lucky :)

Posted by: kati at July 7, 2010 4:16 PM

Sorry, Chris. With kids that age, your night sounds pretty damned average.

As they get older, they help more (at least mine do), do more on their own, the bribery changes from eating to homework, and they start tucking YOU into bed.

I'm just waiting until they are old enough to mix me a drink.

Posted by: Mindy at July 7, 2010 4:22 PM

Sounds pretty standard to me. We don't do the bribery thing, and bedtime isn't our struggling point, but otherwise, pretty similar.

Posted by: Becky at July 7, 2010 5:38 PM

Yeah, I'd have to say it sounds pretty normal to me, too. A typical evening (by which I mean a school night) is rather similar here: the girls get home from school somewhere between 5.15 (no activities that night) and 7.30 (activities). The early version then leads into a little play time (them, not me usually), then homework, then shower-dinner-teeth-story-bed by 8.30. The late version is a little play time (me and the younger daughter), then her shower while I get dinner ready. Then older daughter gets home, has her shower and after that it's the same, although bed time is usually 9. No homework those nights as her activities are all on nights when there's no school the next day.
We don't do enough dancing round here - although we used to. Since splitting up from their father, things have been a little edgy, snappy, bad-tempered, stressed, what have you, so since the holidays started there have been more DVDs than I would like (High School Musical 1, 2 AND 3...) and more tantrums (the girls and myself, I'm not proud, but I am stressed and alone), but I'm going to try and get some dancing back in our lives...

Posted by: Kirsty at July 7, 2010 5:50 PM

Tonight was my first night to cook dinner after having worked all day. When I arrived home, Hubby had done the breakfast dishes, cut vegetables from the garden and defrosted pork chops for dinner. I just cooked it all up (not rocket science) and then we placed the dishes into the dishwasher and turned it on. Not too bad.
Tomorrow will come quickly enough and another day at work!

Posted by: Maribeth at July 7, 2010 6:55 PM

haha Okay, so what exactly is a disco stick? I'm curious to know your definition for Mia.

My evening routine (and by evening I mean 5am) consists of Sweetums getting home from a long day at work, I greet him, he changes into something more comfortable. Sometimes he's hungry and I cook him something or maybe dish up ice cream, but most of the time we just go smoke a cig, and veg on the couch for a couple of hours before going to bed at about 7 or 8am. We're like old people... who stay up all night long. Nothing interesting, unfortunately. I have an urge to meet him at the door in my frilly 50's style apron I made sometimes, but we have too many roommates who get up around that time for that! O.o

Posted by: Throckmorton Jones at July 7, 2010 10:06 PM

Sounds pretty normal for a house with kids, I think! Of course, what do I know? My evening usually involves computing and telly and/or a book. And too much ice cream, too often.

Posted by: Heather at July 8, 2010 2:24 AM

I think your evenings are pretty much standard, same as my family, complete with Lady GaGa and tivo-ed shit. ( and i told my 4 year old son a disco stick was a microphone).

Posted by: Tiffany at July 8, 2010 3:18 PM

My evening is get home from work around 3 or 4, find food (hard right now since my kitchen is under complete reno) or go for a pizza, let the dogs run amok/check email/read blogs for an hour or two, then grab some newly downloaded TV on the laptop, and crawl into bed.

All done by about 10:30. My life is pretty dull when I type it out like that!

Posted by: Melissa at July 9, 2010 12:42 PM

My evening? Since I'm 'working from home' -- in the summer, I pick up The Boy from camp. On a good evening, I get a run down of either the whole day if it was excellent... or just one (the favourite one.)

Then we chill for a bit. The Man gets home around 5:30 pm. Quick supper if we have volunteer or social commitments. Otherwise catch up on the day over supper. Tidying, quiet time or unusual fun stuff, shower time, reading time, lights out snuggle...

So much easier than when I was working.

Posted by: Nat at July 10, 2010 2:21 PM