So, anyway. The phone went out and took the Internet with it. Suddenly we were like, off the grid. For close to a full week. It was...strange. And yet, not all that different.
It was actually really nice not hearing the phone ring. Because nine times out of ten, I don't answer it anyway. Most of the calls we get are for Hair World or Robert Kardashi or Bill's older sister. And, while a wrong number is usually no big deal - "Sorry, wrong number" "Oh, sorry" *click* - that's just not how it works in Tennessee. If the call is coming from somewhere outside the South, it's short and sweet and normal. But if it's a local call, be prepared to make a new friend. Or at least spend five minutes of your life talking to someone you will never need to know. Five full minutes you will never get back. Some things I just don't understand...
And if it's not a wrong number it's an auto call from a politician who wants my vote or a researcher who just needs "a few minutes of my time" (they're not selling anything, promise). Or that charming guy from the fire department. I swear, let a fireman catch you at a weak moment ONE TIME and he'll never stop humping your leg.
But not having the Internet was a different story. Although I didn't miss it as much as you might think. As it turns out, Facebook is kind of boring. And all the blogs and other things I like to read were still there a week later when the phone company finally made it out to fix our connection. I could check my email on my iPhone (as long as I walked out into the middle of the street away from the dead zone). And it's not like I was sitting around with loads of idle time on my hands just wishing I could hop online.
Because there is no idle time. None! It's all scheduled and regimented and broken into bits and pieces. And that's what this whole being off the grid thing has shown me. Our lives are COMPLETELY different now that Liam is in school. We're like...busy. Or not busy so much as just...scheduled. It's like everything has to fit into it's neat little compartment otherwise it will all come crashing down. And we're doing it. It's working. But, jeezycreezy it's a grind...
Morning time: Get everyone dressed and fed and combed and brushed, make the lunch, pack the backpack, hurry, hurry, hurry, get out the door.
Walk Liam to school, talk with friends, park the stroller, grab the baby, go to the classroom, unpack the backpack, say hello to the teacher, find the library card lanyard, go to the library, choose a book, stand in line, talk to more people.
Stick the baby back in the stroller and take the long way home. Like down to the park and around the duck pond. Feeling crazy? JOG!
Get home: Breakfast, clean up, play, maybe get a little work done while Finny pulls everything out of the kitchen cabinets. Maybe not.
Nap time! This is the only idle time in the day. It actually stresses me out a little. I mean, talk about pressure. Should I take a shower and get dressed? Vacuum? Try to write? Work on my Julia book? (I know it's taking me like 13 years and I'm still not done. See all of the above.) Study for the MAT? Work on my application for grad school? (I decided to get my Master's in education so I can teach some day when Finn starts school - woot woot!). Usually by the time I decide on something, Finny wakes up. Damn.
More baby time: Make and clean up another meal, hang out at home or go to story time or whatever. If any errands need to be run, this is the time. Try to get outside if it's a nice day.
School pick up: Another walk, more talk, sometimes even a play date or extra long socializing at school. I'm more open to it on the days I chose to shower during Finny's nap. On the days when I'm still wearing the yoga pants I dropped him off in, I'm more likely to hightail it the hell out of there.
After school time: Finn goes down for a nap and I hang out with Liam. We play school (he's teaching me Spanish) or talk about our days or play cards or bad guys. Sometimes. Sometimes he wants to watch Inspector Gadget or draw new worlds for Mario Brothers alone in his room. Which means I can do one of the things I meant to do while Finn was napping the first time! Like take a shower...
Then it's time to make dinner. This generally coincides with Finn waking up from his nap. So while I'm cooking (which I've totally gotten the hang of, by the way) Liam plays with Finn so he doesn't cruise the hot oven or make me trip over him with a knife in my hand.
Daddy's home! Woo hoo!! We all storm him at the door and then make our way to the dinner table. If we don't eat by 6, 6:15 at the latest, the whole night falls to pieces. It takes us about an hour, start to finish. Well, it takes three of us about 15 minutes. But we get to spend another 45 reminding Liam to eat...
Finn hits the wall around 7 and we try to have Liam in bed by 8. So there's lots of teeth brushing, story reading, milk pouring, etc.
Grown up time! Now's our chance to clean up the kitchen! And sort through the insanely huge pile of crap Liam brings home from school each day! (I am totally overwhelmed by paper work). And maybe (finally!) take that damn shower I've been meaning to take all day! By the time all that is done, so am I. As much as I would like to write or work or read, I also need to spend time with my husband. And since I can do that while laying on the couch watching The Daily Show, it's kind of a no-brainer.
Next thing we know it's 10:00 and we have to start getting ourselves to bed so we can start the whole racket again the next day. Not that I'm complaining. I'm not. I actually really like our life! It just doesn't leave much wiggle room for anything that's not on the list at the moment. Although we still find plenty of time to socialize and do fun things. As a family. I guess it's the "me time" I've yet to put on the schedule. Which is probably why it feels like such a grind.
And this is why I love writing! I didn't even KNOW that was bothering me until right this second. I had to write about my cell phone making my head all hot and a fireman humping my leg and admit to wearing sweatpants to Liam's school (yoga pants, you're not fooling anyone) and spell out in excruciating detail all the totally boring things we do each and every day to realize that I need to add myself to our schedule. I am so glad I chose to write today!
Now, of course, Finny is awake and calling for me from his crib. But that's okay! Because I will come up with a plan. Right after he eats a quick snack and we go to story time and, oh, you know the drill.