Sunday, November 29, 2009

Busy Busy

Another month has just flown by, and I have found little time to write the things I've wanted to post about. Ah, well, such is life and a working mother's priorities.

The past few weeks have been crazy, and I've survived by reducing my number of sleeping hours per night to 5. I actually forgot to pay my au pair and day girl last payday, and only realized this when they had to ask my husband for money for their twice-monthly market trip.

A Day in My Life before mid-November:
8am - Wake up, read paper while Little A plays, check email, make work calls, have breakfast, do laundry if Monday or Thursday
10am - Off to the supermarket, bank, Gymboree or whatever set of errands need doing, usually with Little A in tow.
1pm - Home for lunch and Little A's nap. Time online, working and surfing.
Afternoon - meetings if there are any, more errands if needed, snack time for Little A and more play. Reading time for me if he has a long nap.
730pm - Dinner, bathtime then downtime until bed.
1030pm - Lights out
12pm - Everyone usually sleeps

A Day in My Life since mid-November:
630am - Wake up with Little A, turn on laptop, answer emails, pay bills online, make calls. Do laundry if I have time to load the washing machine or laundry pile threatens to overwhelm the flat. Ignore newspaper. Have a quick breakfast when I can squeeze it in in time to -
1030am - Take Little A to preschool if Tuesday or Thursday, otherwise off to the mall to open the store if needed, or do errands or have meetings. When we are faced with imminent starvation, go to the supermarket and race through the aisles throwing things into the shopping trolley while simultaneously texting suppliers or work partners and making calls.
1pm - Drop Little A off at home for lunch and nap, head to the store to put in a few hours training and overseeing the staff, interviewing new applicants, handling all the admin work, dealing with both the mall management and customers and doing all sorts of retail business things without once sitting down, until -
730pm - Home for dinner and to see my son, who by this time thinks he has done something horrible and is being punished by not being able to see his mother. Watch Little A play or eat while frantically answering emails, printing reports and the like. (The laptop and printer now live permanently on the dining room table). Perhaps get to play with him for 10 straight minutes if I'm lucky.
830pm - Back to the mall to close the store if needed. Otherwise, bathe Little A and go back to paperwork, as the inventory updating is even worse than laundry pile.
1030pm - Lights out. Shut Big and Little A in the bedroom and continue work, or pay bills online, make Christmas lists, organise presents etc. Spend half an hour putting Little A to sleep, then sneak back out to the laptop.
1am - Turn off lights, pack away whatever messes Little A has left in his room and the living and dining room. Shower and fall asleep with hair soaking wet.

Somehow on paper it looks less hectic than it actually is. Maybe I'm missing something out. Don't have time to think about what it is. Little A is down for his nap and I've got to man the store now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Frequent Traveler

I am amazed at how some mothers can blog so frequently. Just looking after my one child, keeping our small flat in order and having partial charge of a new business venture leaves me with little time to eat, sleep and even breathe. Still, all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl and Jill's toddler and husband sad people, so time must be alloted for "recreation."

With a trip to Hong Kong that needed to be taken before mid-November, (originally scheduled for a trade fair some months ago, the sudden onset of H1N1 worldwide required a postponement of a trip booked on what should have been non-rebookable, nonrefundable tickets) we found ourselves airport-bound for Little A's 5th overseas adventure.

Since he was born in July 2007, our son has been to Hong Kong twice a year. Two October journeys were Big A's business trips that we tagged along on, and the January trips were family ones for my parents' wedding anniversary and Chinese New Year, respectively. This one was partly work for me, and partly a nice break.

This trip also marked a couple of firsts for our little family. It was the first trip taken after Little A was completely weaned and since he decided to stop wearing nappies completely. With visions of wet pants dancing in my head, I packed three sets of trousers and shorts and a couple of nappies just in case, plus his favourite non-spill sippy cup, an assortment of books, and an entire box of his favourite biscuits for a half-hour car ride, two hour airport wait, two hour plane trip, half-hour train ride and ten minute taxi.

Amazingly, Little A did not have a single wee accident the entire 3-day trip. While at home he had to be taken to the toilet periodically or he would pee on the floor, all throughout the long weekend he would indicate when he needed to go, or go to the toilet himself and pull his shorts down and wait for someone to lift him up to reach the seat.

I was overjoyed. Perhaps it was the layout of the hotel bathroom, or the blue water in the loo (the toilets in the hotel were treated with disinfectant that turned the water bright blue), or even the fact that there were less distractions in the form of toys, videos and the like. Whatever it was, I was the proudest mum on earth.

Apart from the toilet training, Little A was perfectly behaved on the aeroplane both ways. He sat quietly in his seat, watched his Mickey Mouse videos, read his books and ate his snacks. Granted, the flights were short and he did do his share of sprinting in the airport and on the train into Hong Kong city, where he refused to sit anywhere but the luggage rack. Still, we were expecting much worse and were pleasantly surprised.

We have been back home a week now, and apart from one accident the night we arrived and another the next day when his nanny didn't take him to the toilet in time, Little A has kept his pants dry. He still needs to be taken to the loo every couple of hours, but I am hoping that soon he will be just like he was in Hong Kong and walk to the bathroom himself when he needs to go. Next week he will do a trial class at preschool. If that goes well, he will start attending twice weekly sessions. My little boy is not so little any more.