Getting Things Done . . . with Claire

I recently noted that the majority of stuff I have to do around the house, cleaning and cooking wise, can be completed in roughly an hour and a half if, and the if is a big if, I am not having to hold a baby, comfort a baby, wrangle a baby, confine a baby  . . . etc. As it is, everything I want to do needs to be squeezed into Claire's nap.

Yesterday was a prime example. Claire was in full on static cling mode. If I put her down for a second she would toddle over, grab me by the ankles, and scream. A few times I thought I had gotten her distracted enough to get started on my cleaning (Wednesday is when I do the kitchen) only to hear Coryn call out, "Mom! She's on the table again!"

Yeah, she is climbing now. She climbed up on the table and dropped her sister's crayons in the fish bowl the other day. She climbed up on my desk on Monday and knocked down the container of miscellaneous paperclips and thumb tacks. She climbs up anywhere to get anything that she wants so I'm always finding her with her sister's markers or banging on the computer keyboard or in possession of contraband generally. Baby contraband includes anything out of the medicine cabinet, deadly or otherwise  (the other day she was walking around with a bottle of contact lens solution squealing with pride over her acquisition); anything out of the kitchen cabinets (favorite game: a Tupperware version of 52 Card Pick Up; pots and pans, also treasured.); anything paper that can be ripped or crumpled; and just anything that can be placed some place that it isn't supposed to be (I was missing a library book for about a week. Finally found it in the back of the coat closet today).

So cleaning was difficult, and I decided if I had to hold her I might as well do it comfortably on the couch while watching America's Got Talent  on Hulu. This is one of my guilty pleasure shows. I don't want a lot of reality TV (Does Mythbusters count?) but I enjoy this one for its random yet somehow predictable nature.So we sat and cuddled for awhile and after a bit Claire got less clingy and more bouncy, dancing to the music. I thought, hey, I'll get my exercising over with while she's in a good mood and I have television to watch.

For awhile it went well. She was pitter pattering around while I did some aerobics and then I went for some push ups and superman back extensions, and Claire's immediate reaction was, "Mommy wants to play horsie!"  Next thing I know she's on my back, bouncing up and down, her hands twisted my my ponytail for dear life. Ouch. Several attempts to remove her proved fruitless and trying other forms of exercise only upset her about the "pony ride" being over.

When I was little there was a cartoon with, if I  remember correctly, a little  penguin that had this quick, pitter patter walk that was part bird, part wind up toy. Claire really reminds me of that critter, especially when she is on her "missions." She is a mimic and loves to imitate things other people do. Give her a wet wipe and she'll go to town cleaning off any surface she can reach. One thing she really likes to do is help me load the dryer. I'll hand her things out of the washing machine and she'll throw them in the dryer and smile really big about doing a "big girl" chore. Unfortunately, she doesn't understand the concept of "emptying" the dryer. The other day I unloaded the dryer into a basket and then retired to the bathroom next to the utility room. While I was in there I heard the tell-tale pitter patter going on. A minute later I emerged to find she had pitter pattered her way back and forth between the laundry basket and the dryer and had re-loaded about half of the clothes into the dryer.

She is such a busy little critter.