Evenings with Bandar

6 Apr

One day last week I actually managed to wrap up work at exactly 5 pm as opposed to my usual 5:30 pm.

I got to the parking lot and was immediately accosted by a colleague about some work issue.I managed to wrap up the conversation in a record two minutes and I found myself outside Bandar’s school at 5:20 pm to pick her up! This never happens.

Next, she was ready to leave school in another 5 minutes and we were home by 5:40!! I had dinner already ready for her in the fridge and had no extra cooking to do. Bandar and I trotted up to give her a good bath. Post bath, a fresh, clean Bandar was at the dinner table at 6:15 pm. This is the time we usually get home!

Dinner was done by 6:45 for both of us. I had some home made jelly and custard for her as dessert and handed that out while I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, wiped down the kitchen slightly. We were then brushed and ready for bed a little over 7 pm. Post brushing, we sat down to play a board game till about 7:30 and then Bandar read three small books out to me. These books a teeny tiny and are mainly for beginning readers and they go by fast. After this, it was lights off at 7:45 and we were talking about happiest and saddest parts of the day.

Bandar was asleep by 8:30  PM, and I managed to get myself out of bed and went downstairs to get some office work done till the husband got home.

Such a peaceful, wonderful evening. And it all seemed to be so because of the leaving exactly at 5 pm bit. I did not have to cut down the board game time or do my timer trick of 10 minutes to limit bath time or anything else to get Bandar to bed at a decent hour. Going forth, I would like to aim to get this routine down for atleast 2-3 days of the week.

As the husband usually works late, evenings are almost always just Bandar and I. Here are a few other basic things I follow to ensure I get the most out of my evenings with Bandar and keep my sanity:

          On the way back from school, I usually set the scene with Bandar for the evening. She knows if it is a day that involves about 20 -30 minutes of cooking for me while she plays imaginary games in the vicinity. Or a day of no cooking which we both love! She also knows if she is getting a head bath or just a body bath. She also gets to pick our post dinner activity – building with lego, magnatiles, imaginary games, board games or reading. Usually it is 2 of the activities above. Having her aware of the plan, helps a whole lot and she is not upset to have say limited play time the days she has to wash her hair.

          I do not bother about having a perfectly clean spotless kitchen. If I were to sit and clean my kitchen and make it all sparkly every night, it would take me a good 30 minutes that would take away from my time with Bandar. I do what I can after dinner and I do a little bit in the morning when I am waiting for breakfast and lunches to cook. Also the husbadoo has clearly banned me from being around any chemical products at all during the pregnancy and wants to wipe down surfaces in the kitchen himself. And of course, he doesn’t do it when I want him to, and definitely not several days a week.

          I try to limit cooking to maybe 2 times a week and this is mainly for Bandar. I usually aim at two different subjis a week for Bandar and a pulav or a khichidi during the week. I have a cook who comes in once a week but her cooking usually isn’t suitable for Bandar as it is a tad spicy but it works for us as such. No, Bandar does not get fresh food every day and neither do we, but we survive and are fine with it.

          My house gets deep cleaned by a cleaner every three weeks. On weekdays, I do some basic picking up of toys and clothes but that’s about it.  Weekends that the cleaner does not come, I might spend a little more time cleaning my house. But again on weekends my priority is quality time with my family , so cooking and cleaning take a backseat though not doing any of it is not an option. My house is not spic and span and tidy if you were to visit without notice. But it honestly does not bother us all that much but I can see this not working for other families.

          I lie down with Bandar till she falls asleep and often find myself falling asleep with her. I blame the tiredness on the pregnancy! Lying down with her, extends our time together and most of our meaningful conversations happen at this time and this is not something I am okay giving up.  In my dream life, I would not have to get up after she sleeps to wrap up office work. But sadly this is something I have to do a few days of the week.

          Bandar gets read to as she eats. This is how is has always been since she was 18 months old and it works for us. We rotate out Enid Blyton Classics or library books and we both enjoy this time.

          I definitely try to only do office work after she sleeps and not go into the kitchen again if I can help it. That way I am focused on exactly two things – Bandar and work during the evenings. If I were to enter the kitchen again and either clean up or do some cooking, work would take a backseat and that is not something I am okay with.

          Occasionally if the hubsand is home at a decent hour before 9 pm , and Bandar is asleep and we both are not tired out or have work deadlines, we  watch a show together on the couch while he eats dinner.

          I try to avoid looking at my phone most evenings but sometimes in a particularly long imaginary game, my mind strays and I check messages and this is always a bad choice as my attention is not a 100% on Bandar like I want it to be. An exception I make is to sometimes call my parents or in laws as well for a quick update on our lives.

 

 

 Of course, all this is only applicable till baby arrives and all routines go out of the window again. I know those days are going to involve endless feedings, magical mountains of pump parts washing (the absolute worst part of the first year) , bottle washing (lots of joy in this activity if the bottles have small parts like Dr.Browns) , pumping, solids feeding and all that jazz , atleast for a while!

 

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5 Responses to “Evenings with Bandar”

  1. MissH April 12, 2017 at 12:37 am #

    Loved reading this! Love to Bandar, you and the to-be-born.

    • popgoesthebiscuit April 12, 2017 at 4:45 am #

      Thank you and welcome to this space

      • MissH April 13, 2017 at 12:52 am #

        Thank you so much! I have been a silent reader since years but finally de-lurked yesterday as I thought I should start showing/sharing my love ❤ 🙂

  2. anisnest April 18, 2017 at 11:22 pm #

    This post takes me back to Adi only days.. our evening was almost similar to this. I pick up the girl, we are home by 6, I cook, she writes, we eat and then we read and bedtime.. blissful days.. Not to scare you but after the second one and the increased commute to work, things went for a toss.. I am trying to get the control back.. I must admit it has got a little better with M sharing some evening chores that he dreads to do otherwise..

    • popgoesthebiscuit April 19, 2017 at 1:18 am #

      Ya baby is definitely going shake this up for us. No idea how single working parents do this stuff.The husband has to come home early and we can both probably do office work after the kids sleep. I don’t know..Stuff has to change for sure for us to be able to sustain tjis

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