The death of a productive day (Ulog #14)


Some days start with so much promise! Today, the little one was at daycare for the whole day, my wife was going to be at Dutch class in the morning, where I would meet her for lunch (with the older daughter) and then the two of them would stay in the city doing Mother/Daughter bonding time until the late afternoon when they would pick up the little one from daycare and head home.

So, in theory, I would have had most of the day to myself. To practice, do the taxes and tidy up all the administrative/computing stuff that had been left undone for way too long. If I was lucky, I would even have time left over for some gaming!

In Practice

“…no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.”

quoted from “On Strategy” (1871)/”Über Strategie” (1871), Helmuth von Moltke the Elder.

Well, that was the plan but a number of things turned my ideal plan for the day (and my brain) to mush.

Well, the first problem was an ongoing problem at the moment. Recently, in the last few weeks, our toddler (dreumes, which funnily enough also means minnow) has been a terrible sleeper. She has been taking about 2-3 hours to fall asleep and she has tended to wake for a couple hours in the middle of the night, before waking up early.

We’ve tried all the tricks, staying inside, staying outside… screaming… crying …. everything…  weirdly enough, the oldest is immune to it all, completely fast asleep through all of it! To top it off, we just took the railings off her bed, as it is currently the best free time for the two of us to try and handle that particular hurdle!

EDIT: As I was writing that last paragraph, the youngest just pooped in the bath. This day is turning out crappy in more ways that one…. I didn’t have the presence of mind to take photos to include for this ulog, next time I’ll be better prepared! Sorry, this time you’ll just have to use your imagination…

As my wife for the past two weeks has been doing an intensive Dutch course and I’m not currently doing too much work (that changes this weekend!), I’ve been taking the bulk evening and night duties (it doesn’t help that I’m a light sleeper). Which means I’m pretty much a zombie in the morning (I operate pretty badly on lack of sleep), on most of the days, I can get an extra hour or so before my wife leaves for her class, but this morning I needed to help get the younger one ready to go. So no extra sleep….

The other “problem” has been that the weather has been uncommonly good. Hot, no rain for the past few weeks, it’s pretty unusual for The Netherlands to be like this for such a long period of time! On the other hand, I prefer it to the wind and the rain, although today it hit over 35 degrees Celcius (2.74246 million degrees Fahrenheit for those who still use that ancient system).

I know that I’m Australian and that I should be able to handle this sort of heat, but the truth is that I’ve lost my ability to handle heat. However, it is mostly also due to the fact that the houses here are just not equipped or designed to handle high temperatures, in fact, they are designed to heat or keep heat in. So, our house was pretty warm today, the attic was unbearable, the middle was warm and the bottom was the only refuge!

However, there might be some relief, as I can hear the distant rumble of thunder, so there might be a thunderstorm this evening to drop the temperature. Although, it is a bit late for the @ifc photo round….

My Zombie morning

So, after sending my wife and youngest off in the morning. My plan was to get back straight to sleep. However, the early morning heat put that idea on hold and in the end, I didn’t end up finding the time to do it at any point in the day.

Now, when I’m tired like this, my wife tells me I’m completely vague. Well, she also adds the qualifier, annoyingly vague. I feel slow, my brain skips beats and I can’t seem to hold a train of thought for longer than a few seconds before staring off into space again.

For example, this morning, when I finally decided to give up on the sleeping and to make my coffee, I managed to turn on and off the coffee machine about 10 times before being able to make myself a coffee. I would turn it on, then get distracted by cleaning or tidying up the morning breakfast mess. It would turn itself off, then I would turn it on again (the turning off was a reminder that I wanted a coffee)… rinse and repeat…. I pretty sure that I ended up with a coffee, but I’m not totally sure now that I’m trying to remember back.

So, the bulk of the morning was spent looking for the bank authentication token. I needed it, and it wasn’t getting found. After a couple of hours, I finally found it in the inside pocket of my concert jacket. I have NO idea why it would be there, and also no idea why I ended up looking there.

Before I knew it, the morning was over, and I had to get the bike truck ready to meet my wife to hand over our oldest daughter.

My Zombie afternoon

We ended up having a nice lunch together, although, I was drenched in sweat after riding the bakfiets (bucket bike) into town. For some reason, I had forgotten to put shorts and t shirt on, instead managing to dress myself in long pants and a long sleeves. Well, it was what was on top of the pile!

Riding back (and there) was a bit of a blur, I’m pretty happy I didn’t get hit by anything. The sun was out in full force and so it was pretty hot riding, despite the flat gradient and the lack of wind.

I was pretty determined (when I could get the fuzziness out of my head) that I would at least finish the VAT/BTW quarterly declaration. I remember a time (before kids) when I would just log each receipt and invoice as they came in, immediately or on the same day at the latest. These days, I save them up for the end of the quarter, and then try and do it. Not the best plan for today, I ended up ditching about half the possible claims because I just couldn’t be bothered trying to do them.

Surprisingly enough, I did manage to complete a normally 2 hour job within 4 hours. Most of that was due to the fact  I was just ditching stuff rather than logging them. Well, I still had some time before the family arrived back home, so I had a go at practicing. Nope, bad idea, on days like this, it is best to cut your losses and come back when your brain and fingers are deciding to co-operate together.

So, it was just menial cleaning tasks and cooking. The most hilarious part of it was filling up the toilet paper dispensers. I would walk to the attic, stare around having forgotten the reason for going there… and then walk back, see the empty dispensers, walk back up…. forgotten… walk back down…

Finally, Rescue

I was finally rescued by the return of my wife and children. They had originally planned to go to the Kinder Boeken Museum (The children’s book museum) which s a favourite of our oldest, but in the end had decided to spend their bonding time by going shopping… Some sunglasses (for my wife) and a new swim constume (a bikini) for the daughter, and I’m sure there is more loot that they never told me about…

Anyway, as I write this, I’m again sitting on the floor of the toddler’s room. The poop has been dealt with, I’m completely brain fried, and as a little bonus, I’m testing out the Visual editor on my blog, to see how SteemPress will handle it. It really feels weird to be typing this all up with no markdown!

I’ll just end it with a little photo of my daughter trying to look bad arse!

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