Both eventually crawl out of bed. Parent A gets dressed and Parent B tiptoes into the boys room and tries to pull Ari out of bed without waking up Jude (50% success rate, especially on a morning when Ari says in a loud voice "Am I going to school?)
Parent B brushes Ari's teeth, dresses him and repeats any instructions to him at least 10 times. His hearing is horrible in the morning and you might as well be talking to a hitching post. Parent A meets them in the entrance and goes out the door with Ari by 7:30.
Parent A and Ari run to catch a bus (either the 538 or the 467). On the way to school there is a mix of taxi counting, story telling and sometimes silence.
Parent A drops Ari off at school, watches as he has his temperature taken and tonsils checked and then runs back to be squished onto a bus. This parent may have to pick up milk or cereal on the way home.
When Parent A gets home (8:15-8:30) Parent B has coffee ready in the French press and Jude is eating. The two parents eat breakfast and drink coffee together.
Parent B goes to the MCC office (9:00), and Parent A either works from home or does other things while Jude plays.
At 11:30 Parent B leaves office, catches the 467 bus and picks up Ari. More counting taxis. Two days ago we saw 52 in the short time of waiting for the bus.
When Parent B and Ari get home (12:15-12:30), Parent A has made lunch. The two parents exchange 5 minutes of small talk while gobbling lunch.
At 12:30 the sound of the doorbell pierces the air...and doesn't stop. It keeps going, and going and going... Heaven forbid you should be in the bathroom and unable to answer the door when Aiyi arrives! After you buzz her in, Aiyi comes in with a flury of "Hen leng, hen leng, hen leng!" (So cold! So cold! So cold!). When speaking to us Aiyi calls us "Oreh de Baba" (Ari's father) and "Oreh de Mama" (Ari's mother). I think it would be embarrassing at this point to tell her that we have names!
Parent A gets ready to go to class with the inevitable caution from Aiyi of "Duo chuan yifu!" (Wear more layers of clothes!). Parent B goes back to the office.
During the time that Aiyi is at the house Ari refers to Jude as "Judah" and to himself as "Oreh". Jude also refers to Ari as "Oreh"
Parent A studies four progressive hours of Chinese (from 1:00-5:00) with four different teachers.
Parent B stays at office until 4:15 and then comes home and makes supper while Parent A squishes home on the bus.
Parent A gets home (6:00) and there is a short while to relax while waiting for supper.
We eat supper. This is a mix of reminding the boys that supper is for eating and not playing with and that if they talk more than they eat, they may have to be quiet. There is also quite a bit of "Ari, Jude, sit properly. Do you think you are riding a horse?"
Jess practices piano for an hour while James reads or is on the computer. The boys run around playing, yelling, giving each other horse back rides etc.
Boys go to bed at 8:00. One parent does teeth brushing and the other does storytelling.
James and Jess retreat to a room with one lamp on and try to ignore the upstairs neighbor who bought an electric guitar a few weeks ago and plays the same three 80's hair-band songs every night for up to four hours. We have contemplated that he seems to be trying to start a band. The other night someone was playing scales on the piano to the guitar song, someone else was drumming and the guitarist was constantly singing at the voice cracking range. Once in a while James starts to sing along. I hate to rain on their parade, but I don't think they will make it far. Its just too bad that the lack of garages around her renders the term "garage band" unusable.
Jess reads on the couch (usually falling asleep before 10) and James continually comments how much he "loves" our neighbors music, while reading about strange topics on Wikipedia (a recent example being the Assyrian Church of the East).
James wakes Jess because its bedtime.
The next day Parents A and B switch roles.
The other day as I was waiting for the elevator at the office building, my ears were assaulted. Someone had parked their pink motorbike inside the entrance and their high-pitched alarm decided to go off. The entrance has many curves and is solidly stone, so the sound ricocheted around the small area, building and building. The bike itself was also getting louder and I saw that it eventually became so frenzied that it was throwing itself around. It was a truly horrible noise and I could feel the blood pounding in my ears in time with the alarm. Needless to say, I was very happy when the elevator arrived.