I make plans. Lots of plans. They tend to go a bit like this:
0500 I will start the day early so I can get in a morning workout, quiet prayer/meditation time, and then get ready for the day while the kids independently eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, and fix hair.
I just entered the deepest level of sleep at precisely the same time the alarm clock buzzed. I can’t leap out of bed straight from deep, deep sleep. I’ll get the bends and die. Also, I’m exhausted. Snooze … snooze … snooze …
“WHAT TIME IS IT!?! KEITH!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?”
Wake up kids. Feed kids. Remind kids several times of the eatbreakfastgetdressedbrushteethbrushhairpreparetoleave routine that we follow EVERY SINGLE WEEKDAY MORNING. Shower. Remind them again.
Use the American Girl doll brush to comb my hair. (Don’t worry. I sprayed the girls’ detangler spray on first … which is good because we were out of conditioner … and now my hair smells like cherry berry happiness).
0700 I’ll wait in our driveway for the school bus with the kids and use that time together to discuss the day and send them off to school happy and in good spirits.
Throw open the garage door and throw air kisses while running back into the house to find my phone, yell towards the garage “HAVE A GREAT DAY AT SCHOOL!!” find socks, “DAVID, APOLOGIZE TO YOUR SISTER!!”, locate Molly’s most special of all Dora toys, “LOVE YOU KIDS!!”, let the dogs out, “DO NOT STEP ONE FOOT OUT OF THAT GARAGE!!”, let the dogs in, “EMILY HE DID APOLOGIZE. I HEARD HIM!!”, attempt to clean the coffee spilled on shirt with a baby wipe, “WHAT PERMISSION SLIP? DUE TODAY!?!”, find pen, sign slip, “LOVE YOU, MISS YOU, BE GOOD!!”, run to room to get a replacement shirt, sprint back to garage to give the final wave good-bye as they climb on the bus, breathe sigh of relief that my shirt managed to be on at the end of my sprint into the garage (apparently it’s bad bus stop etiquette to flash the school bus).
0720 Molly and I will leave for her preschool on time so we can do a non-rushed drop off.
0720 Molly, please get your coat on it’s time to leave.
0725 Molly you love your cat shirt. Please don’t take off your shirt.
0730 Molly, I don’t know where your special stick is but we can find another stick later.
0735 Molly, they’re on the wrong feet. Because I know they are. Molly, do you want to change them or do you want mommy to? Molly, I need you to answer with words not in a song. Mommy doesn’t have time for a song.
0740 Potty? Now!?! Molly, you can go potty at school in 10 minutes? An emergency … let’s go …
0745 Drive Molly to preschool
0800 I will show up at work ready to leap into the day’s work. Fight the fight. Counsel the people. Coordinate. Advocate. Facilitate.
Run to the bathroom at work to confirm that makeup was applied to both eyes. Remove Molly’s most special Dora toy from my pocket. (Dora toys hanging out of pockets do not inspire professional confidence.) Attempt to switch gears. Hide Dora toy in purse. Spend the workday trying to get the Dora, Dora, Dora song out of my head.
1630 I’ll go home to connect with the kids. Savor. Teach. Love.
Go home. Locate the most special pink leotard out of the drawers filled with pink leotards, sing the praises of cursive and multiplication, chase the dogs around the yard, do a load of laundry, drive to dance, discuss the real life applications of multiplication and the dying art of cursive on the way, drive back home, clean something, inspire the whining third grader with motivational words. (“Fine. I get it. You don’t like multiplication. And cursive is stupid. But you will do it because I say so. You will do it quietly. With a smile. See, I’m smiling.”) Smile.
1730 I’ll prepare a home-cooked, whole-food meal – nourishing to body and soul.
Make a recipe in the easy, quick, or “meals for the working mom” section of life. Include broccoli. Broccoli is healthy. Good moms steam broccoli.
1815 We will sit down as a family to eat. Share our day. Encourage conversation.
Me: “So did anything cool happen today?”
Emily: “Do boys have boobs?”
Me: “Emily, what?”
Emily: “Dad was watching that alligator show(Swamp People) and one of the people in the show didn’t wear his shirt and he had man boobs.”
Me: “Emily, we can talk about that later but I don’t think it’s appropriate for the dinner table.”
Emily: “So there are man boobs but they’re inappropriate?”
Me: “Stop. Saying. Man. Boobs.”
David: “What about man breasts?”
Keith: “No more talking.”
1900 Bodies fed and dishes cleaned, spend an hour for family time – read together, take a walk, or play a game. Enjoy each other.
Referee a heated discussion regarding Santa’s role in Valentine’s Day.
2030 Put the kids to bed
Try to encourage Molly to stop saying (repeatedly), “You have to be good. Valentine’s Day is coming and Santa is watching.” We don’t need to go down that path again with her brother and sister, who have made it a personal mission to clear up her holiday confusion. (Secretly whisper to Molly that she needs to stay in bed because “Santa’s watching her.” Debate if that was bad parenting. Decide I have to use what I have and that invoking the power of Santa is fair game. Even at Valentine’s Day.)
2130 I’ll spend an hour in the evening doing things I never have enough time for: write, sew, plan a garden, connect with friends, read, learn yoga, weave a basket, write a letter, contemplate deep things.
Collapse in chair. Check Facebook. Google time management. Write something (on Facebook).
2230 Go to bed
Go. To. Bed.