Alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. I get up. Notice I didn’t say, “I wake up,” because I will already have done that, usually because Jane has already asked me many, many questions. Like how to spell something. Or what a penguin eats. Or to button up one of her princess costumes. Or to help her in the bathroom. Yesterday I was so tired when she came in to ask me how to write the letter “V,” for some reason my answer was to “put some extra legs on it.” What does that even mean? Was I half-dreaming of an octopus?
6:30-8 a.m.: Shower, hair, makeup, iron something, get dressed. Get Jane dressed and fed. Feed myself something protein-riffic (eggs). Make my salad and snacks for work. Deal with some sort of drama. (Today it was because Jane didn’t like her waffles. She said they were “brown, not yellow.” They were the same waffles she’s had for days. She was bawling like a lunatic.) Let the dogs out. Call the dogs in. Call them in again. Beg them to come in. Check them for ticks. Feed the dogs. Clean up any of Jane’s small toys on the floor so the dogs don’t chew them. Sometimes pry a toy out of Junior’s gaping maw. Get Jane’s supplies ready for school (today it was her nap backpack, permission slip for a field trip, and weekly sticker drop-off chart). Wake Greg up at some point. He gets ready in five minutes. By the end of this morning routine I often feel like my head is about to explode, and I haven’t even left for work yet. Take Tylenol.
8-8:30 a.m.: Strap Jane into Greg’s car, and make sure she can see me waving to her, because she REALLY NEEDS TO SEE ME WAVING TO HER or all hell breaks loose. They head off to daycare. I drive to work with a stop at Au Bon Pain for coffee. Get to work at 8:30.
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Work. Marketing. Still adjusting to the part-time schedule, despite the fact that I have been there for six months already. It still feels weird but I know once Jane starts kindergarten (which is part-time in my town) in September, it will be ideal. Going part-time while she was in the early years of school was my goal since she was born because I wanted to be around more before and after school, and I am extremely fortunate to have found a job in my field that I really like that offers benefits with the hours I have. I am a lucky ducky.
12:30-3 p.m.: Chores – grocery store, Target, cleaning, blogging – stuff like that. Today I have to go to the AT&T store to get help for my ailing Blackberry. Poor, poor little Blackberry, how I abuse you. Again – once Jane is in school, this free time to myself goes away. It feels so strange to have it in the first place – I feel guilty that I have it– so I try to use it to get stuff done for the house and the family. Of course, I do sometimes take the time to do me stuff – like the lovely, lovely pedicure I got last Friday. And I also often take trips to the library. I used to also often stop at Starbucks but my wretched diet won’t let me do that right now. Eh – my wallet’s happy, anyway.
3-5 p.m.: I usually pick up Jane around 3ish. When I started working part-time, I wanted to pick her up earlier in the afternoon – but when I’m getting out of work, she’s settling down for nap at school. Waking that girl up from nap is basically saying you want to take a hellfire beast home for the afternoon. So, you know, to avoid that, I pick her up after nap and snack, and if I’m running late, while she’s outside in the playground with her friends. It’s a rough life for Jane, obvs. Then we hang, play, go outside if it’s nice – you know. Kid stuff. On Mondays like today, we go from school to dance class. She dances from 4:15-5 while I chat with the moms, and then we’re home by 5:30ish. Sometimes there is post-class sticker crying drama (she didn’t get the sticker she wanted from the teacher). I repeat: it’s a rough life for Jane.
5-8 p.m.: And here comes another whirlwind timeframe. I make dinner for myself and Jane (sometimes Greg is home in time, sometimes not). For me, at this point, it involves some fish and salad most likely, and she eat typical kid stuff, like pasta and chicken nuggets. Whatever she has, she adds a healthy dose of ketchup. Feed the dogs. Let them out. After cleaning up from dinner, I get her into her bath, which can last up to an hour, no lie. She had a swell time for herself in the bath. While she’s in there (assuming Greg is now home), I go out walking. I live in a hilly area, so power walking around here is for serious. I come home, if Jane’s out of the tub I get her ready for bedtime if Greg hasn’t already, then she plays and/or watches some shows (Dora, Diego, Backyardigans, Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus and Barbie and the Magic of the Rainbow are current faves). During this time I’m either reading or messing around on my computer, although lately I’ve been going through our closets and drawers and doing a massive purging, so I might also be doing something useful like that. I’m a lot more inclined to get my ass off the couch now that it’s light out in the evenings.
At 8 p.m. the epic bedtime battle begins. Jane. Does. Not. Like. Going. To. Bed. She employs every stalling tactic in the book – needs water, bathroom trip, an extra hug, and extra kiss, needs to be tucked in, needs some crayons, needs five books, needs five more books, is scared, needs room checked for dragons, monkeys and dinosaurs, etc, etc, etc until forever. After she’s come out and I’ve gone in to her room about one million times, she will fall asleep. Sometimes this is as late as 10 p.m. It’s insane. (Can you see why I love escaping the madness for rehearsals when I’m doing a show??)
During this time Greg and I are messing around on our computers and/or watching the shows we actually watch together, like The Daily Show, The Office, Modern Family, Up All Night, or maybe a movie. I can tell you for sure we will be watching my beloved MAD MEN when it returns on Sunday night -awwwww to the freaking yeaaahhhhh. A couple of times a week Greg has band practice in our basement so I read or watch the shows he hates (Survivor, Biggest Loser, Parenthood). Right now I am reading The Submission by Amy Waldman, which is my book club’s current read (my choice).
I usually fall asleep with a book on my face around 10:30-11. I typically wake up three or four times a night.
These days, the happiest moment of my day often happen when I secretly watch or listen to Jane playacting. She has started to act out all of the movies or shows she watches complete with props and cast (her stuffed animals) and I freaking love it. LOVE. IT.