A Day in the Life… in April

6:15 I wake up hearing a regular, intermittent beeping.  It takes me a few minutes to realize that it’s a smoke alarm whose battery has run down.  Outside our room, the smoke alarm at the top of the stairs dangles by its wires, and a step ladder leans against the wall.  I wonder how early Sam was trying to fix it… and why he gave up.

6:45 I come downstairs after a good, hot shower to find everyone playing.  The boys have half the living room floor covered with Pokemon, and the girls are playing house with the plastic dinosaurs.  SweetP: “You be the mom.” M: “No! I always have to be the mom!  I’m not playing with you!”  So much for that.  Time for breakfast.

7:05 After being the short order cook– bagels with cinnamon sugar, bagels with cream cheese, cereal with yogurt, cereal with milk, hot chocolate– I finally get my own bowl of oatmeal.  I hate breakfast.

7:12 After eating (you’d think all that work would keep the happy for more than 7 minutes!) everyone does their kitchen jobs and resumes playing.  M is unaccountably happy now to be the dinosaur mom.  She’s yelling at all the other dinosaurs to clean up their rooms.

7:30 I put in a load of laundry and spend half an hour answering emails and attending to prescription refills and lab results.  (Even though it’s a drag on my family time, I’m grateful our work EMR allows me now to deal with urgent issues from work in a timely fashion.  It’s a good thing for my patients.)

8:15 I take the laundry onto the porch to hang it up.  It’s supposed to be 70 today, but right now it’s cold.  I wish I’d put on my rubber gloves.  The morning is beautiful, with a blue sky.  The robins have made a nest in our crab apple tree and are chirping at me when I cross too close to their tree.

8:30 My neighbor is out trying to turn her sprinkler system back on.  The girls appear and want to “help” us.  When my neighbor and I try to figure out what’s wrong (without success), M pulls about 8 big weeds out of the rocks in front of her house.  Who knew she was such a good weeder?  Why doesn’t she spontaneously weed our rocks?

9 Sesame Street is on, and SweetP goes to watch it while M and I sit down to her piano lesson.  I encouraged the boys to begin their notebook work.  Instead, they watch Sesame Street.

9:30 M did well in her lesson and goes to watch Sesame Street as well.  I use the half hour to re-pot our seedlings, which are all much too big for their little peat pellets.

9:55  Everyone returns from Sesame Street.  SweetP “helps” me with the re-potting, and the big kids start their notebook work.  M is determined and efficient.  J is not motivated to work on his math and diddles around with his reading and journal entries.

10:10 O gets bogged down in fractions and goes from okay to tears in 60 seconds.  I tell him to go to his room. He says, “It’s because I’m still sick!”  I tell him to go to bed– if he’s well enough to play Pokemon for an hour, he’s well enough to do fractions.  He goes to bed.

10:25 M is done with the day’s work, including reading to me from Beverly Cleary’s Socks and doing 15 minutes of Rosetta Stone.  While she’s putting R.S. away, she finds O’s missing mp3 player, and suddenly it works!  (It had been on the fritz.)  She runs it upstairs to O, who– oddly– is playing legos and “isn’t sick any more.”  I tell him to come back downstairs to finish his fractions.

10:30 I hang more laundry outside.  The temptation is too great, and I grab the step stool to see what’s happening in the robins’ nest.  Mrs. Robin is not at all happy about this.  I misjudge my angle, and the step stool falls over.  I have to jump down.  The repaired knee (post-op day 6) is not happy about this, but Mrs. Robin is seen chuckling as she settles back in her nest.

11:00 We all pull out clay and play dough and our read-alouds.  I am especially eager to read, as it’s the first day we’ve had together since my voice is back.  We read some of The World of Christopher Columbus and Sons, On the Shores of Silver Lake, and And Then There Were Five.  Oh, I’ve missed this– even all the interruptions to show me the clay x-wing fighter and the play dough carrot cookies.  Especially that.

11:55 I throw some spaghetti sauce and cheese on English muffins for lunch.  The kids are excited to try “the comparison game” from And Then There Were Five.  (One person tries to guess the identity of a person agreed upon by the others by asking comparison questions: “What vegetable is he/she most like?”)  It was great.  This person was the most fun– she was described as most like J in our family, the color purple, a beach, and a Newfoundland.  See, you knew it was Grandma Judy!

1:00 We do our kitchen jobs.  I read SweetP a Beatrix Potter story, and everyone goes up for rest time.  SweetP doesn’t WANT to take a nap, or even go into her room.  TANTRUM!

1:20 Instead of doing my knee PT, I categorize several months of old blog posts.  Do we even care?

1:30 The babysitter calls and CAN sit tonight (see how far ahead I plan?)  Excellent.  I google to directions to where I’m going and call her back– can I pick her up twenty minutes earlier?

2:00 The elephants descend.  There is much fun: more pokemon battles, chair ballet (and yes, she’s still in her pajamas), digging in the hole in the backyard, mud everywhere…

3:00 WordGirl comes on.  I let folks watch while I finally do my PT.  (Yeah, I should’ve done it earlier and used this time productively, but…)  Then I read a little and call two of my patients about referrals.

3:30  They: “Can we watch Wild Kratts?”  Mommy:  “If your work is done.”  But J’s work is NOT done, and he wastes another 15 minutes pouting about Wild Kratts and trying to bargain to use “today’s” computer time tomorrow if he doesn’t have time to use it today because of not getting his geometry done.  The answer is No.  He finally sits down to do it.

4:00 Legos, reading, bathroom chores, putting laundry away.  More geometry– or maybe it was only geometry tantrums?

4:45 Mommy: “In five minutes we’re going to pick up the babysitter.”  J: “Wait!  My geometry isn’t done.”  Very wordy discussion about making wise choices, and how I don’t feel bad for him that he chose to use his time today watching WordGirl and part of Sesame Street instead of doing geometry when the time was ripe.  Big, fat lower lip sticking out.

5:15 I’m in the car, driving across town for a Soup-tasting fundraiser.  We are guests of one of Sam’s colleagues, and I am his doting wife.  I spend most of the evening trying to think of something to say other than, “Well, you’re the one who chose to watch Sesame Street…”

9:00 We’re home.  I take the sitter home and come back to ice my knee.  Heading upstairs with my ice pack, I see Sam on the step stool, trying to figure out how to fix the smoke alarm.  It’s going to be a long night.

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