A Day [Un]Like Any Other

Sometimes the days pass, and I get swept up in the busy, and I don’t have any accounting of what I did. So I decided that yesterday, I would take notes all day of what I was doing so that I’d have more to say to my husband than “I hung out and played with the 3-year-old all day, and then the other 2 came home, and then other stuff happened, and now I fall down!” and forget many of the precious details from my life. It is my ongoing challenge–to really live in the moment. To not get caught up in worrying about the career I left behind, the professional leveling up that I will have to figure out. The transition to work that I will someday soon have to face. So, this day, is just an ordinary day, but it is also an especially extraordinary day.
 

Read on, if you’re so inclined.

Andrew woke at 6am. And that’s when my day began

Allen does most of the morning routine to get the girls ready for school, so I only help. I’m fashion consultant for the middle child. Sock-matcher for the oldest. Task-master of all lollygaggers and time-wasters. And it’s my job to walk them to the door of the school. Not that I NEED to, as it’s across the street. But they like it when I walk them, so I do.

Then, I returned and tried to get Allen to help me figure out Tweetdeck, because I am not the most savvy user of technology.

I kissed Allen goodbye, and he headed off for work.
That was 8:30. Beginning at 8:31, Andrew and I did the following:
  • Played frogs and ninjas
  • Made Lego homes for the frogs
  • Had breakfast
  • Watched Pingu on Netflix while I tried to write (unsuccessfully)
  • Played Trouble (Andrew cheated!)
  • Played Memory Game
  • Played Disney Dominoes
  • Painted
  • Finger painted (because painting always ends as finger-painting!)
  • Played in the soapy water in the sink
  • Did 2 big floor puzzles, twice
  • Ate Lunch
  • Watched Power Rangers while I tried to write (semi-successfully)
  • Played balloon catch
  • Played balloon catch while Andrew sat on the potty, with bonus FIRST POOP ON THE POTTY!! *much celebration*
  • Read some books
  • Emailed photo of poop to Daddy!
  • Played yet more balloon catch

At this time, my two kids return from school! Yay! I happily greet them on the porch and breathe a sigh of relief. Because my oldest is home, and she has lots of energy. She takes Andrew out of my arms, and I walk inside, hand-in-hand with my awesome, chatty 8 year old as she tells me about her day.

Painting with children is both an artistic endeavor, and a sensory experience! And for those of us who are borderline obsessive-compulsive, it’s also CRAZY-MAKING!

From 2:30 to 5, my list continues:
  • Watched oldest play with 3-year-old while I answer email
  • Help middle child with homework, which she finishes in her customary 5 minutes
  • Send her out to play in the dirt
  • Put flowers she cut for me into water
  • Repeat the above twice more (all 3 kids wanted to give me roses from the garden. Awww!)
  • Helped oldest with homework
  • Got kids a snack
  • Negotiated a lollipop break
  • Prepared beef roast for dinner
  • Made Moosewood Brownies with all 3 kids
  • Cleaned up after THAT mess
  • Tried to get oldest back to homework
  • Missed the oldest kid’s Aikido Practice because I didn’t get her ki washed/dried in time to get her to Cambridge (oops)
  • Placated her, then put her in charge of her brother so I can cook!
  • Cooked the rest of dinner
  • Tried to get oldest back to homework
  • Tried to distract youngest with My Little Pony (successful for a few minutes)
  • Again tried to get oldest back to homework
  • Answered the back door and got to sample my neighbor’s first batch of bagels (Yum!)
  • Checked in on email/tried to poke around on the Internets for a few minutes

My life is crazy awesome, thanks in part to these 3 people!

And then the clock hits 5:30pm.

Soon, Allen comes home. I will serve dinner, and afterwards, off he will go with the girls for the special event at the school —  a local author is visiting, and the girls want to hear him speak and get him to sign their book. Although I have the option to go (and would OMG love to), I am a paint-splattered, snarly-haired, chocolate-stained, in-my-fuzzy-slippers species of person that should probably not leave the house. So I stay home with the very tired 3-year-old and a kitchen full of dishes. I will get the kitchen clean by the time 4/5ths of my family returns, while Andrew winds down in the other room, scattering toys every which way and painting all over the middle child’s homework.

Then, they’ll return. I’ll placate the middle child and clean up her homework. The oldest will set her brother on her knee and read him a book. Then, the girls will have reading time, which Allen will supervise and record for school reading logs, while I’ll put Andrew down for the night at 8. He passes out in 5 minutes. The girls will be in bed by 8:30, lights out and snuggled into beds at 8:45. Allen will do some dishes or laundry, and we’ll both clean up the dry paint, the Legos, the cars, the puzzle pieces, the mess around the sink, and pick up the detritus of 3 busy kids.

And then we will snuggle up in our bed and watch a silly show on Netflix (Arrested Development, season 2) and pass out in bed by 10:30, holding hands. And I will sleep for between 3 and 6 wonderful, glorious hours before the boy wakes me up for a night feeding, and I walk on unsteady feet into his room, and he greets me with his usual “Oh, hi Mommy! You come back?”

And that’s my wonderful, exhausting, overflowing-with-beautiful day. And tomorrow, I’ll live a similar day, and I’ll try to remain mindful of the awesome privilege of my stay-at-home existence, of my amazing, unique children, and my hard-working, beloved partner, and the everyday-phenomena of the life we live.

About Terry L. Holt

Writer. Mother. Goddess. President of the Save the Dandelions Club. Climber of trees.
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