Errry day I’m shuff-uh-lin’
Describing a day in the life up in here is a lot like trying to explain the circulatory system—it’s hard to know exactly where to start. Every action leads to the next action and there’s no natural break until Friday night, when we wait until the kids are in bed and then lie like slugs on the couch for four solid hours before crashing into bed. (We probably should be doing something constructive then. But while we’re on that couch, in our heads we are giving a big middle finger to constructive.)
Also, this might be like reading an account of someone else’s dream: bohhhhrinnnng. But I record it here to have an accurate description of it later, so I can read and reminisce with a laugh while lounging with my bon bons watching my adolescent children do all the cooking and cleaning.
The morning is the wild card, because who knowwwwws what happened the night before. Did we all sleep through the night? (No.) Did anyone wet the bed? (Happening less and less, but still a possibility.) Did anyone have a bad dream? (L spends many a night cramped into Rosie’s twin bed, having been startled out of sleep in our room by alarmed calling out.) My alarm clock is set for 5:45, but if any of the previous things went down, the possibility of me hitting snooze/turning the alarm off (which means passing Max off to L, who gets up with him like a CHAMP and I love him forever and ever for it, amen) is high. If I’m not on the road by 7:15 at the latest, an 8 a.m. start to the work day ain’t happening, so a 4 p.m. leave time is not easy. But if I don’t leave work by 4 p.m., allllll the evening duties are pushed back, which makes for later bedtimes, which makes for less time to get ALL THE THINGS DONE before going to bed, which means a late start in the morning, and then the blood gets oxygen from the lungs and goes back to the heart which pumps it out to the brain and body which uses the oxygen and on and on and on …
So out the door at whenever o’ clock, with a stop for coffee if I am lucky enough to have been bequeathed a coffee gift card (which lately, I have, thanks to my sister) and then workworkworkwork until quittin’ time slash gotta go or I’ll be late to get the kids time and then drivedrivedrive to the (thankfully, blissfully only) one stop shop for the crew. The logistics of The Pickup have been thoroughly tested since Max began there in September, and I have it down to somewhat of an art. (Likewise, L has the morning schlep down to artform, as I gettheheckouttadodge and he finagles the drop offs.) The two younger kids are in one building and Noah is in another connected building that is on a different level, so I park closest to Noah’s entrance and then head for Max and Rosie, so that when I have all three, we will be closest to the car. Tricky these days is the fact that my spaghetti noodle arms are not strong enough to carry Sir Maximum Chubster while in his car seat, so up the steps I go to fetch the seat, which L has very nicely left inside the front door, and then back down the steps to the car to fasten it in.
Back in the day when Max was car seat carry-able
Back UP the steps I go and straight to the infant room, because while I miss all three of my kids during the day, it’s the baby one I cannot wait to snorffle at the underside of his neck folds. Entering the room requires the removal of shoes, so depending on my footwear of choice that day I either de-shod or slap on the surgical booties they provide for the days when you’ve worn your hiking boots laced up tight or what have you. Then I beeline it for Max, who is shaking and bopping with glee that I’m there to get him, and who gets rewarded with much smooching and high-pitched sounds of ridiculous infatuation. Then I have awkward conversation with the teachers who don’t speak A.) much and/or B.) much English as I sign him out and wrangle his bag o’ excremented upon cloth diapers and empty bottles. I leave all his gear by his door and go to the very end of the hallway to fetch Rosie, who may or may not be on the playground, necessitating a hike down a second and third set of steps.
Collecting Rosie is as unpredictable as the whole day itself—someday she’s in The Zone and coloring a Very Important Piece Of Art, the completion of which only she can decide. Other days she barrels towards me and then past me and I call to her down the hall to come back so she can help me carry the 17 pieces of paper she’s inevitably bringing home that day. Usually she is willing to do this. Most of the time.
Max + bag o’ bottles n’ poop diapers is often weight enough to make me stagger (I could probably benefit from some exercise, I think) but off we go to the elevator to go down to Noah’s realm of the After School Big Kids. Once we’re there, I give up on being able to keep up with Rosie. The counselors love her and she feels right at home, letting herself into the director’s office, walking up and talking to everyone. Max and Noah always greet each other with a brotherly smile.
Again, before the car seat was deigned back-breakingly not worth it.
Then, huzzah! We are all collected. Well, collected, but not collected, if you know what I mean—stuff’s falling out of bags, kids are running, I’m saying “Wait! Wait at the curb! Wait for me!” and then we load into the car—Noah clamors into the middle first while I buckle in Max and Rosie waits in her seat while I come back around to click her into place. Home we go. (Home is less than a minute away.)
It seems like so little is left, no? But the sweeping saga of DAY IN THE LIFE continues at full throttle once we pull up to our place. Max is now awake and calling to me for nighttime attention, though, so I will continue on tomorrow. Looks like the morning alarm is destined for the snooze …