(Day 15: Bullet-point your whole day.)
7:15am – Wake up to the sound of my alarm, which is set to play a random song from a Spotify playlist called Wide Awake. Today’s selection? “You’re Too Weird” by the Fruit Bats. Feeling attacked, I turn off the music and lay in bed a bit longer, listening to the birds outside and feeling thankful to see sunshine through the curtains.
7:30am – Head to the bathroom to get ready for work, which entails:
- Brushing my teeth
- Using my fingers to comb my messy hair into less messy bun
- Tying a robe around my mismatched pajamas
7:45am – Hunt for a shaker cup in the kitchen. Find it in the last cabinet I’d expect to. Silently curse my husband for putting it away someplace weird then silently thank my husband for having put the dishes away at all. Make a protein shake using unsweetened chocolate almond milk (because I bought the wrong kind…I prefer the unsweetened vanilla) and vanilla protein powder (because I bought the wrong kind…I prefer the chocolate).
7:58am – Begin my commute to work which entails walking ten steps from the kitchen to the dining room, firing up my laptop, and opening all the websites I need to access for work.
8:00am – Cram as much of a regular work day as possible into the three hours my company has authorized me per day. Today’s interruptions were minimal and included:
- 8:35am – Kissing my girl good morning and supervising her breakfast selection.
- 9:40am – Discussing with my girl the fact that I don’t want her to go outside to play with Neighbor Child 1 and 2** yet because I want her to do her school work first.
- 9:55am – Bathroom break.
- 10:00am – Discussing with my girl the fact that I didn’t like that she snuck out the front door to play with Neighbor Child 1 and 2 while I was in the bathroom. Subsequent to that, accepted her pinkie promise that once I was done working, she’d come in to do school work “straight away.”
- 10:45am – Diffuse my girl’s emotional upset over an ongoing disagreement between her and Neighbor Child 1.
- 10:55am – Agree to my girl grabbing a morning snack for her and Neighbor Child 2. She stated that Neighbor Child 1 is home doing school work. I remind her that she’ll be doing school work soon, too. She pretends not to hear and bounces out the front door with two packs of mini Oreos. She’s wearing a bike helmet. She’s always wearing a bike helmet.
11:15am – Call out the front door to tell my girl it’s time to get school work done. Endure a brief spurt of grumpiness from her about leaving Neighbor Child 2 to come inside. Begin watching the three required videos for the day and try my best to keep her engaged long enough to write 5 “snap words” and a list of 5 words each for -er, -ir, and -ur words.
12:00pm – Grant my girl a bathroom break. With her tablet. Which lasts 30 minutes.
12:30pm – Refuse my girl’s third request for lunch. Promise her said lunch when her last assignment is done. Continue to battle over her task of writing a realistic fiction story. Ignore huffing and pouting for as long as possible before snapping and shouting like a lunatic, “Fine! Let’s stop doing school work! You can just repeat the first grade!”
1:15pm – Rejoice over the fact that she finished her story AND tackled her art project: creating a “worry monster.” Tell her she’s done a great job when she proudly proclaims, “My worry monster is wearing blue and purple pajamas and he’s surprised because he has a brand new bed.” Serve lunch to my girl and breathe a sigh of relief that she’s chosen to eat at the table on the porch.
1:20pm – Make myself a sandwich, which I shovel into my mouth while standing up over the kitchen sink.
1:45pm – Sort laundry. Decide it’s time to put on actual [non-pajama] clothes and brush my hair with an actual hair brush.
2:00pm – Unload the dishwasher. Immediately reload it with all the dishes that have been piled up in the sink for the past 24 hours.
2:05pm – Hear the hose turn on. Run outside to tell my girl, who’s still wearing a bike helmet, to turn off the hose. Listen calmly as she explains that she and Neighbor Child 2 are “watering the flowers” [that we don’t have] out front. I concede and tell her to turn it on just long enough to fill her watering can then turn it immediately off. She complies. Repeatedly.
2:20pm – Venture out into the light of day for the sole purpose of telling my girl that the flowers are watered enough. Decide to make an outing of this trip outside by setting up a camp chair and reading a book in the sunshine while my girl and Neighbor Child 1 and 2 play outside. Encounter the following interruptions:
- 12x – “Mom, watch me…”
- 1x – “Mom, can I grab a snack for all of us?”
- 1x – “Mooooom, I’m hurt!”
3:30pm – Let the wind get the better of me and finally relocate from the front yard to inside the porch. Continue reading until my girl follows me. Wearing a bike helmet. With her tablet. On full blast. Ask her to turn it down some, which she does. But it’s not enough. Give up. Close my book and resort to playing a game on my phone.
4:00pm – The husband returns from work. Breathe a sigh of relief while he takes over parenting. Escape inside to sit in solitude for the first time all day. Except for the dog. Who is whining to get outside again.
4:30pm – Heat up dinner for my girl, which she again chooses to eat on the porch. In her bike helmet.
5:00pm – Negotiate with my girl about dessert. She proposes she gets two scoops of ice cream tonight and promises to not have dessert for a week. I remind her about our weekly Family Movie Night coming up on Friday and point out that she’ll want dessert then. She insists she won’t. I know she’s lying. I counter her with one scoop of ice cream tonight, dessert on Friday, and no dessert otherwise until next Wednesday. The offer is accepted. She chooses to eat on the porch. Neighbor Child 1 and 2 bring over their dinner to dine with her.
5:15pm – Contemplate baking banana muffins, which would require me to get up off the couch and actually do something. But I’m enjoying doing nothing. And eating tortilla chips. In peace.
5:45pm – Finally bake the muffins.
7:00pm – Wrap up a half dozen muffins to send home with Neighbor Child 1 and 2. Shout the “one more hour” warning to hubby and our girl, who have started hockey practice in the driveway. She is not wearing a helmet. Curl up on the couch to read a little more.
7:58pm – Cart the musical instruments out the front door for “Bell Time.” (Every night from 8:00 to 8:02pm, residents in our town are encouraged to ring bells and/or otherwise make noise as a showing of “alone, together” during the pandemic. We participate nightly, as do Neighbor Child 1 and 2.)
8:00pm – Shake my tambourine while shooting a pleading look toward my husband that screams, “Is it 8:02 yet?!”
8:02pm – Shout good night across the street to Neighbor Child 1 and 2. Cart the instruments back inside and begin the nightly prodding that is getting our girl off to bed. This process includes:
- Having her brush and floss her teeth, use the bathroom, and put on pajamas.
- Snuggling with her until doomsday or until she falls asleep, whichever comes first. [Spoiler alert: It’s usually the former.] Thankfully, it was a dad night. WINNING!
9:15pm – Watch 3 episodes of Community on Netflix with hubby while eating dinner, which tonight is reheated cheese tortellini.
10:20pm – Contemplate baking cookies because why not? Decide against it and proceed to watch 3 episodes of Some Good News on YouTube with hubby while wishing I had cookies and reminding myself how much I effing love John Krasinski. Sob like a hot mess during Zac Brown’s new song.
11:30 – Lay on the couch and think about tomorrow. Realize it’ll look a lot like today only with 200% more Zoom calls, thanks to virtual dance class (for my girl) and virtual PTO meeting (for me). Chastise myself for not having made cookies earlier.
12:30am – Press “publish” and get ready for a shower and bed. Only to rinse and repeat tomorrow.
** Yes, we are supposed to be in quarantine. And we are. However, we do fraternize outdoors with Neighbor Child 1 and 2 (brothers, age 6 and 5 respectively) and their mom. My logic: If my [former] daycare is open and offering care to multiple families right now, surely I can let my girl play with the two boys across the street whose family has the same level of potential exposure as ours does. And that’s to say women and children stay home, dads report to work at staff-only establishments. So, yeah. Playdates for daaaaays.