??:?? am - Wake, grind the palms of my hands into my eyes and search for the glowing numbers that will either start my heart racing or put my mind at ease. Does it really say 8:88? Rub eyes again, take another look. 4:19am. Make mental note to contact optometrist. Roll over, attempt sleep. Brain laughs and laughs. Brain decides to run through a list of things that are currently causing me great anxiety. Eyes snap open and Brain is told to shut it down. Brain fights to be heard, so audiobook is implemented to shut out brain. Audiobook is just the right amount of murder and intrigue and Brain settles down. Prepare to sleep for two luxurious hours...alarm sounds rudely. Palms to eyes, take in the clock. 6:20am. Did I sleep? Fuck.
6:27am- Black cat climbs up and snuggles in. Cat is soft and warm. Considering surrender when youngest child pokes eye to encourage wake-up time. Youngest asks: "Is Terry Fox dead or dead-dead?"
6:28am- Encourage child to ask Teacher. Usher child to bathroom to begin morning routine. Pretend thirty-five minutes will be more than enough time to get everyone ready and out the door. Feel gratitude that husband chauffeurs kids to school.
6:44am- Silently celebrate finishing shower and getting dressed in record time. Make lunches. Watch husband make breakfast. Scroll phone for four minutes, feel guilty.
7:04am- Kiss children, grab purse, forget lunch and rush out the door, feel guilty.
7:11am- Arrive at Tim Horton's to order coffee. Fight the urge to order a pumpkin-spice muffin and lose.
7:20am- Make the highway without an traffic to speak of. Regret muffin, but not enough to not eat it. Feel guilty.
7:50am- Arrive at work. Enter classroom and finish coffee while computer boots up. Wonder if 'boots up' is still a computer term. Decide new winter boots are needed. Wonder if LLBean has any boots on sale. Wonder if LLBEAN was a real person. Decide to google for answer. Feel confident that question is crucial and relatively more important than preparing for a classroom of five-year olds.
Leon Leonwood Bean (October 13, 1872 – February 5, 1967) was an American inventor, author, outdoor enthusiast, and founder of the company L.L.Bean.
8:10am- Bell sounds. Students rush in. Lesson plan comes up. Day begins.
8:15am- Student A raises hand: "I have an uncle and his name is Alan." Inform Student A that though this is a lovely anecdote, we must get to our morning meeting and start our day. Student B: "My cat likes lemonade." And so on.
8:16am-3:05pm- (The School Day) Imagine trying to teach the cutest bunch of kittens to knit when they just 'don't wanna'. Still totally worth it, because of the cute thing, mostly. Mid-day, feeling utterly exhausted when the Principal approaches me and asks about a little girl with a terrible cough. I inform the Principal that the little girl has swollen testicles. Principal informs me that the word I am looking for is: tonsils. Principal kindly laughs.
3:30pm- Sit at desk to prepare for tomorrow. Prepare to leave instead. Decide planning tomorrow's day at home will be a safer bet.
3:55pm- Pull into driveway and sit in van longer than necessary to hear end of audiobook chapter. Decide to ask husband for iTunes cards for Christmas to feed audiobook obsession.
4:00pm- Enter house to be greeted by children. The eldest wishes to discuss potential new Fall Wardrobe. The Youngest wishes to discuss the death of Canadian Icon, Terry Fox.
4:40pm-Youngest asks for food. This can only be one of her two meals. Pita bread and peanut butter or Pesto on flatbread. Reach for the pita bread and pull out the last slice. Shit, shit, shit there are dark marks on it. She is going to notice. This batch of bread looks different from the other batches. Try to cover the dark marks with distraction while handing the child the pita bread. Walk quickly back to kitchen to begin next "meal".
4:41pm- Youngest shouts: "Mama, my bread has dots on it!" She then promptly places the pita in the garbage and reaches for goldfish. Pretend not to notice and pray that husband didn't buy the whole grain goldfish by mistake. Feel guilty.
4:45pm-Remove packaging from frozen lasagna. Feel guilt for not cooking fresh lasagna more often, for not cooking from fresh more often, for not cooking more often.
5:30pm- Husband arrives home. Surprised he isn't tasked with cooking our meal, is pleased to smell lasagna. Makes no comment about its level of freshness.
6:05pm-Youngest child wants to talk about her birthday again. Time is abstract and a difficult concept to understand so is often confused because her birthday is not 'tomorrow'. Have the same discussion about her May birthday that we've had most days since May.
6:17pm- Eldest decides she needs an Instagram account. She is instructed to 'ask her father'.
6:18pm- Exasperated by what has been a relatively uneventful day, state: "Is it bedtime yet?" Make same tired comment every evening. Husband no longer politely reacts. Beginning to annoy myself.
6:19pm- Announce the following words to no one in particular. HOMEWORK, BATH, SNACK, BOOK, and then BED, let's go! (Ipad time if you're good). No one moves.
6:20pm- Decide I will read my book and ignore everyone if they plan on ignoring me. See how they like it. Yeah, they'll come running when they see how hard the bedtime routine is without me.
6:22pm- They don't appear nervous.
6:24pm- They don't appear to notice my aggressive stance on tonight's bedtime.
6:25pm- Husband yawns
6:26pm- Turn pages of book angrily without reading a word.
6:27pm- Husband: "Did the kids do their homework yet?" Kids jump to attention.
7:09pm- Homework and baths complete, snack being prepared. Youngest is eating flatbread and pesto. Eldest is eating apple slices. Finally, something to not feel guilty about.
7:33pm- Eldest wishes to read a book about kittens. The youngest finds a book on Terry Fox.
7:45pm- Children rewarded with ten minutes of screen time for reading. Wonder, vaguely, if this is a parenting mistake. Shrug off the guilt for this one in favor of wallowing in guilt regarding the elation that bed time is near.
8:00pm- Remove screens. Tuck children.
8:01pm- Sit down.
8:02pm-Scour DVR for mindless entertainment to play in the background as I prepare to lesson plan.
8:03pm- Youngest calls: "Mama, Terry Fox is my best friend, but not my real best friend, but my dead best friend ok?"
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)