Friday, February 13, 2009

Daily Schedule

There’s been a bit of controversy over at Feministing about one blogger’s description of her daily schedule, and another blogger’s reaction to it, i.e. that is reeked of class privilege. When I read Courtney’s post I was struck less by class privilege than non-parent privilege. I mean, really? You sleep until what time in the morning? Not that I for one moment would trade my three wonderful boys for all the late sleeping in the world. And even if I would like some more me time and more time to write, her life just sounds kind of boring. Anyway, I thought it would be fun sharing my daily schedule (which also probably sounds boring). And if you’re a blogger, consider yourself tagged—what does your day look like?

Time unknown. Very dark. Still raining.
Get woken up from dream about writing Valentine’s cards and cutting carrot sticks by Z crawling into bed between C and me. He wiggles his feet around. “Do you have to pee?” I ask. “No.” He continues to wiggle his feet. “Stop wiggling your feet.” Doze off for a while. Z says, “I ready to have breakfast now.” Respond, “Mmmmff.” Try to doze some more. C checks plastic cow alarm clock (stolen from M several years ago when we discovered adult alarm clocks would not withstand ravages of twin toddlers). “What time is it?” “6:14.” “Mmmmff.” Z and C get up. Try dozing for five more minutes.

Get out of bed. Go in bathroom. Brush teeth. E comes in, rubbing eyes. Pick him up and cuddle him while brushing teeth. Take off his wet diaper and toss it on the bucket. Finish brushing teeth. Open diaper bucket, get blasted by ammonia, make deposit. Go in kids’ room to wake M. Very dark in there. Turn on light and see M is not there. Go downstairs. Tell M, “I just tried to wake you up, but you weren’t there!” M laughs. Rummage in drawer for working pen. Find red pen. Bonus. Find Valentine’s cards we made Saturday. Find daycare list. Write cards. Contemplate whether Z and E should give each other cards. Decide yes. Send M upstairs to get dressed. Go in mudroom and get two big carrots out of box. Peel hairy skin off. Attempt to cut in sticks of equal size. Find Tupperware of adequate size with fitting lid. Check M’s lunch menu—cold. Make miniature peanut butter and honey sandwich. Find container of carrot chunks from Tuesday’s lunch in fridge. Put frozen blueberries in container. Put in M’s lunch bag. Forget spoon.

Go upstairs. Remind M to get dressed. Go in room. Contemplate wardrobe. Choose black pants and mint green twin set. Find clean underwear. Go with legwarmers and silk tank top instead of long johns (only 30s and raining today). Return to kids’ room. Remind M to get dressed. Find two red shirts in E and Z’s dresser so they can be festive for the Valentine’s party. Send M to brush teeth. Get Z dressed. E hiding under dresser. Tell him he’ll have to wear pajamas to daycare if he doesn’t come get dressed by count of three. He ignores me. Take his clothes, turn off lights, go downstairs.

Look for winter socks for kids in sunroom laundry pile. Contemplate outerwear. Settle on fleeces, raincoats, and rain boots for all. Go upstairs to find a fleece for M. Put M’s lunchbox in backpack, zip closed and make sure rain flap is down. Help M into hat, pull raincoat sleeves over his mittens, kiss him goodbye and send him down the driveway to meet the bus.

C gets E dressed. Find fleece for Z in mudroom. Go upstairs to find fleece for E. E is whimpering because he wants red and green rain boots, not doggy rain boots. Find mittens. Send Z and E out the door. Put on own fleece, raincoat and rain boots. Put Valentine cards in raincoat pocket and zip closed. Get carrots. Head down driveway. Rain washing away snow to reveal turkey poop on front walk. Realize forgot own bag. Go back inside. Look for work badge. Go back out. Rain has washed several inches of dirt and salt off car. Decide rain is good thing. Drive to daycare, reciting Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup With Rice. Can’t remember November. Take E and Z into daycare. E carries container of carrots for the party. “Today is our birthday!” he announces. When I tell him it’s the Valentine’s party, not their birthday, he is embarrassed and tries to hide his head in me. Hang up their coats. TV is on so they let me go quietly.

Drive to work. Hit puddles to clean undercarriage of car. Remember holes in floor when water splashes up under feet. Walk long way from parking lot to office. Go inside. Get comment on “snappy red boots.” Chat with co-worker. Turn on computer. Check voicemail. Log in. Click OK to message that says I won’t use computer for personal purposes. Check personal email. Check work email.

Attend meeting across river. Consider jabbing pen in own eye.

Swing by Sears to pick up portraits of E and Z taken two weeks ago. So cute. Get suckered into buying additional sheet for $7.99. Try not to think about other four going into shredder.

Check messages. Check email. Eat breakfast. Fill in administrative procedure forms for a rule am working on. Wonder for the umpteenth time why we have to create six different documents with nearly identical information. Yell at supervisor when he comes around with more work.

Skip Pilates. Work on forms. Screw up. Re-do. Send off. Finish breakfast. Return phone call. Discuss footnotes and tables of contents with co-worker. Admonish her for doing them manually. Search for source of sickening airfreshener/scented candle smell to no avail.

Start reading Washington State wood burning report for white paper. Look up “white paper” on Wikipedia. Snack on Barbara’s original cheese puffs (on sale for $2 at Harvest Time). Continue reading report.

Heat soup. Realize have only read four pages of report in one hour. Try reading more efficiently. Look up stress-relief tip for the week: Maintain Good Posture. Hmph.

Finish report. Skim appendices. Talk to meteorologist about wood smoke. Check email. Check mail. Start reading wood smoke report from Vancouver. Wish for nap. Snack on Quadratini hazelnut wafer cookies. Sit up straight. Check email. Resume reading.

Remember change needed in newspaper column. Look for relevant email. Make changes. Send back. Return to report. Consider replacing “Vancouver” with “Maine” and calling it done. Open MARAMA wood smoke report—96 pages. Consider slitting writsts. Sit up straight. Check email. Skim MARAMA report. Print relevant pages. Crave cheese fries.

Burnt out on wood burning. Check email. Seek diversion. Sit up straight. Go to kitchen for water. Wonder why building smells like Luden’s cherry cough drops. Send out rulemaking notice to interested parties. Sit up straight. Go for walk. Try focusing eyes at long distance. Check email. Check to-do list.

Go to Zumba class—forgot shoes and sports bra again.

Drive home in rain and fog. Driveway is muddy rut. Inside E and Z are pouring over their Valentine's booty--cards and candy in personalized Huggies wipes boxes. We're the only ones who made cards--the rest are Disney, Spiderman, Incredible Hulk, Hanna Montana. Ask M how was school and if he has homework. Ask how math test went. "Fine. I got an 85." "What happened?" I ask, unwisely. "It's still an M, Mom. It's better than a did-not-meet." "It's OK, 85 is fine. Good work." Go down to basement to look for materials for project on my mind. M comes down and starts digging in Goodwill box. "No you can't have that." I say and put box on higher shelf. Somehow the conversation returns to math test. He says he doesn't like math and why do we have to learn math anyway. "You like things to be perfect all the time, don't you?" I ask. "Not all the time." "Most of the time?" We go upstairs and I look at his math test. "It looks like you did pretty well, but forgot which place was which. Did your teacher explain what you missed?" He starts crying. I try to hold/hug him. He goes all stiff on me.

We clear the table and C serves crepes with broccoli in lemon cream sauce and home fries. I get some lettuce out of the fridge, rinse it and put it on the table. E and Z eat home fries. M makes faces at the crepe. We say no candy unless you eat all your dinner. I give E some lettuce and he tries to pour his own dressing--about a cup of it lands in his plate. I rinse the plate and start again. M and E eat their crepes after much coaxing and get started on E's candy. E gives me candy conversation hearts. Did they taste this bad when we were kids? Z wants candy. I feed him his crepe. He makes faces, but eats it and I get down his candy. I let them eat it all so it won't be an issue in the days to come, and so their teeth won't suffer numerous assaults.

Go upstairs. I tell M to put on his pajamas. E goes in the bathroom to sit on the pot. I put Z in his pajamas. Tell M to put on his pajamas. Wipe E. Tell M to put on his pajamas. Put E's pajamas on. M brushes teeth without being asked. Threaten no stories if E and Z don't come in bathroom and brush teeth RIGHT NOW. Brush Z's teeth. When I say we have a bunny story, E turns into bunny and hops into my room. I scoop him up and accidentally bump his head on dresser. He whimpers the whole time I brush his teeth. Read the first part of the Velveteen Rabbit. E and Z ask why there are no pictures. I show them the picture on the next page. E bounces around on bed brandishing broken plastic sword. Read Honey, Honey, Lion. E and Z fight over who gets to open the acacia tree flap to reveal the lion. M comes up and they all go crazy at once, hopping around on the bed. Get them in their blankets and lie down with them in the dark. M and Z argue over who gets to be Pablo from the Backyardigans. Wonder if too much TV has stunted their imaginations.

Check email. Sit up straight. Message from adult ed--no one signed up for spring writing class, am relieved to not have obligation. Z comes down to say M bit him. E says M said he'll throw them down the stairs. M says they're making too much noise so he can't sleep. Tell M biting and throwing people down stairs not acceptable behavior. Tell E and Z to go in my room to read books quietly. Write blog post. Attempt to draft essay for submission deadline Sunday.

Watch The Office and 30 Rock.

E and Z creep downstairs. Return them to their bed.

Hear noise on stairs. Put E back to bed.

Get sucked into ER.

Tear self away from TV. Go upstairs. E and Z still awake singing ABC song in bed (gotta love long daycare naps combined with rainy weather that precludes fresh air and exercise). Brush teeth. Put on jammies. Zzzzzz.


  1. Although my kid life is definitely easier than yours (and our food is worse and my husband apparently takes on more of the kid stuff), I really identify with the kid parts of your post! Work part sort of reminds me of my old work - when I ran a little non-profit-turned-municipal agency before I became trapped in a windowless room with rowdy middle schoolers all day...but I digress. Good post! I can see why there is the controversy on the post on Feministing - although I strongly identify as a feminist, I get a annoyed by the privileged writings of the mainstream faces of the movement. Nonetheless, I do think everyone has something to say of value - I just wish we got to hear more of other voices. One of my favorite blogs for getting a more real voice is Hermana, Resist!

  2. I didn't mean to give the impression that C's not involved--he's in there serving breakfast, picking kids up from daycare, cooking dinner, washing dishes, reading with M...

  3. Oh, I didn't mean it like that - he was obviously cooking in that post - I think both of us doing the wrangling at once is why we have worse food.

  4. Am I allowed to admit aloud that I am sort of relieved to hear that you watch TV sometimes? Given all your amazing handmade projects, I was getting the feeling that you never had any downtime (& it made me feel a bit slovenly)...

    I say this totally without whining, but I really don't think people without children really know what it takes to get out in the mornings with everyone fed, dressed, with proper 'equipment,' etc. Peter had a (single) classmate--who is yes, very busy with her grad school commitments, etc.-- recently say to him with totally seriousness, "I just can't imagine anyone busier than I am." I know it doesn't help to get into any sort of competition about who is more busy, more tired, etc. but I think that is one of the reasons that Feministing post rankled others...

  5. I remember, at the ripe old age of 42, leaving my weeks-old infant in the bassinet, running, really running, to the other end of the house and showering, cooking, cleaning and laundering, and saying later to my mother-in-law that I suddenly truly understood the concept of hurrying.

    She, who gave birth to nine children in 11 years, who became a first grade teacher after her youngest child turned five, gave me a starkly unsympathetic look and said nothing.

  6. Yeah - there are six of us and my mom is pretty unsympathetic to my harried-ness with two - but I really thinking adding a full-time job into the mix with kids makes a huge difference and my mom generally only worked the occasional PRN shift during the many-children years.

  7. Sara--I would totally have punched her. I guess that's why I'm not in divinity school.

    Snoozetska--nine children!?! Thank god (and big pharma) for birth control!

    Lone Star Ma--I'm one of six too, but we were fairly spread out (over 21 years!! which has its own challenges), but my mom still lends a sympathetic ear to my trials--maybe the twins thing earns me extra points (and she no longer says she wishes her youngest two had come as twins!!)

  8. Hah! It turns out her husband was in some kind of competition with his brother for the largest family.

    His brother stopped at seven.

  9. Well, I HOPE twins gets you extra points - they should! We also are pretty spread out - I'm the oldest at 37 and the baby is 19. It was a family rule that I wasn't supposed to hold her in public because it pissed my mom off to get called the grandma.


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