Wednesday, October 28, 2009


7 a.m. - Beep beep beep ... oh God, already?

7:20 a.m. - Drag self out of bed, then go downstairs and drag G out of bed.

8:12 a.m. - Arrive at school with seconds to spare before the gate is locked.

8:30 a.m. - Arrive at work

8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. - Work

12-12:30ish p.m. - Lunch at desk.

1:30-2:15 p.m. - Meeting

2:15-4 p.m. - More work

4 p.m. - Leave early (a sanctioned departure, not a sneaking out) because of Girl Scout Halloween party.

4-4:30 p.m. - Drive home, get G's Halloween costume. She's Hermione from Harry Potter.

4:30-5 p.m. - Drive to store and buy juice and water for party, as requested by leader.

5 p.m. - Deliver Halloween costume and drinks to school, sign G in to meeting/party.

5-5:45 p.m. - Drive to music store. See a guy about a flute.

6 p.m. - Arrive at home with flute. Check e-mail, do desultory cleaning, think about cooking dinner but have cheese and crackers instead.

7 p.m. - Drive back to school and collect G.

7:10 p.m. - Think about cooking dinner again.

7:11 p.m. - Make sharp left into drive-thru.

7:30 p.m. - Arrive at home again. G wants to eat downstairs so she can watch TV; I usually say no to this, but decide to let her.

7:30-8 p.m. - Eat.

8 p.m. - Go downstairs and start G on her homework.

8:30 p.m. - Come back to check and G has done three paltry math problems. Remind her that time is ticking away and she really needs to finish so she can wash her grungy hair before bed.

8:45 p.m. - Check again. No progress. Sit right next to G and redirect her every time she starts to lose focus.

9:10 p.m. - Still not much progress. She's getting tired, so I offer to do all the writing if she does the actual calculations.

9:30 p.m. - Math is done. I ask about spelling and she's left her spelling list at school, aargh. While looking through her binder for it, I also discover a letter from her teacher saying that she "chose not to do her narrative writing project which was assigned two weeks ago," and will have to stay in at recess for the rest of the week to do it, blah blah. I know this isn't true because I saw her typing the project up last night with the intent of e-mailing it to school and printing it out there. She says she couldn't print it out because she can't remember her school network password. Tears. She's really tired.

9:45 p.m. - I tell her not to worry about it right now and go get changed for bed. She technically didn't do her 30 minutes of reading, but considering that she's read two 250-page books in the last two days and is working on a third, I'm not too bothered about that.

10 p.m. - She's in bed (still with grungy hair). I pack her school bag, find an old shirt to cut up for a flute cleaning cloth, put school bag and flute case by the front door for tomorrow.

10:15 p.m. - She's not asleep yet and is "lonely." I tell her I'll sit on her bed for 15 minutes, but only if she lies still with her eyes closed.

10:30 p.m. - She's asleep. I get our balky printer out of the closet and start downloading drivers to see if I can make it work with her laptop (it won't work at all with mine).

10:45 p.m. - Success! I print out her narrative writing project and the PowerPoint slides that go with it and put them in her bag. She can thank me in the morning.

11:15 p.m. - I cook pasta for her lunch and leave it to cool while I go do chores.

Midnight - Chores are finished, lunch (high-protein pasta, apple, banana, cookies) is packed and in fridge. I ask myself whether I have time to squeeze in some exercise and answer myself with a resounding "Hell, no!"

Bed now? I think yes.


Alicia said...

Good Lord, woman! I am worn out just reading this. I hope you got a good night's sleep.

Veronica said...

Holy smokes. I need to lie down after reading this. So tired now. But I'm totally laughing about the 7:10/7:11 decision regarding dinner. And you're awesome to have gotten her homework printed out. High five!

Widow in the Middle said...

I've had the same kind of days, over and over again. It can get pretty weary and draining. I think documenting our days can be very eye-opening for us, as well as for others. What I am wondering is how you felt throughout the day - frustrated, upset, discouraged, renewed, hopeful, etc.? And, afterward, the next day, after having a day like this one, what were your feelings? Relieved it was over? Proud of having gotten through it in one piece? Or just plain tired.

Hang in there and recognize all that you do.

Vanessa said...

WM - I actually felt pretty calm throughout the day, because I'd managed to arrange my schedule so I had enough time to do everything I needed to do. I don't mind being busy, even really busy - it's rushing that makes me stressed and upset. I was a little frustrated during homework time, but at the end of the day, it's just fifth-grade homework, and the world won't explode if it doesn't get turned in. (A fact I had to remind myself of the following evening, when she forgot EVERYTHING she needed to do her homework at school ... aargh.)

I was absolutely beat when the day was over, though, and I made sure we didn't have anything to do on Wednesday night. G had been hoping to go to the movies and was a bit disgruntled that I said no, but I needed an evening to just stay home!

BTW, the music store was definitely one of those times and places where I really, really missed G's dad. Not because I couldn't handle it myself - I don't know anything about flutes, but how many elementary-school band moms do? - but because he was a musician and would have been totally into it. He probably would have researched different flutes and weighed the pros and cons of buying vs. renting and asked the guy a million questions at the store. I called and said "Do you have a flute for rent? Great. I'll be right over." :) Everything worked out fine, but I missed being able to see him get excited about it, and I know I'll miss having him there when she does concerts.

one sparrow said...

You are an AMAZING mother! Wow V!

Widow in the Middle said...

I give you a great deal of credit for feeling calm, productive and not rushed. On days like you describe, I tend to get angry and mad at the world as well as adopting a "poor me for having to do this all by myself" attitude. It wouldn't matter if I had enough time to do everything - just the amount of stuff needed to get done can be so daunting and overwhelming for me.