Just because I think (secretly hope) many other blogs paint a picture of home schooling or parenting with too many unicorns and rainbows, I thought today I'd give you a glimpse into a real day in my life.
12:00 AM - I toss and turn. Covers up. Covers off. Finally doze off only to wake up with night sweats that leave me nigh on to pruned. Well, hello peri menopause. I lay wake most of the remainder of the night in damp frustration and exhaustion.
7:30 AM - Husband's alarm goes off dragging me out of the stage of almost-asleep where you still cling to hope you can get to REM. Alas. Husband reminds me I need to take Jude to the orthodontist this morning. I remind husband not to speak to me before 9:00. He quickly complies.
8:15 AM - I finally stagger out of the swamp bed and hit the shower. I give careful thought to my outfit as I am venturing out into "grown up" world. I decide to go with my new black MMA workout pants and my Troy Palamalu sparkle jersey. The sparkle gives it that "something special" that borders on accessorizing. Viola. A grown up outfit. I skip the contacts and instead go for the athletic librarian vibe.
9:00 AM - With no breakfast, but explicit instructions on school work for Alina and Calvin, I roll out the door with Jude flying behind me frantically putting his sneakers on. Mind you, he's played eighteen gajillion rounds of Mario Chase this morning, but apparently the sneakers are a last minute curve ball he never saw coming.
9:20 AM - Arrive at the orthodontist on time only to discover Jude has not brushed his teeth at all this morning. I instruct him to go back to the "teeth brushing station" created brilliantly for this very purpose and scrub the morning funk off. He wants me to go with him. I am tired and apparently peri menopausal and I want him to gain some confidence here. Our conversation goes a little something like this:
Jude: (whining in a whisper) Moooooooommmm. Come with me. I don't remember where to gooooooooo.
Me: Yes, you do. I've taken you there several other times. Through the door and to the left.
Jude: (slightly more forceful whisper) MOOOOOOOOOMMMM. Come with meeeeeeee! I don't know where to goooooooooo.
Me: You can always ask the ladies at the desk if you get confused or feel lost.
Jude: (demanding whisper) Mom! I will not brush my teeth if you don't go with meeeeeeeeeee!
It now dawns on me that I need to take it up a notch if I want him to step out of his comfort zone and hit the teeth brushing station sans mom.
Me: (sweetly but loud enough for everyone to hear) Well, you can try to find it yourself, but if you get lost one of those nice ladies at the counter will direct you. (Insert wink and shooting gun finger with tongue click to the receptionist who, like everyone else, is staring at us now.)
At this point Jude realizes he might as well take a deep breath and try this one on his own because getting lost at the orthodontist has to be less embarrassing than being seen conversing with me right now. He does something outside his comfort zone and I remain seated, proud that he could feel competent today.
10:00 AM - Finally leave orthodontist. Usually we are in and out like a flash, but someone must not have gotten the memo that mom was without any breakfast. Jude and I head over to Chick-fil-a to eat a bite together and finish up his writing assignment without interruption from siblings or dogs.
10:13 AM - I nearly weep when the server says, "It's my pleasure" after serving me. I love Chick-fil-a because they are really the very nicest people on earth. Jude works diligently on his writing assignment, hitting the thesaurus perhaps a little too hard, but ends up with a great story creation all his own. I notice that kids eat free on Wednesdays. Wednesdays dinner menu is immediately taken care of. Meanwhile, he begins to complain that he doesn't feel well. He also doesn't look well (But his teeth are clean...), and since he's been fighting a cold for about four or five days now, I call the pediatrician's office. They are booked solid. Try Children's Mucinex. Alrighty. Off to Walmart we go.
11:45 AM - Walmart has Mucinex, but not sweet and sour sauce nor the Italian meatballs I need for my crock pot meal I'm making tomorrow morning. We hit the self check out, and the machine repeatedly rejects my crisp, clean $20. I finally scrounge up a few wrinkled fives and ones the machine seems to love and drop coins in for the remainder of the bill like I'm at Vegas in front of a Cherries Jubilee machine. Jude and I leave discussing all kinds of interesting topics on the ride home. I drop off the Walmart groceries and Jude and head out to Publix for meatballs and sweet and sour sauce.
12:00 PM - I enter Publix which is where the twins of the Chick-fil-a employees work. I hate grocery shopping. I would rather scrub toilets - with my own toothbrush - than grocery shop and yet the customer service at Publix is so amazing and helpful, I always leave happy. I grab a few things along with meatballs and sauce and head back home.
12:30 PM - I check to make sure the school work has been done and the kids and I settle in upstairs to finish watching Ben Hur. We are studying Rome in History and in Bible we are just starting through the ministry of Christ, and Ben Hur seemed like a perfect fit. We start about halfway through the movie and the kids are loving it (as am I!). I have never seen it before, and that Charlton Heston was a handsome fellow. We get to the chariot race and my kids are so tense and holler, "Go Judah! Go Judah!" We all wince a little when Messala crashes and burns, and even more so during the crucifixion scene. At the end, we talk about the movie and somehow end up discussing the old movie Spartacus. Calvin renames Mojo "Mojocus" and Marshall "Marshie Ben Hur". Jude remarks that between Lady Cybil's death on Downton Abbey last night and the death of Jesus in Ben Hur today, he is a little emotional. I love his tender heart and we talk it out. Meanwhile, I notice his eyes are red and puffy and he says he is too tired to stand up and talk any longer. We decide he will hit the Take Care Clinic for an appointment tonight, just to get him checked out.
3:45 PM - The Take Care Clinic we go to has no evening appointments available so I pry Jude away from playing to take him there right away. There is no wait. It's The Message version's "tired mom adaptation" of the parting of the Red Sea. We're in, baby! Jude has ear infections and a sinus infection. He will not be able to go to his all day home school co-op tomorrow. Usually not a big deal, but we have a doctor appointment for Alina downtown, a sitter coming for Cal, and now Jude sick. We buy Puff plus and some 7-Up for a special treat and head home. Once we arrive, Jude puts on his pajamas and declares he is not going out of the house again today. I give a hearty "Here! Here!"
5:00 PM - Dinner preparations begin. We're having stir fry chicken and rice. Mark takes first shift in the dinner prep rotation by cutting the chicken. I do no - I repeat DO NOT - touch raw poultry. It makes me cry for my mom and a pool of Lysol to bathe in. He finishes that up, and I make the chicken and veggies. Alina comes and hugs me and chats with me. It has been a busy day with me in and out, and as she will readily tell you, she does not like busy days. I know she is feeling off because of it, so we hang out as dinner finishes up. She is not happy about her appointment tomorrow, but we tease her that they will only be shaving her head and once she realizes we're joking she gives us some healthy harassment back and all seems a little better for her.
5:10 PM - Calvin announces that he does not like chicken stir fry, even though he has eaten it the last several times we've had it. He is tired and also fighting a cold, so we compromise. He eats some rice and Mark makes him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Whatever.
6:45 PM - Family game night consisting of our new favorite - Nintendoland on the Wii U. We all five play two rounds of Mario Chase (I stink.) and then Luigi's Ghost Mansion (I rock.). There is so much giggling and hollering I can't decide whether the neighbors will end up calling the cops or joining in.
7:55 PM - The party breaks up and even though I am tired (and hoarse), I decide I need to tackle the abominable kitchen mess leftover from dinner and afternoon movie snacking. It is a project, but since we have to leave here in the morning for Alina's appointment and I have a crock pot meal to throw together before we go, it's now or never.
9:35 PM - The kids are finally in bed (although Jude's sinus infection and ear infection have made that a challenge tonight), the kitchen is clean, Mark and I make re-arrangements for tomorrow and Alina's appointment, and I exhale and sit down at the computer. I decide to blog about my day, because in so many way it was utterly ordinary. It was hurried, tiring, at times frustrating, but also full of thoughtful discussion, laughter, and the beauty of ordinary family life.
9:38 PM - I finish spell checking this blog post and suddenly realize I forgot to wash the swamp sheets today. Argh.