To aid us in our endless quest for content, Sheryl of Paper Napkin fame offers us this opportunity to share our day. The beauty of this? You don't need to have an idea, you just have to have a life. The downside? Chances are your life is kind of dull, and that you're not quite as amusing as your kid thinks you are. Nevertheless, here goes!
6:15 Wake up. No need to be awake, but awake anyway. Sigh. Try to go back to sleep. Instead, lie in bed and think about "to do" list... plane tickets for October, rear tires for car, call pharmacy, figure out if raise has kicked in, find second swim suit...
6:38 Give up and get up. Shower. New soap was given as birthday gift to partner. Smells great. Fun to give a gift that I get to use, too. Shoulder muscles a little sore from swimming some laps yesterday. Cool.
6:41 Telltale squeak of bathroom doorknob. "Mommy, can I get up now?" The day begins in earnest.
6:43 Clocks in house (other than bedside one, which is battery powered for just this reason) are all blinking due to some middle-of-the night powergrid event. Try to reset clocks. Spend what feels like forever watching the numbers on clocks whip past the correct time, forward and back, forward and back. Wish they could all be microwave clocks. Arggh. Breathe deeply to regain good humor.
6:46 Get dressed. Whatever's lying around; no one will see me today. One of my favorite aspects of summer. Remember to brush hair before it dries sticking straight up. Bonus points. Sneak peak at email... WAYA likes my "camp" post for Mama Says Om. Yay!
6:47 "Which constrictor is the goodest in our entire universe?" (First of today's endless stream of which is the best, strongest, fastest, most powerful, longest, favorite, etc. etc. of the _____ [fill in category here] questions. The kid is relentless in his pursuit of knowledge.)
6:48 "Who is the king of all the snakes? Probably the king cobra, right, because he has king in his name."
6:50 D successfully lobbies for role-playing games before getting dressed.
6:55 Nice long game of Gorilla (D) and baby (me). Touch and go for a while there, but ultimately a deep friendship is formed. Gorilla snuggles baby. Baby picks bugs out of Gorilla's hair. T still fast asleep.
7:00 It's raining. Did I leave my jacket at the office?
7:20 D agonizes over what to wear. Finally comes up with a combination he can live with.
7:30 Breakfast. Special K + Go Lean! for me, instant oatmeal (!) for D. Can't listen to NPR in the morning anymore because I don't want our mornings full of war. Paper mysteriously AWOL.
7:43 T awake. Still no NYT. Call NYT and request replacement paper (which will arrive after we've all left the house).
7:50 Goodbye kisses.
8:15 Drop D off at Friends Camp.
8:20 Wait to merge back onto the Pike. A black Hummer hulks by. What are these people thinking?
8:21 Drive to work, now listening to NPR. Worsening situation in Lebanon, Iraq, you name it. Importance of Connecticut primary tomorrow (go, Ned!). BP might have to shut down part of the Alaska pipeline; gas prices likely to go even higher. Landis likely to be stripped of his Tour win. Macintosh possibly going to announce new iPod product.
9:03 Exit car. First time in a week that glasses haven't fogged up getting out at work.
9:05 No voicemail messages (YES!), put lunch in fridge, reset office microwave clock (nice and easy).
9:10 Fill up orange Nalgene bottle w/ water, pee, stop by faculty book exchange to drop off a book and leave with four more... not how that was supposed to go. Snag a few tomatoes from someone's garden that have been left on the "take me" table. Working in this school rocks.
9:15 Create, certify as official, and mail transcript for graduated student applying for grad schools. Document entire process. Paper pusher extraordinaire.
9:33 Email. Delete offers of junk stock, various snake oils, Viagra deals, college degrees within days. Reread last week's unreturned message log. Try to figure out what I meant by "email B kids to figure out plans." What the hell did I mean?
9:50 Receive logo from NJ Council on Humanities in .jpg format. Yay! Save myself half an hour of cursing at decrepit scanner. (I'm working on some PR for one of their grantees in my copious spare time this week.)
9:55 Prep work for new letter of recommendation for graduating senior. Read teacher comments, student autobiography, parent questionnaire. Review transcript. Gather extracurricular information. Start thinking about angles of approach and "through lines."
10:17 Email from E. Playdate achieved! Great news for me and the kid.
10:50 WaPo email re: AOL giving up on selling internet access. Ya think? I remember trying to explain why trying to sell a gated community within the wild west environment of the internet was a temporary proposition. About 10 years ago. They held on a lot longer than I thought they would.
10:58 Alarm testing dude is here; random test beeps are driving me nuts.
11:05 Fellow administrator in the outer office has his volume knob turned way up... put "gone writing" sign up on door and bail to library, where no one has ever bothered me.
11:54 Well into work of rec letter now. Turn off email reader so as to better resist temptation. Writing letters of recommendation is a little bit like falling in serial platonic crush with each of "my" kids in turn. When I get it right, I get to the end of the letter thinking, "I love this kid!" Warty kids aren't that hard, actually... as a former high school goat, I can empathize. Shiny kids are easy because they've helped themselves at every turn. The hardest ones – for me, anyway – are the super-quiet, ghost-like kids. Tough to figure them out.
12:03 Hunger clock kicks in. Try to resist in order to finish first draft of letter.
12:41 Done with first draft! Good, but will still need some work. Kid is a bit of a grade-grubber, which is hard to know what to do with... don't want to gild the lily, also don't want to completely torpedo the kid's chances. Always a balancing act. A little like cutting a diamond. The trick is to proceed knowing that every kid is a diamond.
12:45 Confirm membership in Church of Obsessive Backup by backing up newest letter to network folder.
12:53 Back to office. Transferred into the void twice while trying to call about tires. Sigh.
1:02 Put leftovers in wimpy office microwave and go pee.
1:04 2 voicemail messages. Business office w/ a question re: an invoice, and a hang-up. (Yay!)
1:10 Inhale lunch while surfing the internet
1:35 Discover Wikimapia and have some fun with it.
1:52 In flash of inspiration, figure out cryptic note to self re: "B kids"
2:00 20 minute head-clearing walk along Delaware-Raritan towpath. Realize (belatedly) how much better this all would have been with pictures.
2:22 That shirt will need a wash.
2:23 More surfing; eyes starting to protest "screen only" diet.
2:45 Return emails and phonecalls... use the word "connect" twice in a voicemail message and wish in vain for "do overs." Fail to reach mom who is wondering what to do about the fact that her son got a "D" in Chemistry during the year but then got earned a 4 on the AP exam. Gotta be a story there, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow.
3:20 Pee one last time and pack up.
3:30 Leave. NPR's Fresh Air is interviewing actor John C. Reilly. Pretty interesting, especially his discovery that con artists are sort of like actors, but gone to the Dark Side.
3:50 Raining. So much for the pool.
3:54 Sunny. Weird. But cool.
3:58 Back into driveway without hitting ANY of the four recycling cans we set out on Sunday night. Damn I'm good. Look excitedly around. No witnesses.
4:00 Key in lock, realize still haven't met new next door neighbors. (Trucks came over the weekend.) Oh well, all in good time. It's nice not to be the newcomer.
4:05 One voicemail message, super-annoying nagacious from someone I don't know all that well, and who clearly doesn't know me. Need to inform everyone I know that if you hassle me about doing something, thereby implying a lack of faith in my trustworthiness, the odds are good that I'll dig my heels in and start slow pulling. (Think Amtrack on a day when every train seems to inexplicably creep along.)
4:06 Conked on couch.
4:35 Pack pool bag, drive to camp.
4:45 D's full speed running "Mommy!" hug almost knocks me down. I could live on these.
5:08 Pool. No noodle in sight. But we don't care anymore.
5:15 Arrival of D's beloved friend I, who can't swim. I assure I's parents that they can go to dinner; I won't let him drown.
5:18 D tries to show I how to use a kickboard.
5:20 I fish an all-but-drowning I out of the shallow end and recommend the kiddie pool for a while. Yikes.
5:21 Complete vegetation by the side of the pool while the boys invent endless games. Ahhhhh.
5:55 Everybody out of the pool. Neither boy has underwear packed. Oh well. Gentlemen, welcome to the wonderful world of freeballing.
6:01 See T walking down the street and offer to scoop her up for one block of air conditioning. She accepts and we continue home.
6:05 T on couch reading NYT at long last. Boys upstairs in search of Superman undies. Me in kitchen working on halal dinner. (I is Muslim.)
6:15 Boys go from not wanting to help with dinner prep to arguing over who gets to husk the most ears of corn. A total Tom Sawyer moment.
7:07 Everyone has eaten. I's folks come to peel him away. Both boys disappointed that the playdate is over, but happy to have spent time together.
7:26 Moms enjoying some quiet time and dessert while D plays for a few more minutes.
7:27 "Mommy, I have a poop, could you come check my bucket?" Never fails. Maybe it's just as well that I didn't turn this into a photolog.
7:30 A little more playtime.
7:40 Upstairs for books (Click Clack Moo, Nabulela), nail trimming ("Tama, that's TOO close!"), jammies, songs (Stay Awake & I See the Moon), and a true life story (The Day Tracy Bit Shelley's Finger).
8:20 Boy is conked.
8:30 Clean kitchen, exchange stories of day, fend off marketing calls.
9:00 Brush teeth, ignore laundry, neglect to make lunches, read to each other in bed. Show T the superfun OK Go video, which she actually kind of likes. Usually she just puts up with my You Tube offerings. But I do a good job of feigning interest in golf techniques, so we're good.
9:22 Type this up
Sometime later: crash (too tired even for Gear Taker!)