A look at an average day.
7:15 am Wake up. Realize that you can’t turn your head because there was a lump in your pillow; you’re 35, and your body hates you now. Brush your teeth and try to determine what level of swamp monster you look like today.
7:30 am Get the baby, who has peed through his diaper again and soaked his pajamas, sleep sack, and mattress. Rinse baby in shower, throw pee-soaked clothes in the wash, get baby dressed.
8:00 am Time for coffee? Wrong. The baby is screaming for his sippy cup of warm milk, and the oldest wants Eggos.
9:00 am Baby has decided that today he hates scrambled eggs and is carefully pushing them onto the floor, while maintaining eye contact. Luckily, our borderline overweight dog is happily eating said eggs, so you call this one a win because at least you don’t have to clean the floor.
9 – 10 am Make fifty-nine trips back and forth to the fridge in an increasingly desperate attempt to find stuff the baby will eat. Settle on peanut butter toast, because he seems to find that amusing, and some of it ends up in his mouth.
10:30 am Reheat coffee for the third time and eat a bowl of lukewarm instant oatmeal for breakfast.
10:45 am Scrape peanut butter off the baby’s cheeks, eyelashes, and hair. Dodge kicks and flailing arms because he’s violently anti-clean.
11:15 am Put baby down for his nap. Think it’s time to relax? Wrong. Now you have to exercise, because your metabolism moves at the speed of an arthritic turtle and you’re fighting a progressively more futile attempt to keep the middle-aged spread at bay. Set up cartoons for the oldest. Feel guilty for letting her watch TV but convince yourself that it’s educational so you don’t feel as bad.
12:00 pm Oh god, it’s only noon. Clean up the kitchen, tidy the playroom, empty the dishwasher, and do any other menial tasks because the shower is next to the baby’s room and you’ll wake him up if you run the water.
12:30 pm Shower. Let the hot water relax you for two minutes before your oldest barges in and says the cartoons aren’t working and can she have a glass of milk. Cut shower short (did you shampoo your hair today? There’s a good chance you forgot. Too late, you’re out of the shower).
12:50 pm Get the baby, who seems to be in a good moo—never mind. He just donkey-kicked you in the face while you were changing his diaper.
1:00 pm Lunch. (See breakfast)
1:15 pm Have you had lunch? Here’s a handful of stale goldfish crackers.
1:30 to 4:30 Paint, draw, color, sing, play Hot Wheels. Break up seven fights. Change nine diapers. Yell repeatedly. Read books, play Snakes and Ladders, tell the baby to leave the dog alone. Go outside if it’s not raining (surprise! It’s always raining). Check the clock and realize only sixteen minutes have passed. Question your sanity.
4:45 pm Daddy is home from work! Shove the kids at him and escape with the dog. Close the door just as the baby starts whining again.
5 to 5:20 pm Walk down the street. Marvel at how quiet it is. Notice how the sidewalk is completely free of Legos. Wish you could be as carefree as the dog, who is happily pooping on your neighbor’s petunias.
5:30 pm Make dinner. Did you want chicken nuggets again? Because that’s what you’re having, since it’s the only thing your oldest will eat. Amuse yourself by putting green beans on her plate and hoping that today she’ll eat them. She won’t, but you still hope.
6:30 pm Bedtime! Brush all teeth, rinse dinner off the baby, wrestle kids into pajamas, read books, get water, and close the door while your oldest tries to delay the inevitable.
7:05 pm You made it through another day! You’re too tired to do anything. Lie in front of the TV for three hours while drifting in and out of sleep.
10 pm Get in bed. Check the kids on the monitors; they look like beautiful cherubs when they sleep. Wonderful, annoying, clever little cherubs. They’re happy, they’re healthy, they’re perfect. Turn the lights off and tell yourself that tomorrow will be easier. It won’t, but this daily white lie helps you cope. Good night!