Day In The Life: Monday, September 10th 2018
It's that time of the year again. The leaves are starting to change colour and there is a crispness in the morning air that alludes to the inevitable looming shift in seasons. Our social media feeds are bombarded with first day of school photos and emotional outpourings from parents not ready to see their kids venture off into new classrooms. It is the start of the school year and that means that my workload increases exponentially. September is the month where chaos seems to be at an all-time high. For me, it is the month where everything happens all at once - classes start up again so we shift from enjoying the long, lazy, days of summer to resetting our routines and ensuring that the flow of daily life reemerges. This day in the life happens to be the first day back at preschool for Maelle. so I thought it would be a fun way to document the commotion that seems to always come along with new beginnings.
7:40am: I can smell the fresh coffee even before I open my eyes to the new day. My husbands hand gently squeezes my shoulder as he ever so quietly eases me into consciousness. He woke up with Maelle and is all ready to head out the door for work. Luckily, his current engagement has him local in Calgary so I enjoy the added luxury of an extra 20 minutes of sleep and a wake up call that comes with coffee. I could get used to this, but I won’t because I know that it is only a matter of time before business has Daniel travelling again. I could always teach Maelle to brew me fresh coffee in the mornings, right?
7:50am: I open the blinds, make the bed, and get dressed. I grab the monitor to check on Linden who is currently still fast asleep. Of course, he would sleep in on the first day of school.
8:00am: I make my way downstairs and pause to watch Maelle. She is lounging on the couch, drinking milk, and watching a show. I am taken back to her days as a tiny toddler, as this has been her routine for quite some time now. She notices me and I am quickly thrown back into reality as she turns off the TV and starts chatting away about her first day of school; full of excitement in anticipation of what’s to come. She is definitely not a toddler anymore.
8:15am: Maelle asks for Nutella bread for breakfast and I indulge her request, adding an apple and cheese to round off the meal. I leave the wax on the Babybel because Maelle loves to peel this off herself - it’s little joys in life like this that I feel we, as adults, have somehow come to forget.
8:20am: Maelle happily eats, albeit slowly, as she continues to talk about her first day of school, her outfit, the friends she hopes she sees, and the activities she wants to take part in. Getting her to turn it off is an impossible ask. I once told her to stop talking and she simply replied “Sorry I can’t. I just love chattering so much”. And never were more honest words spoken.
8:25am: Finally, I hear the happy squeals and soft babbling that indicates to me that Linden has awoken. I rush to get him dressed and bring him downstairs for breakfast.
8:30am: We come downstairs and Linden immediately bolts to the playroom with only the energy a baby who just slept 13 straight hours could possess. I scoop him up before he reaches the playroom door and he joins his sister for breakfast.
8:40am: After smashing breakfast into Linden’s tiny face, we head upstairs to finish getting ready. While I apply my make-up, Maelle gets dressed, brushes her teeth, and brings me her hair brush and elastic to pull her look together. She has had her outfit picked out for days - from the turquoise bow on the top of her head right down to her sparkly gold sandals. Meanwhile, Linden does everything possible to make it as difficult as he can for anything productive to happen. He pulls down Maelle’s jewelry holder, he pulls out all the scarves in my closet, he opens our cupboards, he puts tissue into the toilet, he runs into the shower and grabs for my shaver, he climbs the beds, opens the drawers, and throws objects down the stairs. Such a fun age.
8:55am: Maelle packs her school bag with her snack and water bottle, we all put on our shoes and sweaters and head out, looking forward to what’s in store for this school year. I get the kids buckled in and we head off on a new adventure.
9:05am: I stop to take an obligatory first day of school photo. I love looking back on these pictures and seeing the reality of her growth in a tangible way. We walk into Maelle’s school and there is a buzz of energy outside of her classroom. There are so many kids she hasn’t seen since the start of summer. Friends who have all grown and developed in amazing ways, yet they fall into comfortable conversation with each other unaware of any change at all.
9:15am: The doors open up, and the kids dash inside which is a sure sign that this preschool is loved by the children. Linden is part of the crowd, following right behind his sister, breaking off from the pack only to get to the toys as quickly as possible. I sign Maelle in, put a name tag on her, and kiss her goodbye. I scoop Linden up as he not so silently protests the short visit (read yells at me and motions wildly to be put back down). I am not worried about Maelle. She loves her school, her friends, and I know she will love her teachers too. She is social and outgoing. There is nothing that makes me anxious for her. More than anything, I am sorrowful because this is all a reminder of the passing of time and the inevitable change that this passing of time brings.
9:30am: Linden and I head home to meet with my friend and her youngest, whose older brother goes to the same school as Maelle. We enjoy a cup of coffee as the kids play together. It is absolute bliss. We wonder why we were ever so tired when it was just one child.
10:15am: We all head off to the playground where we coincidently meet up with another parent whose first born goes to the same school as Maelle and whose second is a boy a little older than Linden. The kids all play, enjoy the fresh air, and get their energy out as us parents converse and obviously chat about all things child related. It is satisfying to see Linden develop his own bonds with his own set of friends. It makes me excited for his school future too.
11:30am: The play date at the park ends as we head back to the school in time to pick Maelle up.
11:45am: The doors open and Maelle rushes to tell me that she was the first special helper. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that since her last name starts with an A, she was automatically first. Instead, I let her believe she was chosen and that makes her day - her week even. I can bet that 3 months from now she will be heard saying “Daddy - did you know I was the special helper on my first day of school? Daddy? Daddy?! Daddy???”
12:10pm: I make the kids lunch. Half a turkey sandwich with carrots and cucumber on the side for Maelle and turkey soup for Linden. Maelle tells me all about her day and everything she accomplished. Linden is exhausted and I give him some milk and let him watch a show while he slowly drinks it, already half way asleep by the time he finishes.
12:30pm: Linden goes down for a nap and Maelle has quiet time which consists of some combination of writing, reading, play dough, drawing, iPad, and shows. She easily entertains herself during the majority of Linden’s nap. I have realized how critical this down time is for her energy levels. Quiet time gives her body the space to pause and rest, and her mind time to finally relax. I get time to eat lunch, wash the dishes, start this blog, and watch a show or 2. Much needed for all parties involved.
2:30pm: Linden wakes up and I get him out of his crib and bring him downstairs. I put some music on and let the kids play on the deck and in the toy room together. I love watching Maelle and Linden interact. She often lifts him up and he wraps his legs around her in a way that screams he trusts her fully.
3:00pm: The kids have a snack and then we get ready for the last half of the day. Maelle puts on her swimsuit under her clothes and packs her bag, ready to start a new set of swim lessons with a new teacher.
3:30pm: We head outside and play in our backyard on the playset. They take turns flying down the slide, giggling and squealing with glee. Their laughs are so real and so vibrant. I am hopeful that they never lose these laughs; that they never feel embarrassed to laugh from their bellies, with their heads thrown back in utter joy. May the world never steal that from me, from them.
4:00pm: At the request of Maelle, we head to the front yard where she bikes and Linden scooters and plays with toys, all the while rocking a pink helmet like a boss. Maelle has me pretend to be a drive through worker or a gas station attendant. She loves playing make believe much more than playing with actual toys.
4:30pm: We clean up, load the car, and head out for the final time today.
4:50pm: We get to Maelle’s swimming class which she absolutely loves. She jumps back in as if she had no time off in the summer. Linden sits on the side with me and gives me a run for my money as he dashes around trying to climb chairs.
5:30pm: Maelle’s lesson ends and we rush out of the pool in order to get home to finish off the night. I am counting down the minutes until they are in bed.
5:50pm: We get home and I clean Maelle’s swimsuit and put things away while the kids head upstairs for a bath.
6:00pm: I bathe them and get them dressed and ready for bed. Another highlight of the day as Linden and Maelle interact and splash playfully.
6:15pm: For dinner, they have chicken noodle soup. Desert is fruit - tonight is fresh cut mango.
6:30pm: Maelle eats her mango while she watches a show. I can tell by her slow blinks that the chaos of the day has worn on her. She snuggles up to me and Linden joins us for a brief interlude in an otherwise hectic day.
6:45pm: A bedtime story is read and teeth are brushed. Maelle is tucked in, her white noise is turned on, and her stuffies are all laid out beside her in a specific order. I give her a final kiss and she calls to me “I love you and I’ll see you tomorrow”.
7:00pm: I head back downstairs with Linden and play with him for an extra 15 minutes. I love this time. Of course, when you have just one you are constantly playing alone with them but, once you have 2, the dynamic is completely different. Finding one on one time is never easy but sneaking it in is so very worth it.
7:15pm: We head back upstairs, I give him his final bottle of milk and read him a few stories as he drinks himself to the brink of sleep. I turn his lights off and his white noise on, kiss him and lay him down for sleep.
7:30pm: I wish that the night was over here but it doesn’t end just because the kids are asleep. I get my work out gear on and head downstairs for a quick run. While I run, I listen to the podcast “My Dad Wrote A Porno” which is currently in it’s 4th season and has new episodes every Monday. It makes me laugh out loud to the point where I have to stop running to make sure I don’t fall over - otherwise known as a convenient excuse to take a breather.
8:15pm: When I come back upstairs, Daniel has arrived home. He decides to make curry for dinner. Our deal is when one person cooks, the other person cleans. I take a shower and get ready for bed.
8:45pm: We eat dinner together while we watch Jeopardy. This has been part of our routine, when we have an opportunity to be together in the evenings, since we have been married. We chat, catch up on all things work and children and fall into a comfortable routine that only years of being with someone can produce.
9:30pm: Daniel heads into his home office where he will work until the end of the night. His job is demanding, but that’s okay. He works incredibly hard for our family and carries the burden of providing for us without so much a single complaint. I wash the dishes, along with a load of laundry, and a complete clean of our main floor. This includes vacuuming, mopping, dusting, washing counters, and cleaning the bathroom.
10:30pm: It isn’t until now that I am able to sit down knowing that my jobs for the day are done. My mind wanders to what tomorrow has to offer and I begin mentally preparing for a new day.
12:00am: Dano and I head to bed together. Exhausted but also fulfilled. Tired but grateful to have a life that makes us so. Fatigued but thrilled that we get to do it all again tomorrow.