September 2021 has turned out to be the first September that has fully and completely embraced its sheer vileness.
I am not going to relive it all (the horrors and sorrows and annoyances and real problems and made up problems and deaths and anniversaries of deaths and people are "dead to me" but are still alive) in this blog. But, I do need to publicly acknowledge how all this dark magic turmoil and chaos has affected my daily productivity and my ability to have positive experiences. If I don't, I feel I will fully turn into a hybrid of Eeyore, the beloved pal of Winnie the Pooh and Oscar the Grouch (whom no one liked) with a touch of Lady Elaine (from Mr. Rogers' Land of Make believe; she is terrifying and bossy and has a pointy nose).
The turmoil of September has really messed me up. I am checking the boxes and doing plenty and producing and billing and writing, but it is all very chaotic and disconnected. The early momentum I had when the kids returned to school has completely fizzled and now I am in survival mode. I need a reset and a realignment. I need to get my focus back.
In the spirit of all this reimagining, I decided to try a tactic that they used in the NICU when Lily and then Chloe were preemies--a ROUTINE OF CARE!
Their routine was vital check, temperature check, diaper change, feed, burp, change clothes and reposition.
This specific routine is, of course, just an example of a routine. While I will continue to take my temperature at random through out the day (we are in a pandemic!), I will not change my diaper! (or burp). Also, I am not wearing a diaper to change (I felt I needed to clarify this!).
Here is my new weekday schedule:
6:15am: Wake Up. Take a deep breath and prepare myself to be verbally abused by my girls. Make coffee (with collagen!) and drink, while also consuming 17 old lady vitamins. Get dressed! (be insulted for outfit choice by girls)
7:15 am: Take a deep breath and prepare to be verbally abused by son. Prepare for his daily litany of complaints--stingy elbow, awareness of nose and nose hairs,
8:10 am: ALL CHILDREN ARE GONE AT SCHOOL
8:10-8:30 am: Review calendar, eat food without being insulted and take a deep breath.
8:30-9:30 am: MORNING DRAMA TIME! Tackle things like: PSAT accommodation drama, COVID vaccine record drama, all sports drama. use this time to also text several friends drama updates and find out their drama.
9:30am-12pm: WORK! Produce things.
12-1:15pm: LUNCH and MIDDAY DRAMA TIME! Tackle things like dental appointments, missing government documents, sign-ups for more activities, check writing to PTA and other school events
1:15-2:45pm: WORK! Produce things.
2:45pm: First child arrives home. Time for Motivational Speech 1, entitled "You've got this."
3:20pm: Second child arrives home. Time for Motivational Speech 2, entitled: "Not everyone is going to like you."
4:30pm: Third child arrives home. Time for Motivational Speech 3, entitled: "How to channel those leadership skills"
2:45-4:45pm: In-between motivational speeches, work, check in on dramas of friends, drink tea with honey (motivational speaking is hard on the throat!) and of course drive children places they don't want to go but demand to go.
4:45pm-9pm: Time for the following to happen in a Round Robin fashion:
a. Sobbing child who did not listen to motivational speech!
b. Work emergencies and finishing of very important, time sensitive work tasks
c. Daily Yoke writing
d. Motivational Speech 4, entitled, "Remember how much we love our children" (This one is typically delivered to the mirror.)
e. Consult large calendar 47 times and ask in Facebook groups "what day is it?"
f. Wear workout clothes and never exercise but think about it a lot.
g. Fashion show and positive body image time with one of the children (varies each night) and motivational speech 5, called "Of course you have lovely elbows"
h. Homework fun: screaming, fighting, discovery of missing assignments, arguments and dead iPads.
9pm-midnight: Time for day end actives:
a. Read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for 1 hour, out loud, while answering questions (incorrectly) about the Mississippi River.
b. Prep for meetings the next day by making lists that induce a high level of stress.
c. Take blood pressure medication.
d. Send severals texts complaining about life, people on the internet and children to friends.
e. Watch substandard TV while shoving pretzels and wine in mouth.
f. Locate missing socks, iPads, sporting equipment and underwear.
g. Homework fun repeat with a sprinkle of exhaustion thrown in!
Midnight: Go to bed.
2 am: wake up, silently screaming because it seems there is a poltergeist in the bedroom. Realize is just dog. Stay awake thinking that maybe I could record my motivational speeches and sell to others. Sleep until 6:15 am and restart the day!