My alarm is blaring, signalling that it’s time for me to wake up, despite the feeling that I just fell asleep.
4:45 am – waking up this early is inhuman.
I aggressively rub sleep from my eyes and fight to drag myself from the warmth of my bed. I quietly exit the bedroom and make my way toward the coffee pot, turning it on before dragging myself into the shower. I pretend that either of these things has the power to truly wake me at such an ungodly hour. I find myself falling asleep in the shower, so I lower the temperature and make with the washing. This is where all the days thinking happens.
I should have done some yoga… I guess it can wait until tonight… Must remember to send out the mail, I should bring it with me to work… Double check if any bills are due today…Have to take something out for dinner…Oh, crap. I never did pack the baby bag last night, better do that now….etc.
Once out of the shower I decide there’s no time for hair and just shake out the curls. Get dressed – pull on ripped jeans and chucks. Thank heaven for a workplace with a lax dress code. Re-evaluate chucks and wonder if I’m having an age associated identity crisis.
Make myself breakfast. Shovel fruit and oatmeal down my throats while making a list. Life has become about lists. I’m sick of oatmeal, add grocery shopping to the list.
As I wash my dish I hear a muffled cry accompanied by “mama ma ma ma ma…”
Why is she up so early?
Sigh audibly and prepare a bottle. Bring Nikki the bottle only to find her standing in the crib laughing. I pick her up, change her and tell her it’s still bed time. She grabs a stuffed duck “quack quack”.
Yes baby. You’re so smart. Mommy loves you. Drink your bottle and go to sleep.
She takes the bottle. I leave to make her breakfast, lunch and snacks and prep the baby bag for the sitter. I spend 15 minutes looking for one tiny shoe. I sneak back into her room for to quietly collect random items. I place the blanket back over her, retrieve the bottle and sigh wishing I could just spend the day with her.
Go wake up Nick for work. He doesn’t want to wake up. I curse him out and leave the bedroom with the lights on.
Pack my lunch, make sure I have my wallet and keys, brush my teeth, and pour coffee in to-to mug. Pack Nick’s lunch, leave a note to remind him about appointments and to pay the insurance.
Fuck, I’m running late.
Grab bag, run out of house. Race to the bus stop, watch bus pass as I’m a block away. Yell curses at no one.
I forgot my coffee.
Wait 15 minutes for next bus. It’s crowded with high schoolers but I manage to find a seat. My nephew is sitting near by lost in his phone, wearing the same shoes as me. Revisit that whole identity crisis thing as I make with the chit chat; touching base with a boy on the verge of manhood who is somehow the same nephew I just held as an infant. Pull out phone to do mobile banking while I commute, paying any bills I’m able to while I remember. See a text message from Nick.
“You forgot your coffee”
Really, I hadn’t noticed…
I have to transfer busses and grab coffee during my wait. I’m filled with the type of exhaustion that makes me feel physically heavy and weighted down. On the bus again being jostled around by strangers who feel they have a right to more space than exists. I have to physically push my way off the bus.
Once I’m in the office, I take five to breathe and drink my coffee.
Knock, knock, knock …
I throw a little shade at the stack of paperwork being carried in to my office.
We have to audit the P.C.E. project. There’s been a lot of late or non-payments and our material and cost sheets are inaccurate… blah blah blah.
Lovely. I woke up this morning hoping to come in to exactly this type of issue.
Contracts, invoices, bills, timesheets, work reports, copies of checks, and the like litter my desk. They’re not even organized, so I start there. Make chronologically accurate piles and folders. Cross reference contracts to invoices, invoices to checks, timesheets to work reports, work reports to bills. Run financial reports & create spreadsheets. Find a ton of work done that isn’t listed on contracts. Call assistant who never came in to find out if an excel report was created for extra work. No, no it wasn’t. Create excel report for extra work completed. Cross reference it to invoices.
Take a break to grab coffee, remember I have interviews coming in and run back to my office to prepare for them. 3 of 8 are no shows, 2 have no experience and obscene salary requirements, 1 is interviewing me, 1 shows up in sweatpants, 2 are decent but leave no real impression.
Thank you for coming, we’ll get back to you by next week
But really I’ve already forgotten your name and I just remembered I have to call my mother to pick up Nikki, and my mind is focused on the best way to attack rewriting 2 years worth of work reports so they make sense.
I call my mom in a panic, but she is way ahead of me, already toting her granddaughter about. I thank her and go to hang up. She wants to chat, to tell me stories so I listen while trying to work but I fail at multitasking this one. After 20 minutes I have to hang up and return to the mountain of work. I immediately feel bad I couldn’t give her more attention. She starts sending me pictures of Nikki. I am grateful, but also feel worse that I can’t be with my baby.
I pull my big girl panties up and dive back into project auditing. I make approximately 40 phones calls and fire off as many emails. I flag more reports than I pass. I try to get out of a meeting on the basis of having no time.
I’m sitting in a meeting listening to some crap about teamwork and fostering a sense of family. I gag internally and remember how all three admins have been taking off so frequently they’re out of days, or that I can’t ask them to do anything and expect it back sooner than a month. Now I’m listening to a positive attitudes accomplish tasks rant. To avoid killing myself I begin a grocery list in my head.
The meeting ends and I spend the final hour and a half of my day tackling flagged reports. I leave work with piles of paperwork strewn across my office waiting for tomorrow.
I head out into the rain because of course it’s raining. I have to run to the butcher, the greengrocer, and the pharmacy, just to grab what I need for now. My arms are now laden with bags and I decide to say fuck it to the bus so I opt for Uber. 7 minutes later I’m in the car, on the phone with the pediatrician arranging a well-visit, the the hair salon for another appointment I will probably end up having to cancel.
I’m barely through the door, but I’m holding a baby with one arm and using the other to start laundry. Then start prepping for dinner, while chasing Nikki around and fighting “no-no” objects out of her kung-fu grip while she yells “No” back at me.
Make more coffee.
Nick is finally home as I’m ready to start sauteing and boiling and steaming. He takes Nikki while I work over the stove. As I put the chicken into the pan I hear the washer beep. I can do this… run to the laundry room, swap wet clothes into dryer, start a new load in the washer, run back and flip chicken breast before they burn. Not sure how I succeeded at that one.
Cut up Nikki’s food first, while listening to Nick complain about a rough day at work. Offer support and advice, ask him to get dishes ready. Sit and eat and actually get a few minutes of time with my family.
This I enjoy, this is the best part of my day.
Nikki overeats and throws up. Nick tackles the floors and high chair while I strip her and get her bathed. I then switch wet laundry to the dryer and fold dry clean clothes.
I have to run to the firehouse and file insurance claims and medical billing, which I should have done last week. Nick is not amused.
I’ll be done in a half an hour max.
Two hours later I am finally home after doing what I needed to plus dealing with a disagreement between members and going on a run.
It’s just about bedtime for Nikki, but she jumps up and down so eagerly when I walk in that I can’t leave her alone just yet. I lie in my bed with her and read her stories. She loves the pictures and being snuggled against me. She keeps brushing my face, “mama, mama, mama” over and over. She falls asleep against me and I just hold her there for a while regretting that my life doesn’t have more of this. I gently carry her to bed.
I go pull the clothes out of the dryer and bring them to the living room for folding. Nick carries it to the bedroom and puts it all away as I put away toys and sweep the living room and kitchen. Nick and I lay on the couch together watching television and bullshitting. I feel like I’m made of lead from being so tired. I decide I want to get extra sleep so I say goodnight at 915.
Before getting into bed I lay out my clothes for tomorrow, and decide to do 20 minutes of yoga, just to relax my overworked mind before bed.
I crawl into bed, find the comfortable position, and my phone rings. A friend with a dilemma. As difficult as it is, I prop myself up and make every effort to be supportive and helpful. I try to maintain my friendships through all the shit life throws at me and this is part of it. Finally calmed down, I promise her I will call tomorrow to check on her. Add that to the to-do list.
Finally go to bed around 1130.
It took me three days to actually finish this post…