I’d fully intended Monday’s post to stand as a sort of personal affirmation about the shift in my nightly focus away from binging on superheroes in high definition and towards kicking ass and taking names my own self, on my own projects. However, shortly after the post went up, it was pointed out to me that perhaps the piece went a smidgen too far in suggesting I’ve spent the majority of my 40’s being a Slothy McSlotherson. I mean, sure, I have my mid-afternoon, Saturday-nap moments, but, just, no. Long gone are my days of watching The Hunt For Red October while dosing on a couch. In fact, I quit having time to be a squishy, comfy slother-type in late 2002, right about the time I wrote this post.
Since the cold, rainy November morning when adulthood settled over us like a slightly itchy wool blanket that rubs the wrong way on occasion but still keeps you pretty snuggly and warm, things have gotten pretty complicated on a daily basis around la Casa de Puddin. Take my Monday, for instance:
6:21 AM – iPhone alarms goes off. Why 21 minutes past the hour? Who knows. Maybe I like the non-standardness of it. Maybe I just overshot :20 and was too lazy to change it. Maybe Siri is a pain. Whatever the explanation, I swat at the chiming phone like a drunk college kid chasing a fly in his dorm room: It’s dark, there’s no space, a lot of stuff is potentially about to get slapped off a table, and there’s really no telling if anyone knows what’s going on. If lucky, my brain does what my consciousness is not yet capable of, and signals that I need to get up and wake the kids. If not, repeat 9 minutes later.
6:24 AM – Stand in daughter’s doorway and try not to bark at her like a drill sergeant that it’s time to get ready. Even though she requires 2+n2 the amount of time my sons need to prepare for school, she slumps back into bed and pretends I am merely a grunty, disheveled remnant of some night terror.
6:25 AM – Tell daughter again to get up. Wait until she is weaving in place beside her bed, and then turn on her light out of spite. WIsh her a good morning and remind her I love her.
6:26 AM – Wake sons. Threaten them with a military academy if they don’t at least attempt to make their bed like civilized people.
6:27 AM – Verify daughter is still upright. It’s a lucky morning! She’s both upright AND moving.
6:30 AM – Hit the shower. In most sports that indicates the end of the competition. If only. This is Extreme Adulting. Showers must come first.
7:10 AM – Wrangle the 3 middle school-aged kids into the car for delivery to school. Yes, there’s a bus. No, they don’t ride it. My own middle school busing experience, lo, the many years ago, was basically a daily surrender of my dignity and all self-worth for 35 minutes (both ways) in a yellow, mobile version of The Lord of The Flies. I’m not putting my kids through that. At least, not when I’m going to work anyway.
7:35 AM – Drop kids at school. Wish them a good day. Begin to twitch due to lack of AM caffeine. Snarl unintelligibly at other drivers, Muttley-style.
7:45 AM – Acquire coffee. Relinquish down the sharpened weapons.
8 AM – 4:30 PM – Work feverishly in the vast, deep software mines in search of the elusive Varigated Project Milestone.
4:30 PM – Leave work in order to take Oldest Son to his baseball game. Pray that traffic isn’t a complete cluster of broken downs, rubber neckers, and incoherent rage so that you make it home in time.
5:01 PM – Arrive at home, just in time. Thank the Seven Lords of Ragged Asphalt you survived your commute once again. Say hello to whatever children appear upon your arrival (none will, except Baseball Kid, because ride). Briefly nod at wife, whose touch from years past you remember much the way an amputee might remember the way that arm ached before a storm. No time to think about that though. Go to room. Change out of workday business casual and into shorts and a “dad shirt” in the roughly the same amount of time Linda Carter needed to spin on that Woman Woman outfit. Leave for baseball game. Verify my fly is zipped. Trust me, after changing clothes that fast, it always pays to verify.
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Watch 25-30 middle school boys play baseball. Marvel at the range of possible sizes of “middle school boy”. Root for son. Pray he doesn’t strike out. Cheer when he singles and then proceeds to steal two bases and score.
8:15 PM – Drive home. Congratulation Baseball Son on winning. Contemplate the previous 14 hours. Wonder idly if some slavering ancient Greek monster actually just ate your entire day. Seriously…where’d the time go?
8:30 PM – Consume reheated dinner. Bask in the warm glow of being informed the dishwasher is leaking. Contemplate fleeing the house in abject terror. Stay instead; flight requires energy.
8:45 PM – 9:15 PM – Attempt to diagnose dishwasher issue while simultaneously helping with middle school homework as needed. Identify the dishwasher’s problem as having approximately Twenty. Vomit-Inducing. Years. Of caked-together foodgooputty smushed into a single self-aware mass that’s clogging the dryer vent. Attempt to explain the similarities and differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam to Middle Son for his Social Studies homework while cleaning Glutinous Gooputty out of dishwasher vent with an old toothbrush, a clenched jaw, and an iron will. Gasp occasionally to avoid hurling recently consumed reheated dinner back up.
9:30 PM – Congratulate Middle Son on a good job with his homework. Start the dishwasher for a test run. Wash the food gooputty off hands, face, hair and anywhere else the Glob managed to invade. Sterilize self. Burn clothes for good measure.
10 PM – 11:45 PM – Despite bone-deep exhaustion, somehow manage to edit two chapters of Project Macaroni 2.0.
11:50 PM – 12:50 AM – Read before bed. In this case, devour a healthy chunk of A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (which you should read, because awesome) Because, sure, you’re tired, but if you don’t make time to read, you never will read. Also, the Puddinette isn’t asleep enough yet for the nightly Industrial Snoring Assault on her poor, embattled sleep pattern.
1:00 AM – Stumble to bed. Collapse. Curse in abject fear of the alarm set to go off in a mere 5 hours and 21 minutes.
So that was 90% of my Monday. Yes, there are actually a few things I left out, because it’s none of your beeswax, plus, this is my blog, not my therapist.
Ah, who am I kidding? It’s both.
The point, though, is that the timeline above isn’t atypical. It’s how weekdays work around here. It’s also, why the past few months or so, I’ve found myself on the couch most mornings at not-quite-Stupid-O’Clock, with remote still in hand. Because after a day like that, an hour or two of mind-numbing Netflix seems like a pretty tempting exercise.
Even if you are too tired to make it through the whole episode.
But, then, that’s not my problem anymore.