5:30 am: First alarm.

5:35: Second alarm.

5:40: Third alarm.  My phone flashes a message I programmed: GET UP YOU ARE RUNNING LATE.  I roll over and enjoy the warmth of my three-year-old for ten more seconds.  She’s been in bed with me for a week, as little sister’s transition to their shared room hasn’t been great.  Our months-long game of musical bedrooms continues.

5:52 am: After sufficient procrastination, I jump in the shower.  I decide I’ll be super quick to make up for the lost time, but once I’m in there I never want to leave.  I slap on minimal makeup and dry my hair, resenting each of the eight minutes spent.

6:22 am: I wake up 3YO.  She’s in a rare early-morning good mood.  Little sister is already awake, and she squeals in delight when she sees us.  We wake up my hubby, their Papa.  It’s a sweet moment, because we are all fresh and happy to see each other.

6:40 am: 100,000 things are happening at once.  Breakfast.  Clothes.  Hair.  Forms.  Checks.  Lunches. Coffee.  On top of it, there’s an ant infestation in the living room.  Husband realizes that I cracked his front bumper.  We hurry kids into coats.  We part, yelling “bye!” through car windows.

7:40 am: I am 20 minutes late for work. Thankfully/unfortunately, my 7:30 appointment hasn’t shown.  My tardiness will go largely unnoticed, but now I’ll be hunting this kid down for days.  I’m a School Psychologist in a high school, and my job consists of 40% psychoeducational testing, 30% counseling, and 150% attending meetings and doing paperwork.

9:00 am: I present testing results to a student and her mom at a PPT meeting.  These results might be hard to hear, so I emphasize strengths.  We talk a lot about transition to life after high school, and everyone is smiling by the end.  Success!

10:15 am: I stuff a load of papers and testing materials into my bag and fly out the door.  I’m due to test a student at another school in minutes.  When I arrive, they’re actually expecting me!  I request a room with a desk, and they stick us in – wait for it – the nurse’s office.  I give the student (who does not seem at all fond of me) the nurse’s desk, and I sit on the bed for the session.  My job is very, very glamorous.

1:30 pm: Back in my building for another PPT.  Student is 18, so she’s basically running the thing, which is great.  I walk away with 234908 new tasks, and student wants to know when it’ll all be done.  HA!  I go back to my office and shove food in my mouth over paperwork.

4:00 pm: I pick up my littles at daycare, in what is hands-down the best part of the day.  They both run joyfully into my arms, and we enjoy each other’s company for 90 whole seconds before the crying begins.  Then the girls hold hands for part of the car ride home, and all my life choices seem worth it.

4:30 pm: My husband is working from home and still on the clock, so I corral my kids away from the basement door with popsicles because I am an A+ mom.  Also, we’re on no food in the living room because of the ants, so we’re having an extra fun time.  Screen time begins almost immediately.

6:00 pm: The kids are eating a nutritious dinner of “bunny pasta” (bunny-shaped boxed mac ‘n cheese) and carrots. (Get it??)  I say, “Bath?” at my 14-month-old, and she toddles into the bathroom.  3YO is way too engaged in hands-playing-with-play-doh YouTube videos to have any interest in tubby time tonight.

7:00 pm: Baby’s drinking her bottle, and 3YO has moved to the living room where she is doing some sort of cute dramatic play.  Someone’s in trouble and someone else is going to save the day, as always.  Something happens, and a short wrestling match occurs between the girls, one final battle of the day that 3YO wins because Papa takes baby up to bed.

8:00 pm: 3YO’s official bedtime.  LOL.  Despite 230948 warnings, she has a complete conniption when I actually make her turn off the TV.   Lots of crying (3YO) and several sips of wine (me) later, I am carrying her horizontally to the upstairs bathroom to brush teeth.  Eventually, she is calm again.  She strokes my hair and says, “Mama, I’m so so sorry I was upset.”  Who can be mad at that?  I say, “How about sleeping in your bed?”  “Nope!” she chirps, bounding into my room.

9:00 pm: Two kids down.  I head to the basement to hang out with my husband in his man cave, a cozy space with his work desk and a huge TV.  We “watch” some Netflix show while we both work on our laptops.  It takes me two hours to do several tasks that allow me to cross .5 things off my to-do list.

11:00 pm: I head upstairs and survey the damage.  Thanks to the cleaning ladies who came today, our house is a lot cleaner than usual.  Good thing, because I am spent, and cleaning always ALWAYS comes last.  I climb the stairs to bed.  Scroll through Facebook.

Lather.

Rinse.

Repeat.

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