5:30 a.m. Alarm goes off. I press the snooze button. Twice.
5:50 a.m. I haven’t washed my hair in three days, and it is 90% dry shampoo and texture spray at this point. Blow-drying just isn’t in the cards today, so I run my fingers through the waves and call it homeless chic.
6:15 a.m. My daughter is singing to herself over the baby monitor, and I contemplate whether it’s finally time to pack the monitor up. Not quite yet, I decide.
After a good morning kiss and cuddles, she strips off her pajamas, throws on school clothes, and brushes her teeth with more independence than I expect. I am reminded that these days — the ones where I am the center of her tiny universe — are fleeting. But then she asks if she can wear leggings under her dress “so we match,” and I convince myself that I still have a little more time.
I halfheartedly tidy up the living room and open all the blinds in case we have a showing today. The house has been on the market for three weeks, and I’m already sick of making the bed.
6:45 a.m. It’s splash day at her daycare (I remembered, hallelujah!), so we gather up her swimsuit and towel and load up in the car.
7:20 a.m. I cross my fingers for a smooth dropoff. Thankfully, her friends are here already, so she happily kisses me goodbye and heads over to the play kitchen to help them make “breakfast.” “Have a good day, Mommy!” she says as I walk out the door, looking up from the plastic grapes in her pot with a smile.
7:30 a.m. I sit down at my desk and stare at her face on my desktop background for a few moments. I wonder what she decided to serve with the grapes.
9:30 a.m. I put the finishing touches on a brief and walk down the hall to my co-worker’s office. Most days I genuinely like being a lawyer, but opposing counsel just sent a particularly frustrating email, and I need to vent.
11:45 a.m. At lunch, the waitress quickly brings us over some pomegranate tea and asks if we’re having the usual. We vow to try someplace new tomorrow. The bulk of the afternoon will be spent in a meeting with an expert witness, so we linger awhile.
4:25 p.m. It’s my husband’s day for pickup, so I give myself thirty more minutes to tinker with the wording of the letter I’m working on. Forty-five at the most.
5:30 p.m. Traffic is a nightmare, but I sort of relish the solitude and turn up Blank Space about as loud as it will go.
6:10 p.m. I walk into the kitchen and smell tacos. My husband is warming up tortillas, and my daughter is trying to figure out how she can wear both a headband and a tiara with her Princess Anna dress and shoes. I grab a cutting board and smile at my husband as he hands me the tomatoes. I tell him about my day, and we trade complaints for a few minutes while we make our plates. My daughter asks if we can eat at the couch tonight, and I say yes even though I know I’ll be digging shredded cheese out from between the couch cushions for the next week.
7:00 p.m. It’s bath time, and she talks me into crawling into the bathtub with her. I let her shampoo her own hair, and she teaches me the new song she learned today at school. I lament the lukewarm water and then remind myself that I will have many more years to run the bath water as hot as my heart desires. She splashes me with water, and I try not to complain about the fact that our towels are now soaked.
7:35 p.m. She hands me a Pull-Up, and I wonder how much longer it will be before she can go without them at night. She seems eager to be out of diapers for good.
She and my husband put together a quick puzzle, and he reminds me that it’s his night to put her to bed. So I help her pick out her books and kiss her goodnight as she crawls into her glider, curling up next to her favorite guy. I watch them on the monitor for a few minutes before I resign myself to the pile of dishes in the sink. I rest for a minute with my hands on my stomach and wonder how the little lemon swimming around in my uterus is going to fit into our routine come December.
8:30 p.m. I collapse onto the couch with my laptop and seriously contemplate closing my eyes, but I am already two days late in submitting my monthly Dallas Moms Blog post, and I really need to get it finished. My husband quietly closes our daughter’s bedroom door and sits down next to me, resuming his search for a new lawnmower. We are together, and yet I know that the five-minute, cursory exchange over guacamole may be all we get from one another tonight. In this season of divide and conquer, I miss him something fierce, but this version of togetherness is carrying us through for now. I set a reminder to call my dad and arrange for them to babysit so that we can enjoy a date night sometime soon.
10:05 p.m. My post is finished, and I finish gathering all the stuff we all need for tomorrow. Clothes, shoes, something red for show-and-tell. I set out my daughter’s last clean pair of shorts and remind myself that I’ve got to catch up on laundry. Tomorrow.
10:45 p.m. I crawl into bed and evaluate the day. Only one trip to time-out and a dozen projects left unfinished. There never seems to be enough time to fit it all in, but today felt good and full and happy, and that’s enough for now. My husband turns on Friends re-runs, and I tell myself only thirty minutes. Forty-five at the most.