Today I hit my snooze button once when the very pretty melody of my alarm clock sounded at 6am. I was punished by having a very intense, disturbing nightmare for ten minutes until it went off again. Got up willingly and gladly the second time. Winter blankets, pajamas and heat wreak havoc on my psyche. Go to bed cold, wake up tangled in sweaty nightmare coffin.
Read 3 bible studies. Put on the outfit I picked out the night before, rethought it, changed.
Turned on the light in the darlings' room and Solomon popped up, only to re-collapse in my arms. Had to poke and prod Marley for five minutes to make any progress. Went downstairs for breakfast. Murphy-dog was acting like a psycho. Ran up the stairs despite my protestations, not normal for him to defy me. I chased after him to get him back down so he could be let out. He ended up jumping onto my bed, directly onto Bob's face. Chased the terrified dog back downstairs and out the door. Made double portions of raisin, date and walnut oatmeal (which has no dates or walnuts in it) for each darling with extra raisins, of course. Had a bowl of cereal, honey nut cheerios-ish and almond milk. Bob came down in a remarkably good mood (for him; for having had his face jumped on by a 65 lb. dog).
Got the kids dressed, put on my make-up, fished together all my school books and homework materials. Made sure all my technology was charged and that I had all the appropriate accouterments.
Ran outside to start car. VERY COLD.
Put socks, shoes, coats, hats, mittens on the darlings and myself. Last minute remembered to grab my lunch. Herded the kids out the door, to the van. Strapped them in. Prayed and listened to classical music on the way to school. Drove to the top floor of the Ludlow parking garage, unpacked kids from car, battled Solomon about parking lot safety, walked across the pedestrian bridge to the Health Services building.
Up, up, up to the third floor. Ran into the Dean of the Health and Public Safety Department. So overcome was she by the darlings' cuteness that she gave them college booklets about their programs, business cards and a contact number and email to get a private tour of the fire trucks, endorsed by her. Now speed-walking through the hallways, across to the Main building, through more hallways. Stop at the water fountains for drinks... twice. Up to the fourth floor. Scan ID, run other ID, check in kids, deliver Marley to her classroom after helping her dewinterize and a hug and kiss, deliver Solomon. Check his diaper, get his hands wash, kiss him goodbye. Mention the fire truck and dean to the center director, Miss Bev. Find out they already visit once a year.
Run down 3 flights up steps and down the hallway to the Veterans' Affairs office. Throw my pack and lunch and coat under my desk. Start scanning the paperwork from the day before that the other receptionist didn't do for some unknown reason. Rearrange and relabel the filing cabinets. Watch boss look at Porsches. Smile at people. Answer phone calls. Assure people I care about their money. I go to eat my lunch in the cafeteria, I eat with Ryan's mom, her financial position is worse than mine. I eat an orange, some meatloaf and have some water, I save the apple. I buy the kids a cookie for after school. I run into Lindsey on the way back to work.
More smiling. It slows down, I do my three homework assignments, asking for help when a math professor-who-also-happens-to-be-a-veteran comes in. The homework takes awhile but I get it done. A happy feeling permeates.
I find a strange veteran hanging out in an office he isn't REALLY supposed to be in, unattended. I listen to a handful of veterans discuss a panic phrase, to be used in situations when upset needs to be expressed discreetly. They are filling in the pretty volunteer on the phrase. Something to the effect of "The water is on fire" or something like that. The pretty volunteer must be used to this, she deals with their strangely sincere concern gracefully. The volunteer has been discussed by all the men in the office, they all agree she is "hot", "foxy", "You can't tell she's 60", "Ohhwwwhee."
At 4:50 I leave Ray and Tom and go to get the kids. I take the elevator and feel guilty about it. I scan my ID, collect Solomon, bribe him to come with me by mentioning there is a treat in the car, collect Marley who tells me she was "just about to chill out." She is bright red because she cannot tolerate any temperature above 70 degrees. I carry my backpack and their coats and I forget to sign them out, which I will get in trouble for tomorrow. We take the elevator to the 1st floor. Solomon bolts, Marley doddles, I am a packhorse attempting to be vigilant.
Though we take this path every day, Solomon decided to veer off course. He runs in the exit of the Registrar office. There is one woman in the office that I can see and she greets him, he runs out and she coaxes him back. She asks me subtly if they can have a lolli. I say yes, knowing Marley won't eat it and that it will make Solomon more agreeable. She finds them both lollipops, she is very nice. And enamored with their darling little cherubic faces. I unwrap the lollipops with my teeth. We continue down the hallway. Solomon is showing his sucker to every.single.person.we.pass. They love it. He loves it. Marley is indifferent. Marley would just as soon never meet any strangers ever, she'd make do with whoever she knows now.
We put on coats, go out the doors, across the street, into the health services building, down the big winding staircase (we call them the Cinderella stairs) and out the doors, across the pedestrian bridge, to our car. Fish for keys, unlock door, strap in babes, get in car, seat belt, ignition....
Car won't start. I make more attempts. Nothing.
Deep sigh. Unload kids, return across bridge, in health building, up Cinderella stairs, outside, walk to the Veterans' affairs office, encounter Tom. Tom agrees to rescue us with his know-how, jumper cables and car battery. We return to the car, strap in, wait for Tom, jump the car successfully. YAY TOM!
Head home. Kids eating a cookie (and sucker). Pray on the ride home. Realize that my back really hurts from yoga the night before. Assure Solomon that daddy will be home eventually. Play the rhyming game with Marley, where I say a word and she says a rhyming word (real or otherwise).
Me: What rhymes with Cat?
Me: Fire truck?
Marley: Shmire truck!
Solomon: Poop truck!
Home. Unload from car, get mail, greet dog. Drop mail, help kids dewinterize. Take dog to back door and let him out. Start clearing up stuff in the kitchen, open pressing mail documents (W-2's!?) Get kids coloring while still clearing stuff off counter and table. Bob walks in 30 minutes later (6pm) and I still have my backpack on.
Make chicken sandwiches. Eat mine and Solomon's, after he wanders away from it. Give kids more coloring pages. Speak briefly with Bob. Turn on Caillou for kids. Take a shower (note: this is not a regular part of my day). Study chapters 1-12 for quiz tomorrow. Kids come upstairs with Bob. Battle over teeth brushing. Compromises made. Pajamas. Reading Jack and the Beanstalk in Marley's bed with Marley while Solomon wanders around throwing stuffed animals and pooping. Change his diaper. Shut off lights. Pray. Sing Jesus loves Me. Put Solomon in his bed. Listen to Marley's closing remarks. Blow kisses, leave the room.
Battle kid shenanigans for the next hour while attempting to blog.