5:30 a.m.: I hear the annoying beep, beep, beep of the alarm clock. I slowly turn over and hit the snooze button.
5:40 a.m.: Once again, I hear that darn alarm going off. I hit the snooze button a little harder this time. Maybe that will make the snooze setting last longer.
5:44 a.m.: That darned alarm clock is going off again. I slam my fist onto the snooze button, but I still hear a beep, beep, beep. Oh, wait, that isn't the alarm; it is Sam, ready to wake for the day. I quickly grab my glasses and place them precariously on my face, put my slippers on the wrong feet and move quickly into his room. I'm thinking about what it was like to sleep until 7 a.m. on weekdays. I'm thinking about what it was like to not use caffeine as a crutch. I turn on the light in Sam's room, and almost immediately he quiets down; he is waiting for our morning ritual. I hunker down as I walk to his crib, and then slowly peer over the top of the rail. Sam sees my face and breaks into a wide grin. My heart melts. I think, "Sleep? Who needs sleep when such sweetness awaits her every morning?"
7:45 a.m.: Once again, I'll be late to work. Sam is crying-he hates his car seat. I put him into the car after lugging my breast pump, extra shirt, lunch and briefcase to the car. Every morning I pack for work as I'd pack for a weekend trip. I drive Sam to the babysitter's, all the while singing:
The old gray mare she ain't what she used to be, ain't what she used to be, ain't what she used to be. The old gray mare she ain't what she used to be, many long years ago.
I'm not really sure why I've chosen this song, but perhaps it reflects my subconscious thoughts about my post-pregnancy body. Hmmm... I don't want to reflect too much on that.
7:55 a.m.: I arrive at the babysitter's and quickly take Sam inside. The babysitter works from her home, and there are a limited amount of children-usually no more than three or four. Sam smiles big at C, and I gently remove him from his seat and tell him how much I love him. I just know he understands me. C looks at me strangely, and when I look down at myself, I see I've got my shirt on inside out. I quickly remedy the situation.
I feel so guilty when I leave, but I know that we have a two-income family, so there really isn't much choice in the matter. Besides, I take pride in my earning an income.
8:36 a.m.: Only six minutes late to work. Not so bad this morning. I slip quietly in my cubicle then stumble to the coffee pot to fill my caffeine tank. It generally takes at least two cups of coffee to get going in the morning, but this morning I'm thinking it may take four or five. No problem, we've an endless supply at my job.
12:01 p.m.: It is lunchtime, and I have to make a mad dash for the door. The errands just seem to pile up, and my lunch is the only time to get anything done. I run to the post office, bank and grocery store, and then I must stop by Kohl's to pick up one more Christmas gift. I never knew so much could be accomplished in one hour... I finally rush back to work, and eat lunch while staring at the computer in a fog. Time for more coffee.
4:29 p.m.: I get off at 4:30 p.m., and so that I am prepared the moment the clock strikes the magical time, my computer is turned off and my bags are packed. I can't forget to grab my breast milk on my way out the door. I don't want anyone to see that I've left it in the company refrigerator. We've too many bachelors that work in our office-they might accidentally use it in their coffee (they need coffee from late night parties-those times long gone for me).
5:00 p.m.: I arrive at C's house to pick up Sam. He's happy in C's arms, and as soon as he sees me he starts to fuss. Is it something I've done or is this the only way to express that he's missed me? I choose the latter as the explanation to his sudden fussiness.
5:20 p.m.: We are finally home after a long day on not enough sleep. Sam is in his fussy time, but I wouldn't want to be with any other person right now. We sit on the couch and snuggle a bit, even though Sam is a bit resistant to my kisses. I put him on the floor, where we play with his activity gym. He's reaching for all the toys that dangle before him, and he enjoys telling each of his stuffed animals about his day. I sing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, as Sam seems to enjoy my antics that accompany the lyrics.
6:30 p.m.: Steve still isn't home, and I'm starving, but I just can't seem to get myself organized to prepare dinner. Sam must be fed, and he still needs his bath. I drink a glass of milk to tide me over until Steve comes home and cooks. (Cooking is frightening-I let the professional do it.)
7:45 p.m.: Dinner is finally on the table, but Sam is ready to begin his bedtime routine. I'll have to wait to eat. I'm so hungry that a cold dinner sounds magnificent-much better than what I'd have prepared!
8:30 p.m.: Sam is in bed, and it is finally time to eat, do laundry, and pick up the miscellaneous strewn items throughout the house. Steve wants to snuggle on the couch, so I sit down for a minute, but I can hear the dishes calling my name (say in your best spooky voice), "Heather, you better do us or we'll grow mold and come get you in the night." Hey-kids have closet monsters; I've got dish monsters!
10:30 p.m.: I'm finally collapsing into bed. It has been a long, typical day, but more rewarding than any other day I can remember having before Sam. All is right in my world . . .