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A Day in the Life of Andy Simpson

Andy, a social studies teacher and track coach at Slidell High School, lives in Rhome with his wife, Valerie, and their 4-year-old son, Cooper. In addition to their parenting duties, Andy is getting an online master’s degree from Texas Tech University, while Valerie is a law student at Texas Wesleyan.

6:15am My alarm goes off. I discover that I’m in bed with my wife and two other females, Ella and Gracie, our dogs. Thanks to taking a shower last night, I hit snooze.

6:24am My snooze expires. I start the modified morning routine: no shower, brush, dress, toast and fruit, feed dogs and step out the door one minute late.

7:06am I pull out of the driveway.

7:40am I pull in to work at Slidell High School … still one minute late.

7:41am-12:15pm “Bell to bell” teaching.

12:15pm Barbecue chicken legs for lunch. Definitely exceeds typical school lunch program offerings.

12:45-4:30pm Back to teaching.

4:30pm Track practice is over. Heading home.

4:32pm Listening to the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast about two English women who reportedly “slipped in time” to 1792 and encounter Marie Antoinette before she is executed by the people of France. If I slipped in time, I’d want to encounter John Lennon before his assassination. I blame Yoko.

4:48pm Stop in Allsup’s for a Coke and a Zero bar.

5:15pm Pull in to my driveway. Say hello to Valerie and Cooper. They are my pride and joy (I heard a guy describe his wife and daughters like that and always liked it). Time to cook Hamburger Helper for Coop and me.

5:38pm Thought I would work on my homework assignment while cooking supper, but the Internet is down for the third time in about a month.

5:58pm Val leaves for a Homeowner’s Association meeting.

6:02pm My sister-in-law, Stephanie, and her son, Logan, decide to go for a walk to the mailboxes (they’re living with us while her husband, Greg, is deployed in Afghanistan). Cooper wants to join them.

6:04pm Dinner is ready. Cooper thinks taking a walk is a better idea.

6:07pm Food is covered. Coop puts his helmet on and mounts his Toy Story 3 bicycle. We journey to the mailbox.

6:09pm Ice cream man sighting!

6:20pm We arrive at home, and Coop changed the menu to Pop-Tarts without consulting me.

6:24pm After a brief time-out, Cooper decides to enjoy daddy’s cooking. He eats like a champ.

6:30pm Seeing the ice cream man out the window, I bolt out the front door and chase him down the street. Coop thinks I abandoned him, but he is overjoyed when I return. We spend the best two dollars anyone ever spent on Pink Panther ice cream.

6:55pm Dinner is finished and so is the ice cream. We leave the dishes for someone else.

7:00pm Cooper heads upstairs to play while I try to complete my homework with the Internet on my phone.  

7:30pm I hear, “Daddy, I’m ready to put my PJs on!” Translated this means, “Daddy, I didn’t make it to the bathroom in time!”

7:35pm Cooper takes a quick bath.

8:15pm Sit down on the coach with Coop for his snack of Mini Eggos, and we watch a little bit of The Sword in the Stone.

8:30pm Val finally returns from the meeting! I ask if she successfully proposed her legislative agenda.

8:45pm Heading upstairs to brush teeth and use the potty with Coop.

8:50pm Val reads Danny and the Dinosaur to Coop, while I water the dogs. I get to pick up reading The Wizard of Oz at the chapter about the Tin Woodman. When I ask for a hug, Coop asks me if I hug the people at school. I tell him I save my hugs for him and mommy, to which he responds, “Remember the Wizard told the Tin Man that your heart is measured by how much you are loved by others!” Not sure how to explain to him that hugging everyone stops being cute when you lose your baby teeth.

9:30pm Cooper is finally down and still chattering away. At least we know Ella and Gracie will keep him safe!

9:35pm I fix a snack of toast and Nutella and climb on the couch beside Val to watch Criminal Minds with her and Stephanie. Nothing like a little violent crime before I sleep!

10:25pm Off to my bedtime ritual of brush, floss, crank down the air conditioner, laying out my clothes and charging my laptop.

10:35pm Sneak in to give Cooper another kiss and pray over him one more time.

10:45pm Why are the NBA playoffs on at this time of night? I have to finish Bulls vs. Pacers now.

11:05pm Bulls won, so now it’s time to listen to some music from my “Stuck in the ’80s” playlist as I fall asleep. Headphones engaged!

11:25pm Guess I’ll listen to a podcast or something. Maybe people talking will put me to sleep.

11:59pm I wake up when Val comes in from watching a show with Stephanie. Get to sneak one more peek at my bride before I pass out. Good night!