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A Day in the Life of Connie Swinney

Connie is a stay-at-home mom who is working toward becoming a teacher. She lives in Arlington with her husband Levi and daughters Mia, 10, and Jules, 8.

5:50AM Um, no. Snooze. 

5:59AM Seriously? Snooze. 

6:08AM I hate mornings. I stumble to the kitchen to take my thyroid medicine and let our dog, Penny, out.  

6:30AM I take a very hot bath with my iPhone in tow. My husband advises against using my phone in the bathtub. I remind him that I have only dropped it in the bathtub once, the toilet once and it works perfectly … except that none of the buttons work. I have to use a touch assist icon instead. Super annoying. 

6:55AM I get dressed and wake up the kids. I can tell by the look on Jules’ face that it is going to be one of those mornings.  

7:05AM If I had set out their clothes the night before, I wouldn’t be looking for clean socks like the Holy Grail. I regret not doing laundry yesterday, as I dig through the dirty clothes for the cleanest dirty socks I can find.  

7:15AM It’s cereal day, thank God. I make lunches while they eat. It’s at this point that Jules tells me she doesn’t feel good. Please note, she has already been crying and making dramatic gasping-sigh noises, so I can hear her distress.  

7:40AM Time to fix hair and brush teeth. Mia fixes her own hair today. She’s not always up for it, but I’m thankful when she is. I tell her what a good job she did and can’t help but feel so proud of the young lady she is becoming.  Meanwhile, Jules takes her own temperature while I fix her hair. No fever. She’s not impressed.   

7:55AM Jules begins to tell me she just can’t do it. She can’t go to school. She says she’s very tired and her stomach hurts. I tell her I am very sorry but she is going to school. This is the third time going through this very same routine. Her whimpering is now hysteria. Mia waits quietly.   

8:05AM Dad is driving them to school today. He walks them up to the front door and tries to console her. It’s not working. He calls to tell me he just sent her in crying. I cringe. Are we doing the right thing? We know our daughter well. We know she has had a rough year in third grade. She misses her second grade teacher. She misses her friends that are in another class. She misses the littleness that you still are in second grade. They are preparing you to be a big kid in third grade. I don’t think she wants to be one. She has always loved school; it’s all breaking my heart.   

8:15AM I try to call her teacher, but she isn’t in her room. I consider going up to the school. I’m feeling weak. I know making her go is the right thing, but I also don’t care about being right all of the time. I pray for her.   

8:30AM I send an email to her teacher. She responds fairly quickly and says Jules is hanging in there and she will keep an eye on her. I try not to think about it.  

8:45AM I finish getting ready and clean up from the morning madness. 

9:30AM I go outside to feed our stupid rabbits. I open the enclosed part of the hutch, and what do I see? Six tiny squirming baby bunnies in a nest of fluffy rabbit fur. Susan had babies and clearly Snowball is the father. One dark brown, two tan and three white. I am so dead. My husband wasn’t very supportive (OK, not really at all) of the rabbits in the first place and now? I’m dead. I had an appointment to get the male fixed but it got cancelled and then I got too busy to reschedule.    

9:45AM I quickly Google some facts about baby bunnies and become as much of an expert as one can at the last minute. I had to think this through. How would I tell Levi? When would I tell the girls? The babies don’t always survive, so I decided to wait a week to see which ones made it. It’s not like the girls feed our rabbits or even remember we have them, so they won’t find the babies.   

10AM I contemplate how my life is like an episode of I Love Lucy, while I make the grocery list and head to the store.   

1AM I get back from shopping, put up the groceries and straighten up around the house.  

2PM There’s just enough time to study for and take my quiz. I’m working toward getting my teaching certificate. I have a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Texas A&M, yet every plant I touch dies. However, when I touch rabbits they multiply. You see? I Love Lucy

3PM It’s time to pick up Jules from school. Mia is at gymnastics. We ride home quietly, until she finally speaks. She says, “Mommy?  I’m sorry I overreacted today and those other days. I don’t really know what was wrong with me. I know I should not have done that. I don’t know? I guess I just really hate Mondays, and I hate leaving you after being with you all weekend.” To this, I could only smile. I hate Mondays too, dear one. And I hate leaving you too.   

5PM Dinner is cooking and it’s homework time. This doesn’t always go well, but today it went swimmingly.  

6PM We sit down to eat without Levi. We don’t like this arrangement, but sometimes (all the time) his job is demanding.   

6:30PM We clean the kitchen. They sort of help in a weird, not-really-helping way but we’re working on it.    

7PM The girls shower and get ready for bed. I watch TV and fold laundry.    

8PM We all sit down to read some pages in a chapter book we’ve been working on for a while. I love reading to them. I don’t know when or if I will ever stop.   

8:30PM Bedtime for them. Jules has to go straight to sleep so I tuck her in, but Mia reads for thirty minutes before lights are out. 

9PM I tuck Mia in, then crash on the couch. Once I sit down, nothing else will happen the rest of the night. I watch an episode of Downton Abbey. Love.   

10PM I get in bed and play on my iPad. After about 20 minutes of that, I’m in danger of hitting my face with the iPad from drifting off. I put it away and go to sleep. I dream of little baby bunnies all night long. 

Diaries are penned by moms (and dads) in the Fort Worth area. The authors volunteer to share a day of their choosing and are not paid or endorsed by FortWorthChild. Send your diary to editorial@dfwchild.comAll submissions are subject to editing and may be cut for space.

Published May 2014