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A Day in the Life of Courtney Skaggs

Courtney Skaggs is a teacher at Billy Ryan High School.  She lives in Denton with her 3-year-old son, Cayden, and their dog, Wally.

6AM I’m up. Thankfully, Cayden isn’t. Mornings when he sleeps in a little help me out a lot. I force myself out of my warm, comfy bed around 6:30am. I get ready for work as quietly as I can before Cade wakes up.

6:45AM My little man sleepily opens my bedroom door and trudges into the room. Sleepy Cayden wraps his arms and legs around me for a huge hug. Then he immediately wants praise for sleeping all night in his bed and agreeing to go potty. Both are completely and totally worthy of praise in my book!

7AM He climbs into my bed followed by our Jack Russell Terrier, Wally. They cuddle up to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for a few minutes while I finish getting ready.

7:15AM I’m completely ready for school, so I dress Cade in bed while he finishes watching Mickey.

7:30AM Breakfast. This morning is mini waffles. He eats part of it at his table, and the rest goes in a baggie if we need to leave early. Some mornings like this one Mommy needs Starbucks!

7:45AM Hats and coats on. We say a tearful goodbye to Wally. Cade hates leaving him; I hate leaving the nice warm house. It’s 25 degrees outside today! We always listen to music in the car. I sing to Cade, he laughs and tells me I’m silly then tries to sing along. He also likes to ask me questions about pretty much everything on the way. Today’s question is, “Why is it froggy outside?” That led to a discussion about the difference between “froggy” and “foggy.”

8:05AM I drop Cade off at preschool with his teachers and friends. He’s always reluctant but doesn’t cry anymore. He loves his teachers and friends. He’s learned so much. Preschool is good for him, which helps with my working-mommy guilt. I remind myself of the good things every morning.

8:10AM Now I head off to educate young minds at the high school.

4:30PM BEST. PART. OF. MY. DAY: picking up Cade! He sees me walk into his classroom and exclaims, “There’s my mommy! My mommy is here! Yay!” I feel like royalty entering that room. That moment is my happy place. He runs up and gives me a huge hug as I bury my face in his neck and give him kisses. Then we gather up his stuff and head home. I always have a snack ready for him in the car. Today is peanut butter crackers. We talk about his day on the way home and about what we want to eat for dinner. Today Cade tells me that he went on a treasure hunt, pretended to be a cat and talked about the letter “K.” For dinner he wants pizza. What a surprise. My child would live off pizza if allowed.

4:50PM Home! Cade immediately greets Wally and starts playing. He starts building his tracks for the night, and I start the laundry and the dishwasher. I turn on a recorded episode of Jake and the Never Land Pirates for him to watch while he works. He looks like a little engineer with his trains. Now I run around the house like a woman on a mission trying to get household chores done while avoiding a foot-to-track catastrophe and chatting with Cade about his project.

6PM Dinnertime. When we don’t have someone over for dinner, I eat like a preschooler. Tonight, we compromise. Pizza, with a salad for me and baby carrots for him. We share a banana and an apple, and then he finishes up with yogurt.

6:30PM Clean up dinner. I’m working on getting Cade to help with this. It’s a slow process. At this point he just wants to throw everything away.

7PM Let the bedtime routine begin! We do the bath, book, bed routine. It works out most of the time. Tonight we read two books, The Little Tugboat and The Little Engine That Could … twice! He drinks his milk and eats a small snack while we read. We brush his teeth, first me, then him. I tuck him into bed and nuzzle his neck and play with his hair for a bit while he gets comfortable. He flips over and asks to have his back rubbed. We sing our song, “You are my Sunshine.” By 8:30pm he is usually sound asleep. I turn his humidifier on and sneak out.

8:30PM I do a little happy dance because I got everything done early tonight! I pack lunches for tomorrow and walk around spot-cleaning. Thankfully the house is pretty clean, so I can have some me time. Tonight I have enough energy to hop on the treadmill; that’s not always the case.

9:45PM I shower, dry my hair and get into bed. I try to be in bed by 10pm but it’s almost always 11. I watch a bit of Criminal Minds to relax. A weird show to relax with, I know, but it gets my mind off my stuff.

10:45PM I cuddle up in bed with Wally and fall asleep listening to Cade’s soft little-boy snores on the monitor as I say a little prayer that he sleeps in again tomorrow morning. 


Diaries are penned by moms (and dads) in the North Texas area. The authors volunteer to share a day of their choosing and are not paid or endorsed by NorthTexasChild. Send your diary to editorial@northtexaschild.com. All submissions are subject to editing and may be cut for space.