Deborah Boudreaux, mom to Austin, 3, and Connor, 8 months, lives in Fort Worth with her husband Dayne, who attends Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She works part-time as an afterschool instructor at Amon Carter-Riverside High School.
8am Hear my 8-month old, Connor, fussing. The second I lift him out of his bed, he’s happy. I nurse him, change him and plop him on the carpet to play with whatever toys happen to be out from yesterday. We grin at each other. I am not fully awake yet, as I am not a morning person. Connor is completely awake and is always a morning person.
8:10am Check e-mail. Check the weather. Pay bills online. I can’t imagine what people did without the Web, except that it must have involved a pen and paper.
8:12am Aack! Connor is crawling so fast these days. He’s already under my office chair searching for treasures. I promptly pick him up and redeposit him in a new spot, giving him some measuring spoons to play with.
8:15am Load dishwasher (too tired to do it last night). Eat a bowl of Cheerios. Connor gnaws on a big plastic hanger he’s found (how did that get on the floor?).
8:40am Play baby games with Connor. Make crazy noises on his belly and tickle him.
9am Hear big brother Austin. Walk into his room and greet the toy train sitting on his bed. Austin smiles. He thinks it is so neat when Mommy talks to his trains.
9:15am Austin eats three French toast sticks and some blueberries.
9:30am Austin’s face, hands and knees are completely covered in a beautiful shade of purple juice. Wash him down to remove all evidence of blueberry.
9:45am Decide I better go grocery shopping, because we are out of bread, milk and baby food. Change Austin’s pull-up, nurse him, hunt for his shoes, dress both kids and myself.
10am Wow. I’ve made a record of getting us all ready in 15 minutes.
10:06am Call my Mom to see if she needs any groceries. She does, so I drive to her house. We hang out for an hour chatting while the kids play. I eat a slice of honey cake. Mom says it didn’t come out just right. I think it’s delicious, and I eat another slice and copy the recipe for myself. She offers to make me more cake. Moms are terrific. Kids are getting restless … better go to the store.
11:15am Austin starts to fuss and I realize he needs some lunch, so we head to McDonald’s for chicken nuggets, his food-on-the-run staple. He happily munches while my Mom and I zoom through the store.
12:30pm Yeah! Survived another grocery trip. Connor wakes up after sleeping on my shoulder for 30 minutes. The feeling is now back in my arm. Austin has eaten four different snacks – all grocery items, including an apple. I tell the cashier to scan a remaining apple twice because my son has eaten one. She understands.
1:30pm Back home. Scarf down a turkey sandwich and feed Connor half a jar of squash simultaneously. Put groceries away. Nurse Connor.
2:30pm Dayne comes home from class. Give him a hug, a kiss and a summary of the morning. Tell the kids I’ll be home later. Austin protests like usual.
2:40pm Drive to work (though I’m glad for the break, I start to miss the kids immediately).
4pm Plan the next day’s “Chocolate Factory” class that I will teach. Students will cook chocolate, eat it and learn about package and logo design. My outside job is easier than my “mommy” job.
6:15pm Arrive home. Connor starts smiling when he sees me. Austin is in snooze land. Dayne is hungry. Typical. I nurse Connor, as Dayne informs me that Connor has eaten the rest of the squash for supper. Terrific! He’s definitely gotten his Vitamin C in for the day. Put Connor in his walker. Wake up Austin and zap some chicken-flavored instant rice in the microwave for him.
6:30pm Connor is happily roaming around the kitchen and Austin is happily eating supper in the living room. Two happy kids at the same time after I come home – amazing. I make a quick pizza using a readymade crust for Dayne and myself. Top it with a jar of garlic Alfredo sauce and already cooked fajita meat and mozzarella cheese.
6:45pm Take two bites of pizza. Delicious! Food always tastes so good when you are really hungry.
7pm Connor is fussy. Decide to plop him in the tub and let him splash around to keep him from crying. I eat more pizza while he’s bathing. Yes, I’m eating in the bathroom. Multitasking at its best.
7:30pm Play prerecorded songs on my keyboard and Austin and I dance around. Then I let Connor jump up and down on my lap, his version of dancing. We listen to an eccentric combo of classical and kiddie tunes. Austin and I pull a toy caterpillar and puppy all through the house and Connor chases us. Austin stays happy until Connor actually catches one of the pull toys; then he shrieks, “Don’t touch! Don’t touch!” His goal every day is to make sure Connor doesn’t touch a single toy in the house. Connor’s goal every day is to touch all the toys in the house. AND cover them in a good layer of baby drool.
8pm Connor finally seems tired. I nurse him, hug him and put him in his bed. Austin is ecstatic that he gets Mommy all to himself now.
8:10pm Austin takes a bath, while I brush his teeth using his singing train toothbrush.
8:30pm Play some quiet games with Austin in his room. He puts the ABCs that I’ve written on 26 paper plates in order. Then, he proudly sings the ABC song.
8:50pm Read two bedtime stories. One is usually a train book. Big surprise.
9pm Put a blanket on Austin and tell him and his trains goodnight.
9:15pm Browse through a cookbook, read a chapter in a start-your-own-business book, read a chapter in my Bible. Pray and thank God for getting me through another hectic, but still wonderful, day.
10pm Go to bed. It’s amazing how soft your bed is when you are really, really tired.