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A Day in the Life of Jenay Sherman

Jenay Sherman lives in McKinney with her husband Willie and their four sons: William (who has Down syndrome), 6; Sean, 4; Dillon, 3; and Austin, 1. Willie is an administrative officer with Maxim Healthcare, where he has worked with medically fragile children and children with special needs for more than 10 years. Jenay is a blogger at 4amusingmuses.tumblr.com and author of The SuperBrother Squad vs. the Aquatic Carrots of Doom.  

6AM The day begins, as usual, with the sound of William on the monitor before the alarm is set to go off. He likes to rise early, rearrange his room and turn on the television. 

6:45AM William is dressed and sitting down to eat. By now, Austin is awake and wants Cheerios at his high chair. I hear, “Good morning, Mommy!” That’s Sean, so I make another bowl of cereal. Sean tells us all about his dream last night (friendly blue zombies were eating all of our groceries?), while they eat and I make Willie’s lunch.   

7AM Willie is running out the door to begin his commute to Dallas. I help William brush his teeth and get his backpack and shoes. He spends the last few minutes waiting for the bus by telling everyone goodbye and giving hugs to his brothers. 

7:10AM William asks if he will get treats when he gets home. He gets strapped into his seat and blows me kisses. “Be a good boy!” he yells out the window as they drive off. 

7:15AM I finish feeding the baby, cleaning the dishes and pack lunches in bags. I lay out clothes the night before, so I help Sean and Austin get dressed. Sean watches the Sprout network while I get dressed. 

8AM Time to wake up Dillon, always the last to bed and the last to rise. I try to be gentle. My ability to wake him in a friendly manner will determine his mood for the entire morning. 

8:30AM Dillon is dressed and fed, so I quickly check backpacks to prepare them for the day. Diapers, nap blanket, nap mat, lunches, folders, show-n-tell object that begins with the letter “R” — check, check, check. 

8:55AM No matter how organized I am the night before, or the entire morning, this is always crunch time. I’m hurrying to make bottles and put on shoes, brush teeth, lotion faces, brush hair … 

9:03AM We’re in the car, heat is on and we’re singing “I Love You Like a Love Song.”  

9:15AM I wait in the car until the preschool opens the interior doors, because I like to avoid having my children running loose in a crowd of other children. 

9:30AM Austin and I can begin our day. I didn’t have time to make coffee this morning, so I drive to Sonic but find myself ordering the same as always — size Route 44 diet green iced tea with lime and vanilla. This will accompany me throughout the whole day. 

9:45AM Around town for assorted errands: diapers from Walmart, wipes from Target and milk from Tom Thumb. It sounds like a pain, but I buy these items in quantities for savings that far surpass the added cost of gas. 

11AM Finally home. Feed Austin and put him down for a nap so I can clean. End up editing at the computer until my alarm goes off to start the pickup process. 

1:50PM Leave to pick up the boys. We sit in the car for a minute to go through their folders and see what they made today. 

2:25PM Arrive in line to pick up William. We have a few minutes and three boys are conked out, so I jot down some notes for my blog while I wait. That’s why I always keep a notepad in the car. 

3PM Try to get all four boys into the house without waking them. As usual, the baby wakes up. Then he dumps his whole snack of quartered blueberries and turkey all over the floor. The dog carefully eats all of the turkey and leaves the blueberries in the pile. 

3:05PM After cleaning up that mess, it’s on to tackle bigger messes: namely, laundry and general upkeep while I “think” about dinner. 

4:45PM Rush to put dinner together while all four boys beg for drinks and cookies underfoot. 

5:45PM Boys are seated and prayers said, so they dig in. Sean doesn’t want his food, Dillon spills his drink, William wants more rice and Austin is crying. 

6:30PM I’m just finishing cleaning the dishes when Willie walks in. He eats his dinner while I make William’s lunch. All of the boys sit at the table with their dad and talk about the day.   

7:30PM I let the boys “watch” a little TV (which means wrestle and scatter toys about while the TV is on) and then get them all ready for bed.   

8:15PM William and Sean get in bed, but Dillon refuses so he goes back down to Daddy. I get all of the clothes ready for the morning, finish cleaning the kitchen and straighten up all of the toys.   

9PM Willie and I (with Dillon in the middle) get in bed to watch a movie. Tonight it’s Captain Phillips. Quickly deciding this isn’t subject matter for the little one (and he shows no signs of fading soon), we change to the DIY channel.   

10PM Dillon is finally asleep and so is Willie, so I catch up on reading what all of my Tumblr bloggers experienced today.   

11PM I fall asleep with the TV (and my glasses) still on. But never fear — the baby will wake twice during the night to eat, and, at some point, Sean will have to go to the bathroom. This night is far from over … 

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

Published April 2014