Larrah Bolten is the mother of 6-year-old Zachary, 3-year-old Wesley and 1-year-old Lucas. She is taking a break from a career in proposal writing to raise her children with her husband, Michael, a dentist in McKinney.
6:50AM The older boys wander down the hall and climb into our bed.
7:08AM When I go to pick the babbling baby up out of his crib, I see that he is not really a baby anymore but looks and sounds like a toddler now.
7:30AM I help the boys gather their clothes, and then I begin cooking a hot breakfast of French toast for the boys on my grandmother’s iron skillet. Last night, I programmed my rice cooker to have a hot bowl of steel-cut oatmeal ready and my coffee maker to have a cup of Starbucks Espresso Roast coffee brewed for me. I feel so pampered by this little set-up.
8AM I dreamily imagine I am at a beautiful desert health spa featured in a Denise Austin workout video but am brought back to reality by the crash of a juice glass onto the floor.
8:15AM It’s the final push to get everyone dressed and into the mini-van. Maybe Dad will feed the dog.
9AM Everybody has been dropped off at their carpools, and it is time to put on NPR for the drive from the preschool back to Zach’s school.
9:15AM I teach a Junior Achievement class for Zach’s kindergarten. I feel so protective over these little children. Volunteering in their class makes me feel like I am part of a community — something I crave.
10AM I head home to make out my grocery list. I completely obsess over the nutritional content and flavoring of this week’s dinner menu as if I’m a biochemist or work for Rachael Ray. I research the manufacturing process of various Italian cheeses on the Web. I decide that fresh rosemary and Locatelli pecorino romano cheese are worth the price and add them to the grocery list.
10:30AM At the gym, I physically exhaust myself to the point of not caring about anything for about an hour afterward.
11:30AM I pick Lucas and Wes up, and we eat a brown-bag lunch in the van. Then we make a “PR” visit to my husband’s dental office.
12PM We are back home.
1PM Lucas goes down for a long, delicious nap.
1:15PM I get Wes started on an art project, something in a finger-paint-and-Cheerios medium. I can’t resist a few moments to be creative and paint a seaside scene. I let my imagination drop me back on La Jolla Beach in San Diego riding the surf in my ocean kayak and cooing to sea lion pups popping their heads up for a curious close-up look. The scene quickly dissolves as Wes screams in frustration, and I turn my attention to helping him express his imagination.
1:30PM I make endless to-do lists for cleaning, organizing and decorating the house into perfection while still being kind to the environment and maintaining a budget.
3:30PM I wake Lucas up so that we can pick Zach up from school.
4PM We all reconnect with Zach. Everyone talks over each other. Everyone needs a snack. Everyone wants my attention for dispute resolution, homework, discipline or comfort. I begin to feel very tired. I ask myself, “What would Supernanny do?”
5PM I lose myself in dinner preparation, experimenting with rapture like Remy on Ratatouille, i.e., “getting fancy with the spices.”
5:15PM My BFF calls on her drive home from work! The girl talk reinvigorates me. I get to hear about the work-a-day corporate life I left behind and the exciting new restaurant she will go out to tonight on her date. I tell her everything the kids said and did today; she thinks they are adorable and angelic. This encourages me to no end, and when I get off the phone I see them as adorable and angelic again, too.
6PM Dad is home! The mood instantly changes from cranky to party. Dad gets the kids to eat vegetables with some wild antics wherein he lets the kids wrestle him to the floor.
7PM Dad puts on hip-hop dance music while we lead everyone through the shower, dressing and medicine routine. I think it’s too loud, but then I give in and have a lot of fun dancing with the boys.
7:30PM We make the boys eat a slice of apple to “clean out their teeth,” then we help them brush with low-fluoride toothpaste, spit thoroughly and floss with dinosaur-shaped flossers.
8PM We read books. We finally leave the boys reading books in their bed, because they don’t want to give it up.
8:30PM Mommy and Daddy Free Time! We forgo the temptation to crash on the couch in front of the TV and do a little work first. Then we cuddle on the couch.
10PM I settle into bed to read Programming in Objective-C (step one in the master plan to teach myself to program so I can fulfill this pie-in-the-sky idea of creating an iPhone app). In the perfect world, I would just daydream my way through the day. While I might not like to be interrupted from my reverie, I truly appreciate the everyday challenges of life.