Maria Kaplan is a devoted wife to Eric and full-time stay-at-home mom to Ava, 8, Bella, 7, and David, 4. She is the Founder/Director of KIDS Chorus Company and a member of the Johnson Elementary Parent Teacher Organization. She and her family recently moved from San Diego to Southlake. Maria is passionate about interior design, photography, party planning and supporting the arts in public schools.
3:30AM My husband’s alarm goes off just two hours after I’ve gone to bed. He leaves early today for a convention in California. He kisses me goodbye and I drift back to sleep.
5:30AM I see the shadow of my 4-year-old son stumbling into my room half-asleep, hair tousled, wearing a pajama top and no underwear. He resembles a tiny frat boy. He climbs into bed, nuzzles into my arm and I breathe in the maple syrupy, baby-boy scent of him.
6:39AM My body’s natural alarm clock wakes me up. I tuck the covers around David and get up to wake my 7- and 8-year-old daughters. My 7-year-old sits at the counter and orders toaster waffles with whipped cream. I give her a yogurt and half of a banana and call it balanced.
6:55AM I play a one-sided knock-knock joke on my 8-year-old. “Knock-knock. Who’s there? John. John who? John the Baptist,” I say as I sprinkle water on her sleepy head. Her soft, beautiful little face contorts into a scowl and she reluctantly gets up.
7AM I pull spirit-day outfits out for the girls and hunt for the green and pink light-up sneakers. I manage to wiggle a pair of robot underwear on my son while he sleeps before hopping in the shower.
7:30AM I’m yelling for the girls to come to my bathroom, so I can brush their hair while I brush my teeth and swipe on mascara.
7:47AM We hear the swishy screech of the middle-school bus brakes, which means we have to leave now or we will be late for school. We drive less than a mile to the school and three cars pull in behind me. I commend myself for not being the last mom there.
8AM Back home I turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and offer to make my son chocolate-chip pancakes. He declines and says he would rather have the microwave kind and he wants to make them himself. Any help from me will surely result in a massive morning meltdown, so I look on as he drags the heavy wrought-iron barstool across the kitchen floor to the microwave. I am thankful for those stupid little circle felt pads that took hours to put on all the feet of the furniture.
8:30AM David is dressed and tossing the pillows from the couch as he hunts for the Furbling that he will bring for “sharing” today. I tell him in my day we called it “show and tell.” He is unimpressed and probably thinks I am as old as a dinosaur.
9AM I let David punch in the secret code that opens the door to his pre-K. He is thrilled when we arrive early enough for him to be assigned a job. Today, he is weather-helper. I tell him that you need a Ph.D. in Climatology to be a weather-helper in Dallas — or a crystal ball.
9:05AM I pick up a copy of FortWorthChild as I’m leaving the school and end up sitting in the parking lot reading all of the articles. Since we are new to this area, I also read all of the advertisements. I read the new Mommy Diary and am enthralled by the monotony of this SAHM’s life. She is me and I am her. I feel a profound sense of camaraderie.
10:30AM I come home to a quiet, empty house that looks like a post-war apocalypse. I race from room to room, picking up strewn pajamas and socks, loading dishes into the dishwasher and laundry into the machine. I shove things in drawers and hastily wipe down surfaces before the housekeeper arrives. I don’t want her to think we actually live like this.
11AM I try to hide from the housekeeper because it makes me nervous to sit still while other people are working. I do a quick Facebook check. I scroll through all of the senseless memes, crockpot recipes and Debbie-downer status updates, post a quick birthday shout-out to a few people that I barely know and read an interesting article about the top 10 cities where ordinary people can no longer afford homes. Suddenly, I feel confident that we made the right decision to move here when I see San Diego listed as number two on the list.
11:30AM I check email and find an offer from our realtor that we need to docusign. We found a beautiful house and want to get the offer in.
11:45AM I spend an hour on the phone with my best friend in New Jersey. She is also my free therapist and graphic designer. Today, we are talking about the design of the website for my new children’s chorus. I realize that I need to book rehearsal space before we can open registration and start to panic. Best friend steps in with advice and calms my nerves.
12:45PM I realize I haven’t heard from my husband, so I send a quick text: “Love, did you land?” His quick text back: “Sorry, phone died. I love you.” Relieved, I turn my attention to the stack of bills that need to be paid.
1PM I turn the TV on and scroll through the DVR to Trauma: Life in the E.R. The blaring sirens, shouting and general chaos of the emergency room provides a soothing white noise while I write checks.
1:30PM I realize I have not eaten today and I am starving, so I grab a bag of trail mix and get in the car. A trip to Michaels for my daughter’s state-in-a-box diorama is in order. She was assigned New Jersey. As I drive, I ponder how we will fit all of that attitude (and hair) into one little box. Not to mention, Chris Christie.
2:15PM Forty-five minutes and $107.69 later, I leave Michaels with enough craft supplies to make 17 states-in-a-box.
2:30PM I stop by Costco to pick up the 8×10 photo that I will enter in the Bob Jones Nature Center Photography contest. I decide that the “Nature Scenics” category best describes the photo of bare tree limbs that branch out like veins set against a winter sky. On the entry form I write, “Waiting in Vein” and pause to laugh at myself.
2:55PM I pull into the pick-up line at school and feel a pang of homesickness as I remember chatting with the other moms at school pick-up. Here everyone moves through a very efficient assembly line, so you can’t talk to anyone. I sigh and realize I don’t know anyone here anyway.
3:15PM The girls eat a snack in the car as we drive to pick up my son from preschool. I send them in to get him because it makes them feel important, and, well, it gives me at least six minutes to pin something.
3:30PM I take the kids to Urban Air. I use the Groupon that’s been in my bag for seven months and still pay $17. Those sticky, neon bracelets will buy me another hour on Pinterest.
4:30PM We race home to pick up Ava’s guitar and Bella’s piano book and rush to lessons. I realize that my whole day is one big game of “hurry up and wait.”
5:30PM We are home and Dani arrives. Dani is my “mother’s helper.” In reality, she is my “read-with-my-first-grader-then-do-math-with-my-third-grader-while-I-empty-backpacks-sign-reading-logs-write-checks-for-school-pictures-make-dinner-fold-laundry-work-on-state-in-a-box-projects-and-all-around-keep-me-company-until-my-husband-gets-home person.”
7PM The kids watch TV while Dani and I chat, clean up the kitchen and get baths ready for the kids. It’s nice having an extra set of hands when my husband travels and even nicer to have the adult company. I think the Sister Wives are on to something.
7:30PM Dani leaves just as my husband pulls in the driveway. I am always a little anxious when he travels, so I am relieved and happy to see him. I stand over the dishwasher, which is now dispensing heavy steam as it completes the drying cycle. I count this as an impromptu facial as my husband tells me about his day.
8PM I give my daughters a kiss goodnight and my husband puts them to bed while I sit with David in his chair. We read Diary of a Worm, More Spaghetti, I Say! and Goodnight iPad, which I find infinitely more amusing than the antiquated original.
10PM Tonight I do not suffer from the insomnia that usually plagues me. Instead I fall asleep the same way that I woke up this morning, with David’s syrupy, sweaty cheek pressed into the crook of my neck. I wake only when my husband comes in to peel him off of my lap.
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 email@example.com. All submissions are subject to editing and may be cut for space.