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How LaTari Prater, Mom and Manager at Dallas Public Library, Spends Her Wednesdays

From getting her little boy ready in the morning to relaxing while watching an oldie (but goodie) TV show after a long day's work

LaTari Prater is a branch manager at the Dallas Public Library. She and her husband, Jerry, live in Cedar Hill with their two-year-old son, Trey.

6:15AM The alarm goes off and I immediately hit the snooze button. I turn over and try to remember what day it is—oh yeah, Wednesday. The alarm goes off again and I manage to get out of bed.

6:30AM I peek inside Trey’s room. He’s still asleep! It’s a mini victory to spend a few minutes picking out something to wear for work, apply makeup and style my hair in peace.

6:50AM Breakfast. Thank God for instant oatmeal. While it cooks, I pack my workbag and gather stuff for Trey’s babysitter.

7AM Enjoy breakfast and watch a little (non-cartoon) TV.

7:15AM Time to wake up Trey. He’s a hard sleeper, so I turn on his favorite cartoon, Paw Patrol, to help him wake up. He finally opens his eyes, but refuses to sit up. Well, looks like it’s breakfast in bed. (Yes, I realize that I’m totally spoiling my son.)

7:30AM Get Trey ready for the day. Jerry comes in to wish us a great day before heading off to work.

7:50AM Trey and I load into the car and we’re off.

8:25AM We arrive to drop-off Trey with his babysitter. I place his lunch and snacks in refrigerator, kiss him goodbye and head to work.

8:50AM Pull into the library’s parking lot. I take a quick look at my phone and then head inside.

9AM Check that the library is ready to open for the day. I walk around the facility to make sure all computers are functioning normally and restrooms and meeting rooms are set.

9:15AM I read my email and prepare for my staff meeting for the day.

9:30AM I hold a meeting to inform my staff about updates on various procedures and upcoming training on the horizon.

10AM It’s show time! The library is open, and a few students in my weekly computer class arrive and I log them onto the computer. The class is for adults and seniors, and today we go over using web browsers and typing skills. After 30 minutes of instruction, I allow them to practice typing for the remainder of class.

11AM Class ends and I’m off to work the reference desk, where I assist patrons with resumes and job applications.

12PM I hold a second staff meeting for my staff working the evening shift.

1PM Lunchtime. I’m trying to eat healthier, so I resist my temptation to get a cheeseburger and fries and eat the chicken fruit salad and Greek yogurt I packed today. The sacrifices we must make for health.

2PM I meet with our children’s librarian to discuss kid-focused programming for fall and winter.

3PM The rest of the afternoon is spent reviewing and approving program proposals, publishing events to our public calendar and answering emails. One of my staffers reports an issue with the printer, so I’m off to investigate. It’s a paper jam, which I quickly fix. I spend the last hour helping a student with a PowerPoint presentation for school.

6PM I wrap up work and head out. I decide to take the back roads to avoid traffic and call my mom to chat while I drive.

6:45PM Home! Jerry gets off at 4pm so he and Trey are already home. Jerry loves to cook (lucky me) so dinner is already in the oven. While our food cooks, I prepare dinner for Trey: a DIY chicken pot pie, made our of a crescent roll stuffed with mixed veggies and baked chicken. He likes to eat and play, so I must chase him to feed him. Chasing around a toddler is like a mini cardio session, right?

7:30PM Dinnertime. Jerry prepared bourbon brown sugar pork chops, brown sugar-crusted sweet potatoes and garlic asparagus with butter thyme mushrooms. It was simply delicious! After dinner, we sit down to watch some TV while we play with Trey.

9PM I get up to prepare my son’s lunch and backpack for the babysitter. I restock his bag with diapers, wipes, and an extra set of clothes. Then I prepare my lunch for the next day. Once everything is prepared, I give Trey a warm bubble bath. While he plays in the tub, I brush my teeth, floss, wash my face and twist my hair for bed. After I towel off Trey, I slather on some baby lotion and put some pajamas on him before I carry him to the bed with Jerry.

9:30PM Time to take a hot shower! I can never take a shower without music, so I turn on the Beyonce station on Pandora and jam out in the shower. After that, I slather on my favorite body cream, Orange Ginger from Bath & Body Works, and get ready for bed.

10PM I walk out the bathroom hoping that Trey is already asleep. Wrong! He’s watching an episode of Kings of Queens. I lay beside him and encourage him to lay down as well. Nope, he sits right back up while sucking his fingers.

10:30PM After a few tosses and turns, Trey finally falls asleep. I carry him to his bedroom and place him down in his crib before returning to my bed. I read for a bit from my Bible app and then watch some reruns of The New Adventures of the Old Christine on TVLand.

11:30PM I feel my eyes starting to get heavy. I set my alarm for the next morning, set the timer on the TV and drift off to dream land.