I’ve decided to interview myself for this blog post, since it seems easier than writing a cogent narrative. 50 points to me for using such big words.

Interviewer Type Situation: You’ve alluded to your busy schedule. Please, walk us through your day. (Ed. note: I originally typed “bust” schedule instead of “busy” and I toyed with leaving it, feeling it was so very apropos).

Mama Bird: Of course. I used to be a woman that could spring from my bed upon being awoken, but recently, my morning consists of about 15 minutes of laying on my back, staring at the ceiling as children kick me in the head, pull on my arms or cry in my ear. If I am in a particularly charmed mood, I might toss out a “Jesus Christ, alright already.” Otherwise I roll out of bed and make my way, zombie-like, to the coffee machine. I’ll actually explain Wednesdays and Fridays, as those are my worst days by far. Penguin has to be at school by 8:30am, so the morning is a whirlwind of activity.

  • 7AM, wake, pretend I did not.
  • 7:15AM, stumble out of bed, stub multiple toes and catch several limbs on bicycle stored by the bed. Swear.
  • 7:20AM. TV time for children. My LIttle Ponies, Rugrats or Curious George. Always. Repeat dialogue along with the script. Pantomime if mood/energy strikes. Make coffee. Lots.
  • 7:30AM. Prison-inspired dry cheerios for Penguin. Cheerios and milk for Owl. Kashi and soy milk for me. Wrestle mangled banana from Owl’s hands. Eat sad, mashed banana with a look of world-weary resignation on face.
  • 7:50AM. Time to get dressed! Select outfit for Penguin and lay out on couch. Select outfit for self and lay out on living room chair. Why do we all like to get dressed in the living room? Ponder for three seconds, then start shouting about how we are all going to be late.
  • 8:00-8:15AM. Bathroom, teeth, wash face. Makeup and stylish hair? Please. I look like a hausfrau, but I’m not trying to be attractive to strangers, so it works well.
  • 8:20AM. “We need to leave. Now. Like right now.”
  • 8:26AM. Leave for school.
  • 8:37AM. Arrive for school, late, but not horridly so.
  • 8:45AM. Drive over to the train station and play around on phone for 20 minutes. If a suitable number of coins can be scrounged from underneath the seat or I am willing to deal with Papa Bird’s routine budget talks, stop at McDonald’s on the way for coffee and yogurt.
  • 9:05-10:00AM Train time.
  • 10:00-10:20AM. Walking from train to office time,
  • 10:20AM-4:20PM. Work. And no day is every really the same, so no summary would suffice.
  • 4:20-4:45PM. Walking to office from train.
  • 4:50PM – 5:30PM. Train time.
  • 5:45. Eat something. Somewhere. It’s dissertation night!
  • 6:30PM – 12:30AM. In a pattern that is both depressing and reassuring, open dissertation documents, work on things for about 25 minutes, check email, check Facebook, check a few blogs, work for about an hour, research a random and useless celebrity tidbit, eat something, look at the ceiling and allow your mind to ask “why, why, why, why?” in an endless loop, work for about 3 hours in an odd burst of motivation and clarity from 9:30PM to 12:30AM. Give in to desperate pleas from Papa Bird via the instant message to just come home already.
  • 1:00AM. Fall down onto the couch and turn on Netflix. Time for some “me time.” Hello, 30 Rock reruns. Pass out at some indeterminate time.
  • Netherhour: Get up from couch at some point and move to the bed. Wake with no knowledge of this.

Interviewer Type Situation: You’ve managed to do all of this while maintaining an impressive overweight BMI that verges on the obese. Care to share your tips?

Mama Bird: Absolutely! First, it’s important to never, ever make time for exercise. And when you do actually partition out the time on your Google Calendar, fill it instead with time spent on the couch watching shows you’ve seen dozens of times. As for meals, eat to excess. Eat as though you will not be near food again. You’ve just had breakfast? Well, that McDonald’s yogurt might be the last on earth, so stop there. Bring a lunch? Tell yourself you won’t eat it and buy yourself a sandwich. Then eat the lunch anyways! Did you know that vending machines now take credit cards? They do! Use them copiously. Offer to run an errand. Not only do you get 5 seconds to yourself, but you can buy yourself that chocolate milkshake that you don’t need using dollars that you have squirreled away like a sad, little refugee. And consider your late hours into the morning as you work on that damnedable dissertation as carte blanche to to jam any and every fatty thing into your mouth in a spectacular show of stress eating. Good luck!

Interviewer Type Situation: How do you make time for your family?

Mama Bird: Well, I just never sleep and I drink, easily, 10 cups of coffee a day. It will probably kill me.

Interviewer Type Situation: What do you do for fun with Penguin and Owl these days? 

Mama Bird: Aside from being fantastically tired all the time, it is also very snowy and cold outside. So we can’t really get outside to play and I have no energy to take us places. It mainly involves me laying like a lump on the floor, eyes half open, as I “play” Army with Penguin and crash cars into Owl’s cars. I also let them watch entirely too much TV these days, and I hate myself for it. It’s a real barrel of laughs.

Interviewer Type Situation: Tell me one neat new thing about Penguin and Owl.

Mama Bird: Ah, yes. In spite of feeling like cold, cold death all the time, they do bring joy into my life. Penguin has evolved into an amazing little guy. He’s matured incredibly since turning 5 and I can actually reason with him. I can’t begin to tell you how much that means to me, especially now. He gets cause and effect. He gets the concept of making a good choice. He can weigh his options. Honestly, I cannot emphasize enough how great he has been during this time. He’s still a sweetheart, still eager to cuddle and hug up and love on someone. Still hates being alone. But he’s starting to show some signs of independence. He dresses himself, gets himself snacks, takes himself to the bathroom. It’s been a real blessing. Owl, that is another story. He’s 2 and the terribleness of it all hit fast and hard. He spends most of his day vacillating between laughing and crying hysterically. I feel like I am in an art college dorm at times. Unlike Penguin, who always wears a stable sheen of the surly on him, Owl radiates between really happy and really mad. It’s a challenge in a different way. With Penguin, you can just assume he won’t like something. With Owl, he’ll like it til he hates it, and then he’ll get really mad about it. I constantly feel like a military point man, waiting for the next landmine to go off. But all of this is tempered by what an absolute clown he is. He’s just a tremendous goof. And he pushes buttons intentionally to get a rise out of people. It’s fun to watch, but I weep for my future.

Interviewer Type Situation: Any final thoughts?

Mama Bird: I miss my husband. He’s the one I spend the least time with. Some day. Some day, dammit.

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