Z Goes to School

“I don’t want to tell you about that right now.”

That’s what she tells me when I pick her up at school and ask what she did. That and, “Later. I’ll tell you a tiny little bit later.”

If preschool’s going to make her secretive and controlling, then I’m taking her out right now. But I’m certain this is just part of the adjustment, her way of coping and exerting what little control she has over the situation.

Plus, not one hour after she informed me she would tell me about it after her “nap” because at the moment she was too tired to talk, she regaled me with stories of the chickens in the school’s yard and which kids fell down and which ones stayed for lunch and naptime.

Today she cried when I dropped her off, and that was hard. It makes me really glad we’re starting with half days.

The adjustment’s been much smoother for me. I have my little routine (the one I dreamed up before school even started, with a few adjustments), and I’m sticking to it. Each day so far I’ve exercised and followed it up with a (quiet!) shower and two hours of uninterrupted writing time. I’ve gotten a lot of work done on le manuscript…plus another fun story I started over the weekend.

The weirdest part is now I feel like I’ve started a real job, or something. Like, we have to get up and leave every day. At night, I make sure I get to sleep on time so that I’m rested enough to get us out the door the next day. And even though we live in a smallish town, the school-morning traffic is a fierce sight to behold.

Overall, it’s going as well as I’d hoped. Even better, when I hear Z talking about her “close friends at school.”

17 Days

On August 22nd, I hope to begin a new morning routine. It will go something like this:

6:30. Start to wake up.

7:00. Be out of bed (or else). Begin fixing breakfast.

7:45. Finish eating breakfast (at this point, I will have been finished with my peanut butter on toast and will have been avidly watching Z eat her two eggs, toast, bowl of yogurt and fruit, and glass of orange juice) (whoops, no I won’t. I keep forgetting I’m going to have to pack a lunch for her. Weird! So I’ll be throwing wholesome, handcrafted cuisine into a lunchbox). Brush teeth, wash faces (mine & Z’s). Get Z dressed.

8:05. Leave house.

8:15. Here’s where it gets interesting. Drop Z off at preschool. She will either a) cry or b) completely ignore me. I will either a) cry or b) speed home, shouting Huzzah! at every corner. Maybe it’ll be a little of both.

8:30. Hop on the elliptical trainer. (Or do Just Dance on the Wii, or, ugh, the 30 Day Shred.)

9:15. Shower.

9:30. Write!

Now, 9:30 needs some classifying. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. Because the world is full of distractions. So, at 9:30 I will write fiction. Not blog posts. Not emails. Not letters to friends. Not Twitter or Facebook updates. Not treatises on how I am going to write just as soon as I X, Y, Z. And Definitely Not Play Mahjong Titans.

11:15. Email, blog, Twitter, Facebook.

11:45. Leave to pick up Z at school.

Believe me when I say I am very much looking forward to letting the world know how this works out. Only 17 days!

Monday Maybe-a-Book-Review Day

Okay, so here’s the thing. I could write a book review for today, but I’m not really feeling it. What I am feeling is working on my manuscript, which does, quite honestly, begin to unravel on page 200 (better than page 115, which is how it used to be before my revision marathon, a.k.a. The Great Visit of the Mother-in-Law Who Answered My Prayers for Free Babysitting). The very idea of working on other stuff when the last 82 pages of the story are so flawed…I just can’t do it.

So, the new blog schedule is now going to be “Monday: Maybe a Book Review.” I can’t take book reviews off the schedule permanently because I love books too much – I’ve gotta share these books with the world!

Alas, au revoir, ciao, adios for now. See you Wednesday. My mom’s here to distract the Z-meister today (a.k.a. Another Sucker Grandmother Answers My Prayers for Free Babysitting…uh, just kidding Mom. About the sucker thing, that is), and I plan to take advantage of this opportunity. You’ll thank me when you read my book. Er, I hope.

The Weekly Chore Schedule (Or, Trying to be Less of a Slacker Mom)

Welcome ┬áto my home. Wait, wait, don’t step there. Ouch. Those Duplos really hurt. In fact, you might want to keep your gaze on the floor as you navigate our hazardous halls. If you stumble on a stuffed animal and grab the piano for support, you may want to wipe off the dust that sticks to your fingers. I’ll turn around and pretend not to notice if you want to use the curtains for this.

Yes, welcome to my home. I know I’m not completely alone in this. My house is cleaner than some, but much messier than others. It’s messier on days when we come back from the library and I have a delicious new book to read (Hello, The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams–wow!)

To give myself a tiny bit of help, I devised a chore schedule. This is the slacker mom’s chore schedule. Please realize that I’m easing into this chore thing, and I’M A SLOB OKAY!? There’s my disclaimer. Even as easy as this chore schedule is, I STILL don’t get everything done.

This is embarrassing. I can’t believe I’m posting this. Okay. Here goes:

Monday: sweep and vacuum

Tuesday: dust (This is a stupid chore. It always gets overlooked. Besides, whenever my mother visits she is so appalled by the layers of dust coating everything that she dusts. So I don’t have to.)

Wednesday: whatever (Yes, seriously. Wednesday is “Whatever Day.” Maybe we run errands. Maybe I read a novel.)

Thursday: laundry (Actually, I do laundry all week. Thursday is “fold the mountain of laundry in the family room” day.)

Friday: clean sinks and toilets

Saturday: clean tub and shower

Sunday: Whee, Sabbath! I try very hard not to do chores on Sundays. This is the chore day where I SHINE. Except for dishes (see below).

Every Damn Day: wash dishes (Oh, how I hate them.)

I am sure there are stay-at-homies out there who do all those things in one single day. The thought of this makes me break out in a rash. My mother has hope for me yet. Two of my Christmas gifts:

I really hate dusting. Yesterday was dusting day. Z and I got it done, but just barely. We didn’t use the Swiffer Dusters Extender, though. Maybe next week!

I hate the dishes too, but as they’re unavoidable, I’ll use the fancy dish drying mat. Thanks, Mom! (Um, that is said without any trace of sarcasm, really. And just so nobody thinks anything bad about my mother, I will also disclose that one of her gifts is sending me to an SCBWI conference. So she didn’t just get me housekeeping accoutrements.)