7:00am – alarm clock goes off.. hit snooze
7:09am – alarm clock goes off.. hit snooze
7:18am – alarm clock goes off.. hit snooze
7:27am – alarm clock goes off.. roll out of bed. Run around really quickly, washing face, slapping hair up in a bun, make a cup of tea.. wait for the door
8:00am – First child arrives – extremely excited and waving frantically. Greet parent, exchange pleasantries. Scoop baby out of parent’s arms and put her things in her cubby. Wish parent a good day, wave to parent out the window.
8:04am – Next child arrives, counting the porch stairs as she climbs with her parents. Greet parents and exchange pleasantries. Help toddler out of jacket and shoes. Chat about toddler’s previous night with parents. Wave to parents out the window.
8:07am – Next child arrives, parent is late to work – nudges child in the door without coming inside as well. Yells “Bye! Have a great day!” runs down the porch stairs and back to the car. Child looks tired. Help child with coat and shoes.
8:10am – Last child arrives while husband brings my own toddler downstairs. All of the children are excited to see each other. Last parent chats about a day off next week. Leaves quickly.
8:15am – Hand out sippy cups of milk to each child and seat them in a circle on the rug. Put out blocks and legos for them to play with while you make a hot breakfast.
8:20am – Cook breakfast for everyone, scrambled eggs. Sub eggs for whole wheat toast for the child with an egg allergy. Ask the two oldest toddlers about their night last night while cooking.
8:30am – Line up 5 high chairs, line up 5 plates, line up 5 cups. Seat all of the children and hand out breakfast. Sit next to the youngest to assist with baby food. Talk to the children about the trucks driving past out the big window in the family room. Ask children not to play with food.
8:45am – Wash hands and faces of 5 children and one by one take them out of their high chairs. Sweep floor and wash off each chair and tray. Stack chairs back in their place and throw away the trash. Plates in the sink.
9:00am – Head upstairs to the playroom. 4 diaper changes, 1 potty run.
9:15am – Turn on music and dance with children. One child shows off her latest ballerina moves from ballet class. You have her teach the other children how to do it. Children beg to hear song again, explain that it’s the radio. Child cries.. you put on a CD. Everyone is happy again.
9:45am – Time for play, children chose the basket filled with 3 million plastic pieces of “food” to play with. You dump the bucket. Everyone squeals with delight. One child complains that it’s not blocks. You promise blocks tomorrow during playtime. There’s only so many toys that you can take out at once. Children pretend to cook meals. Two children have a tea party. You sit with the youngest and manipulate the food with her little hands. Older children bring you plastic cake and you join the tea party. You’re tired and sneak a few sips of a diet mountain dew.
10:00am – Potty run
10:10am – It’s getting cloudy outside and looks like rain, you decide to talk about the weather. You ask the kids if it’s warm or cold outside. They say cold. You ask them what else is cold. They say ice. You ask them were the sun is. They say hiding. You tell them you wish the sun would come out. They yell, “so we can go out and play!” You tell them you’re going to try to go out in the afternoon, if it’s not raining.
10:20am – Snack time, you dice up bananas and pears and hand them out to the older children. 10:30am – It’s story time. You pick out 5 books about using the potty. All of the children gather on the floor and fight over who gets to sit in our lap. You tell them that they can switch every book, so everyone gets a turn. There’s whining in protest, but no one cries.
11:00am – Potty run and diaper changes. You suggest to one toddler that she try the potty, like in the book. Toddler agrees. No success, but you cheer for the effort.
11:30am – Bring children back downstairs and teach them how to play hot potato. Once the children seem to understand you step into the kitchen to make lunch while watching over the counter. Younger children lose interest in hot potato, older children keep playing. Younger children take out trucks and begin to drive them around. You warm up baked chicken cooked the night before, peas, and slice cheddar cheese while singing jingle bells 4 times at the oldest child’s request.
11:45am – you take out the 5 high chairs again, and line them up. You line up the 5 plates, and five cups. You wash everyone’s hands and one by one seat them in their chairs. You hand out lunch and sit next to the youngest, again assisting with lunch.
12:00pm – You talk to the children about what they see outside as they eat. Talk about the color of the sky, the grass.. point out the people walking by, the dogs…
12:15pm – You wash off everyone’s hands and faces and take them out of their chairs one by one. You sweep the floor, and wipe down all 5 chairs and trays. You stack the chairs back in their spot.
12:30pm – You have the children help you put all of the toys away so you can vacuum the wood floor and area rug. Children are so excited for the vacuum. You notice the children handing toys off to each other to get it done faster. You tell them that, that’s called “teamwork” and praise them. You get the vacuum out and all of the children dance around and try to run away from the vacuum. You dodge little toes as you go.
12:45pm – Potty run, diaper changes, youngest gets a bottle
1:00pm – Nap time. You successfully get all 5 children into their beds and listen to the silence.
1:15pm – 4pm – you sit as still and quietly as you can so that you don’t wake up the kids! You hear snoring of stuffy noses and children rolling over in pack n plays. You type out 4 daily reports and prepare them to be emailed to parents before pick up time. You add the day’s attendance to your calendar. You answer 2 inquiries about future opening from potential clients. You read some postings from a local parenting message board. You catch up on your favorite blog. You drink some a lot of caffeine.
4pm – Children start to stir. You greet them all and ask them how their naps were. Diaper changes and a potty visit.
4:15pm – Snack time again. You serve pretzels and sit in a circle with all of the children. You tell them about tomorrow’s art project and how you’re going to paint flower pots.
4:30pm – Youngest gets a bottle. Oldest start to put their shoes on. You help the youngest 3 get their shoes on.
4:45pm – You head outside to play in the yard. Children ask why there is nothing growing in the garden. You explain, like you do every day, that it’s winter and things will be growing again, because it’s spring soon.
5:15pm – You feel rain drops and hurry the children back in. Parents are coming soon anyways.
5:30pm – First parent arrives. They are excited to see their child. Child is happy and waves. Parent talks about their crazy train ride and you try to listen but are really watching the other children.
5:40pm – Next parents arrives. Parent asks what’s cooking. You share recipe for dinner that’s in the crock pot. Child doesn’t want to leave. Parent asks child if they want to stay all night instead. You laugh – nervously. Parent and child leave and you wave out the window.
5:45pm – Next parent arrives. You ask about their day. You know this parent a little better then the rest by now. They joke about a movie they saw over the weekend. You think to yourself how you’d like to go see a movie, if you could stay awake through it. Parent leaves, and you wish they’d stay a little longer and chat.
6:00pm – Last parent arrives at 6 on the dot, out of breath from trying to make it on time. Their child is excited but doesn’t want to put their coat on. Parent pleads, child refuses, parent pleads, refuses. More pleading. You smile and think that it’s so nice that you work from home and don’t have to do this yourself. Parent asks about potty training progress. You update. Parent ask if you have any fun plans for the evening. You laugh.
6:05pm – It’s quiet now that it’s just you and your toddler. You stir the crock pot and get out the plates. Husband strolls in and you finish getting dinner on the table. Husband asks how day was. You say, exhausting.