Five years ago (five? really?!), I was working at a marketing firm downtown. I took the job in order to escape my job in retail hell, and my official title was “Administrative Assistant,” which was perfect because that is what I spent the bulk of my previous work experience doing.
I’m proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and at hiding my extreme loathing for each and every one of my miserable coworkers.
I was pretty desperate to get out of the retail job, but I was not desperate enough to take any job where I’d have to be the receptionist. I HAAATE working reception. HATE IT. I hate answering phones, I hate greeting visitors, I hate feeling chained to my desk and needing a back-up and a signed statement from Jesus in order to go to lunch or the bathroom. So you can imagine my delight when I showed up to the marketing firm on my first day of work and was shown to my desk…in the lobby. Those fuckers had cleverly disguised a receptionist position with a different title (“…because you’ll be doing more than reception work!”) in order to trick me into sitting at the GODDAMN FRONT DESK AND MAKING THE COFFEE. But I needed the job and the benefits, so there I was. Shit.
Aaaanyway, I am taking the long way around to tell you that at this job we had “Summer Fridays,” meaning that all the employees got every other Friday off from June through August. It was a relatively small office, and all 15 or so employees were divided up into two groups: the “A” group would be off on a Friday when the “B” group staffed the office, and vice versa. Pretty awesome, right? Except that the FUCKING RECEPTIONIST (me) had to ensure that someone from the other group would sit at the front desk before she could take a Summer Friday, and guess who never wanted to sit at the front desk? EVERY OTHER MISERABLE MOTHERFUCKER IN THAT OFFICE.
“Why no, I have no idea why the coffee tastes like urine this morning…”
I tend to recall being able to take most of my Summer Fridays, thanks to a very nice girl who always sat up front for me when she could, but I also remember a few rage-filled Fridays where I was stuck at that fucking front desk, freezing my balls off from the overactive A/C and fielding a total of five calls in nine hours. And then they lost a bunch of accounts and laid me off and I had to ride the bus home at 10am with a box full of my belongings, the end.
Answer your OWN phone, whores!
But five (again, FIVE?!) years later, I am thrilled to report that Summer Fridays have a much happier connotation, because I’m home with Sadie every Friday (well, until August 10th, anyway, which is when she starts daycare, but WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT). Yes, on Fridays Brad gets to be the one to commute to work and wear pants, and I get to replace the detestable breastpump with a real, live baby and spend my day repeating the cycle of feed, play, nap – with an occasional laundry emergency thrown in for good measure.
Oh, heavens! Looks like little Billy’s gone and killed again!
As I mentioned above, my Summer Fridays are numbered. I only have two more left before things change (AGAIN, goddammit) and Sadie spends her Fridays in daycare. And while the thought of that sucks a big ol’ ass, I’m trying to make the most of our Fridays together. There’s something really special about being able to slip into my familiar weekday-home-with-baby routine each week, especially now that my wrinkled little larva-stage newborn has morphed into a roly-poly ball of smiles.
Sadie’s cheeks: bombarded by my constant kisses since April 2009.
I started writing a journal to Sadie, something I’d planned to back when I was still pregnant, and yes, I’m completely aware that this totally smacks of NEW MOTHER, what with the sentimentality and the sharing of all my deepest thoughts with my precious adorable light of my life OMG I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MY SWEET BABY WAAAAH. But there are just so many things I want to share with her, and it’s hard to imagine that I’ll ever be able to remember and communicate it all to her (without her rolling her eyes at me all “YES, mother, you’ve told me about the time I was 14 weeks old and farted so loud in Target that everyone else in the cereal aisle clearly thought it was you.”*). One of the things I’m including in the journal is a rundown of the daily routine we follow on our Summer Fridays, which is pretty much identical to the routine we followed on those first early days after she was born, after my mom went back home and Brad returned to work. Although those were the painful days of the Unpredictable Night Sleeping, they were also the days from which our little schedule emerged, and…I don’t know, I just thought it would be cool for her to know how she spent her first few months on Earth.
Sadie was unfortunately exposed to way too many reruns of “Frasier” during her early life, and for that I am sorry. In other news, this is possibly the sitcom-iest sitcom promo picture EVER. I can smell the WACKY from here!
As a fan of routines, I’ve been especially enjoying my dwindling few Fridays home with Sadie. As a fan of boring my readership to tears, I will now share highlights of our Friday routine with you.
JIVE TURKEY’S SUMMER FRIDAY SHORTY ROUTINE, a.k.a. HOW TO GET FROM 7AM TO 5:30PM IN THE CLOTHES YOU SLEPT IN THE NIGHT BEFORE: IT’S LIKE THE COLLEGE WALK-OF-SHAME, MINUS THE PARTYING AND THE SEX!
6:30am-ish: Wake up to baby cooing in crib. Experience extreme high of The Cute, paired with extreme low of being so tired you would rather remove your liver with a melon baller than haul your ass out of bed. Wait until adorable coos escalate into “Get your ass in here and feed me, woman!” screams; realize that it is even harder to haul ass out of bed when it is weighed down with GUILT.
6:45am: Walk into nursery, see baby meet your gaze and give you a HUGE smile. Heart explodes.
6:46am: Baby’s ass explodes. Touching moment over.
6:47-6:51am: The first rule of Early Morning Assplosion Club is that we do not talk about Early Morning Assplosion Club.
6:52-7:10am: Apply boob. Nod off for five minutes, open eyes to find you are nearly resting forehead on baby’s side. Scream in pain while straightening out neck.
7:11am: Screaming elicits Startle Poop from baby.
7:12-7:16am: We’re not allowed to talk about this, remember?
7:17-8:00am: Plop baby in high chair, brew glorious, life-sustaining coffee, watch Good Morning America/CNN for 10 minutes so you can pretend to care about what’s going on in the news, switch channel to rerun of Saved By The Bell. Rescue fussing baby from chair, try to eat cereal with squirmy infant in lap.
8:01-8:05am: Wipe Honey Nut Cheerios-infused milk off of baby’s head. Pretend not to see drips that made it to the floor.
8:06am: Head upstairs for diaper change. Breakfast dishes? Eh,you’ll do that later. Perhaps right after you re-tile the 2nd floor bathroom, because OMG I LOVE COFFEE, WEEEEEEE!
8:09am: Baby is being adorable and talky on changing pad. Decide this would be ideal opportunity for Tummy Time.
8:10am: Tummy time!
8:25am: WE HATE TUMMY TIME, MOMMY, AND ALL THAT TUMMY TIME AND MOMMY STAND FOR.
8:26am: It seems it might be time for a nap.
8:30-9:00am: Nap time for baby. Computer time for stupid, hopped-up-on-coffee Mommy, who really should be napping too.
9-9:45am: Awake! Diaper! Boob! Diaper! Boob! Kiss cheeks! Blow raspberry in belly! Burp baby on shoulder!
9:46am: You didn’t like that shirt anyway.
9:47am: Let’s see if baby will chill in bouncy seat while you shower.
9:48am: Let’s see if you can ignore baby’s screams long enough to get a shower.
9:49-10:30am: Shoooowwwweeeerrrrr. Sing show tunes to baby in fantastic acoustics of bathroom. Apply lotion. Brush teeth. Dry hair. Slip into same clothes you were wearing before, because really. Feel refreshed and ready to play with baby…
10:31am: …who is sleeping in the bouncy seat. Entertain thought of napping, but as waking up from nap is much more painful than forgoing nap altogether, let’s piss away some time on Facebook, shall we?!
11:10am: Baby opens eyes. Smiles. Realizes she is starving and marinating in wet diaper. Screams accordingly.
11:11-11:45am: Changing and feeding and cuddling and watching reruns of Will & Grace. I’m sorry, but I love Karen and I don’t care who knows it.
11:45-12:15pm: Play inside OR take baby for walk in stroller. You usually opt for the indoor activity, since taking the baby out at high noon means the blazing hot cancerous sun is constantly threatening to crisp her lily white skin, no matter how you try to shield her, thus making the walk about as relaxing as a colonoscopy.
12:15-12:25pm: Bath time approacheth! But you refuse to bathe the child until she takes another trademark window-rattling poop, which should be happening right about…
12:27-12:45pm: Bath time! Suds and good-smelling lotions and general adorableness.
With her mind on her money and her money on her mind.
12:46-12:49pm: OMG, it is damn near impossible to clean out all of her neck folds.
12:50pm: Baby has lost all patience for neck cheese removal, and demands to know why she isn’t being put down for a nap THIS INSTANT.
12:51pm-3:00pm…OR BEYOND! The glorious LONG nap of the day. Things you will definitely accomplish include: eating lunch, watching TV, checking email. Things you should accomplish but never do: working out, cleaning house, doing laundry, TAKING A FUCKING NAP.
3:30-ish: Hm. She’s still asleep. Maybe I can just close my eyes for a few…
3:31 and 5 seconds: Damn.
3:32-4:05pm: Change, feed, nuzzle. Lather, rinse, repeat.
4:06-4:25pm: Plop baby in high chair so you can clean kitchen. Because you could not manage to complete this 20 minute task during her THREE AND A HALF HOUR NAP.
4:26-5:00pm: Read some books. Pretend that your feelings aren’t hurt when baby does not seem to appreciate your perfect execution of Shel Silverstein’s finest. Reading session comes to abrupt end when baby shoves three-page plush book in mouth.
5:01-5:25pm: Wait for Daddy on front porch swing with baby on lap. Lean down to kiss her warm little head every 5 minutes. It’s been a good day.
Can’t wait ’til next Friday, little pigeon.
*This totally happened yesterday. And, true to form, after ripping the loudest farts known to man, she gave me a smile so big I thought her cheeks would pop.