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A Full Day

by Stephen Lautens


June 6, 2003

Friends and family have started to notice that I’m looking a little ragged around the edges. My skin is even more of a pale bluish-green than usual and my eyes have more bags than a mother-in-law on a visit.

People ask what I am up to that makes me look so tired. I answer it’s not what I’m up to - it’s what my 15 month old son fits into his daily schedule. It goes something like this:

7:45 AM - Awake refreshed and let out a blood-curdling scream to let everyone know I made it through another night. If no one arrives within 30 seconds, throw diaper at door.

7:46 AM - Smile sweetly at parent in doorway, who is still soapy from jumping out of the shower. Pretend the diaper stuck to the back of the door isn’t yours and you don’t know who yelled like they were on fire.

8:00 AM - Give self a facial with cereal and yogurt. Neglect to tell searching parent that the car keys are now in the VCR.

8:12 AM - Say goodbye to departing parent who now has to take transit. Insist on one last hug so piece of cheese can be smeared on the back of a freshly washed shirt. Remember that nothing spells success like the smell of warm cheese in a meeting.

9:03 AM - Take all phones off the hook and let the batteries wear down. While parent is looking for the phone, pry safety covers off electrical outlets and attempt to fill with waffle.

10:53 AM - Refuse snack of nutritious fruit and vegetables. Make gagging noises when they come near even though you have happily eaten them dozens of times before. As soon as you are released, eat fuzzy old olive you find under the fridge. Scream when it is taken away.

12:10 PM - Sort mail when it comes through the slot. Leave flyers for health clubs in plain view. Hide bills, envelopes from the bank or anything that looks like a cheque in the front hall planter.

2:00 PM - Naptime. Note to self - try to drink more coffee out of unattended cups.

4:15 PM - Wake up from nap and be an angel for fifteen minutes. Read, play and smile a lot. This will give parents the false sense of hope they need to get them through the rest of the day.

5:02 PM - Test new tooth on antique desk. Reprogram remote on TV so everything has Spanish subtitles and all the even numbered channels are blocked with a security code only you know.

6:39 PM - Wait until parents have dinner on table before realizing favourite toy is lost in the basement. Repeat until dinner is cold.

8:05 PM - Bath time. Remember the goal is to empty the tub - before your parents have a chance to the water out. Every drop of water not on the floor is a drop wasted. Bath time is also a good opportunity to see if humans can breathe underwater if they really try.

9:53 PM - Start carrying on like a wet cat over nothing because you’ve played quietly for fifty-three minutes and they are about to reveal the shocking conclusion to "Law & Order". Make sure parents either don’t hear the ending or don’t care anymore.

10:20 PM - Fight bedtime like a monkey full of tequila shooters. Have every book in the room read to you, and still carry on like the mattress is stuffed with toxic waste when they put you down.

10:45 PM - Fall asleep three seconds after parents leave room. Make sure you are hugging your favourite stuffed toy and have a sweet smile on your face so your parents think you really are an angel, and are more inclined to keep you around for at least one more day.

© Stephen Lautens 2003

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