I am not naturally a morning person. But this baby (the still-gestating one) likes to move a lot in the 4:00/5:00 a.m. window. I am doing my best to get in bed around 10:00 p.m., and then every few days grabbing an afternoon nap. He calms down at some point, and I could theoretically go back to sleep for an hour, but I’ve gotten frustrated with lying in bed not sleeping and not doing anything else for any amount of time beyond 30 minutes. So I get up, make my coffee, and enjoy some quiet morning reading time. I’ve been working through George Will’s baseball books. And today I am posting this!
I enjoyed a week of not flying anywhere. I got caught up on a lot of writing tasks, and other things I needed to take care of, such as getting my hair cut, and getting my almost 9-year-old car fixed so I dare to drive it more than 3 miles from home. The repair costs, alas, are creeping higher as a percentage of the car’s actual value. We have a mini-van that is a family car, so theoretically I could buy something small for my use when I replace the car, but I will probably aim for an SUV with at least a small back row so I could transport everyone. I welcome suggestions of bigger family vehicles that aren’t too big. (I find the Chevy Suburban kind of terrifying.)
My husband was not so lucky on the plane travel front. He planned to take the red-eye back from Seattle on Wednesday night to Thursday morning. Around 4:30 a.m. I woke up and saw a text from him that he was in … Boise. The plane had landed with mechanical problems. While landing is most definitely better than the alternative, there the passengers sat in Boise all night. They were told they couldn’t leave the airport, as no TSA security lines were open, but by the time the plane arrived to get them, other planes were taking off too. So they could have gone to a hotel. Very frustrating (my husband was really feeling for the family with a baby!) Fortunately, my 7th grader’s early choir practice was canceled on Thursday, so my husband’s delay didn’t mean I had to wake all the kids for an early morning middle school run.
In our district, middle school starts at 8:15 a.m., high school at 7:30, and elementary school at 9:00. The early morning choir rehearsals are at 7:20. The district just held a meeting about moving around the school schedule to have elementary school start at 7:45, high school at 8:25, and middle school at 9:05. This could start as soon as next fall. I know this is more in keeping with pediatric sleep guidelines, though it raises issues too. One problem the district identified is that a recent survey found that 20% of teen children care for a younger sibling after school. These families are up a creek if the middle school and high school days end 50-90 minutes after the elementary school days. I’m curious if anyone else’s districts have moved start times around.
Wherever the start times land, we’ll have someone in all three levels of school for a while. I’m working on an article for a major publication on larger families, and why people are so fascinated by them and their logistics. I know I am. Whenever I talk with someone who has more children than me, I figure they must have something magical figured out! I can find plenty of “real people” to chat with for this story, though I’d love to figure out who a “large family expert” might be.
I’m also now writing a weekly advice column for Medium. You can check out this week’s post on that perceived dilemma — “I only see my baby for 30 minutes after work!” — here.
In the Before Breakfast podcast this week, I tackled the topic of how to “Look great fast.” I love when listeners send in questions (before breakfast podcast at i heart media dot com is the email address for that one). This particular one got to me — a young lawyer who also had a family told me that she felt like she spent all her time getting ready, but that she had to because she needed to look professional. I really hate the thought of people spending big chunks of their already full lives trying to meet exacting beauty standards. I have tips for streamlining, but also for trying to switch our mindsets. The week before, I tackled a question from a woman with a chronic health condition who worried about seeming unreliable. (Short answer: if she cares about being reliable, she is probably way more reliable than many folks who have far worse excuses.) This topic also got me going on the phenomenon of productivity literature written by and for people who have nothing in their lives that might complicate a schedule.
I’ve been writing up several “Tranquility by Tuesday” make-overs, and look forward to sharing those over the next few weeks!
I’m singing in a concert this weekend. We may go look at houses. We’re having a tough time making up our minds on the renovation question….
Photo: We finally have fall color!