A Day in the Life of an Assistant Professor (April 2019)


In my previous “day in the life” posts I’ve focused on workdays. For this month’s post I thought I’d highlight a weekend day… a very mundane weekend day. We were quite the social butterflies the weekend before this one so we purposefully made sure that at least one of the days of the weekend was open for nothing in particular. I’ve also mentioned before that I do my best to not work on the weekends or evenings, and this weekend was no exception.

Saturday April 27, 2019

1:00am: Bed time for Mike and I… we really need to get better at getting into bed earlier since sleeping in doesn’t exist in our world anymore Granted, Ellie is a late sleeper compared to lots of other kids so our wake up time is probably somebody else’s sleeping in.

8:30am: Ellie wakes up, gets out of bed and comes into our room. Thank goodness she slept until 8:30! Mike picks her up and plops her in between us and we lay in bed for a little bit. Ellie announces that she’s all done sleeping… which I think is her way of saying, get up mama and dada!

9:00am: Mike and Ellie get out of bed and head to the kitchen to turn on the gas fireplace and warm things up for a nice and cozy breakfast. Mike makes oatmeal for himself and Ellie and turns on some music. I posted on the blog the night before and I want to get an instagram post up to go along with it so I stay in bed to “quickly” get that up.

9:30am: I emerge from the bedroom, pour myself a bowl of cereal, and cut up some strawberries. Ellie freaks out because she wanted to cut up the strawberries (lately Ellie wants to do ev-er-y-thing herself). We explain that knives are sharp and she has to be really careful if she’s going to cut strawberries. We let her try and she cuts one in half. She then proceeds to wave the knife around, to which we sternly demand she put the knife down. She refuses and bursts into tears. I try to extract the knife from her hands without getting cut while Mike calms her down. In hindsight, we could have just given her a butter knife… next time (parenting is a learning process, right?!). After she’s calm we try again and she successfully cuts the strawberry with a little bit of help from Mike… crisis averted. I eat my cereal and we decide that our morning activities will involve Ellie and I going to the playground while Mike goes grocery shopping.

10:15am: I take a quick shower while Mike makes the grocery list and Ellie plays.

11:00am: We’re all ready to head out, Mike to the store and Ellie and I to the park. Ellie and I wave “bye” to Mike and start on our walk. For an adult, the park is about a 5 minute (10 minutes max) walk. For a toddler it ends up being a 30 minute walk. Ellie wants to walk on the curb (by herself) and takes a tumble. There are lots of tears. To distract her from the fall I suggest we go get a bouncy ball from the house and bounce it at the park. This distraction works and we head back to the house after making it about 50 steps from our door.

11:15am: We search for the bouncy ball (and by “we” I mean “me” because Ellie looses interest after 2 seconds of looking). I can’t find the ball and Ellie has no idea where it is (because she’s two). Ellie gets distracted by our cat who is intensely sniffing her foot while she pets him. Since Ellie is occupied, I keep searching for the bouncy ball. Ellie takes a break from cat petting to look at her wounded knee from the fall off the curb. She asks me where the “boo boo” is and I tell her there isn’t one (I think she was expecting to lift up her pant leg and see a big scrape). I give her knee a kiss and that seems alleviate her discontent. Since we can’t find the bouncy ball we settle on a beach ball and a little pink ball.

11:30am: Off to the park, take two. Ellie wants to walk on the curb again, no mishaps this time. We look at flowers in our neighbors’ yards (we are surrounded by master gardeners) and Ellie asks me what the names of all of the plants are. Our conversations go something like this: Ellie: What’s that, mama? Me: I’m not sure but it looks beautiful, doesn’t it? Ellie: Why? Me: Why what? Why don’t I know the name or why does it look beautiful? Ellie: Why don’t you know the name? Me: Because mama doesn’t know a lot about plants. Ellie: But what’s the name? Me: I don’t know the name. Ellie: Why? I want to know the name. And on and on and on…

12:00pm: We make it to the park… an hour after we initially left! Ellie wants to show me her newfound climbing skills and my heart is in my throat the first few times she traverses the tall posts (see above pic). She slips at one point and catches her self, but it scares her and there are tears. We take a snack break to regroup. Around 12:30pm I tell her we’ll have to head home for lunch shortly to prep for the transition. Very randomly (or maybe because she’s sad about leaving the park) Ellie recounts a few times when she’s been disappointed lately. “Remember that heart ring I found for you at the playground and then I lost it?” and “Remember that time dada burned my dress?” Clearly those things left an impression on her! If you’re wondering, Mike was trying to dry one of Ellie’s dresses in front of the fireplace (I think it was a little bit damp) and it accidentally touched the fireplace, which then burnt the dress.

1:00pm: I spot Mike driving past the park on his way home. He see us, parks the car, and walks over to meet us. This is a perfect opportunity to tell Ellie it’s time to head home for lunch. She sees Mike walking towards us and happily heads over to him, making it a smooth transition away from the park. I did promise that we’d throw the balls around on the tennis courts before we walk home, so I set a timer. Mike heads back to get lunch ready.

1:15pm: Ellie and I start the “long” walk home. It goes quicker this time since we don’t stop to look at all the flowers. However, there are still more “why” questions to which I have no answers!

1:30pm: We get home, Mike is putting away groceries and has Ellie’s lunch all set up.

1:45pm: We watch a show, eat lunch, and contemplate a nap for Ellie. She seems pretty alert so it might not go smoothly.

2:15pm: Ellie says she’s not tired so we decide to skip a nap (with the hopes of an earlier bedtime). She is VERY excited about not taking a nap, she runs around screaming "YES!!! NO NAP!!"

2:30pm: Mike and Ellie go outside and draw with chalk while I do a workout. A few neighborhood kids make their way over to our yard and by the time I'm done my workout we've gained 4 additional children.

4:00pm: We have to breakup the backyard kid fest to go check on our friend's cat. They are out of town and have asked us to make sure the cat is okay. We also stop at the grocery store on the way home as there were a few things Mike forgot to pick up during his earlier trip.

5:30pm: We get back home. Since Ellie skipped a nap, we get ready for dinner (usually we eat later). Tonight we’re having burger patties (no buns) with cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and olive/mayo sauce. Mike gets dinner together while Ellie watches her latest obsession (Luna Petunia… I am not a fan). I work on our monthly budget but have trouble keeping my eyes open… I blame the late bedtime from the night before.

6:15pm: Dinner. Ellie stands up in her chair and refuses to sit down. There’s been lots of limit testing lately. Since our polite requests to sit aren’t working we sternly tell her to sit down, which results in lots of tears… After the tears, dinner is pretty uneventful. We eat and then clean up.

7:00pm: Ellie wants to play for a little bit before bed so we “play” a board game (Othello). This involves Ellie putting her game pieces on the board while telling us what we are/are not allowed to do with our game pieces. There are a few more meltdowns because she doesn’t want to stop playing (she is clearly ready for bed).

7:30pm: We start the bedtime process, getting her diaper and PJs on, and picking out two books to read. Then we brush teeth (and read another book). After her teeth are brushed Ellie puts on chapstick, not only on her mouth but also on her nose and forehead. Then she puts on lotion… this kid likes to moisturize.

8:00pm: We head to Ellie’s room and she says goodnight to Mike. Then, Ellie and I rock for a little bit and sing a few songs. I put her down in bed, rub her back, and head out.

8:30pm: This is the earliest I’ve been out of her room in a long time. I get excited about having so much free time. Surely I can be in bed before midnight tonight… ha! I work on the blog while Mike works on his latest project, wooden fish for Ellie’s room.

9:30pm: Mike finishes up cutting out the fish and we watch Netflix, eat cheez-its, and talk about how wonderful it’ll be to get in bed earlier! And then the next thing we know it’s ~11:30pm. We reluctantly drag ourselves to the bedroom to get ready for bed.

12:00am: In bed… maybe tomorrow night we’ll be in bed earlier?! Although it worked out in our favor since Ellie got up ~20 minutes later and wanted to be rocked…