My Twenty Hour Day!!

School is back in session which is something I thought I would be very thankful for, however the new dynamics of the kids in my cottage has totally changed the routine of the school year and made it into a very physical challenge.  Let me explain.

We are going through a lot of transition here at the facility my wife and I work at.  Like virtually every other charity in the country, the tanking of the economy and the spike in fuel costs has had an effect on donations.  As a result we have had cutbacks and have had to close a cottage, which resulted in the other cottages having a higher census.  We also had two boys go to live with their birth mother right after school got out.  Boys that had lived with us for 6 years, that were familiar with us and were very capable of doing many things for themselves like bathing, dressing, etc.  In their place we got a 3 and a 4 year old, one of which we have had to potty train.  I have lost count of the number of children we have had to potty train, but I can tell you I am very tired of doing it.  To make things more difficult we also got two older boys (15 and 18) one of which is a senior that plays football and does other things till all hours of the night.

That should be enough introductory material, let me describe my Friday and part of Saturday:

  • 5:30 AM – Wake up, make coffee, shower, dress.
  • 5:50 AM – Start breakfast (made Sausage Biscuits and Gravy)
  • 6:20 AM – Wake up children so they can start getting ready for school.
  • 6:30 AM – Wake up children again.
  • 6:40 AM – Serve Breakfast.
  • 7:00 AM – End Breakfast and encourage children to get ready for school.
  • 7:10 AM – Wife leaves with daughter to taker her to school.
  • 7:20 AM – Herd all the children out the door and take two youngest with me on my school run.
  • 8:15 AM – Return from school run, clean up from breakfast and help the two little kids get dressed.
  • 8:45 AM – Go to the office and get computers I need to finish setting up for the college kids that start school on Monday.  Return back to the cottage so I can watch little kids while wife goes to the business office.
  • 10:00 AM – Finish Computers, wife returns from business office and takes over little kid detail.  I go to my office to work on a cottage computer that has been severely infected with a virus.
  • 11:05 AM – Return to the cottage to make lunch for myself, wife and little kids.
  • 11: 35 AM – Serve Lunch.
  • 12:05 PM – End Lunch, Clean up and Wash Dishes.
  • 12:30 PM – Return to office to work on Computer some more.
  • 2:00 PM – Leave office and prepare for my PM School run.  Check Mail, go to bank, stop and get a drink (Diet Pepsi, though I considered something else).
  • 2:45 PM – Arrive at School to wait in line for children to be released.
  • 2:55 PM – School lets out, children start loading.
  • 3:05 PM – Finally get to the front of the line to load children.
  • 3:25 PM – Arrive back at the cottage and unload children.
  • 3:30 PM – Depart for second PM school run.
  • 3:45 PM – Arrive at school to pick up child. Depart 5 minutes later.
  • 4:05 PM – Arrive back at cottage with child. Visit with wife and children.
  • 4:20 PM – Begin preparing supper.
  • 5:30 PM – Serve Supper
  • 6:00 PM – End Supper, supervise children do evening chores.
  • 7:00 PM – Sit down at computer to check e-mail and website, post job listing while supervising the children while they watch TV.
  • 8:00 PM – Send children to prepare for bed under the threat that they will be sent to bed if they don’t stop wrestling in the TV room.
  • 8:20 PM – Go and check on children that have not returned from getting ready. Find them bouncing on the bed.
  • 8:30 PM – Send first child to bed
  • 9:00 PM – Send the remainder of the younger children to bed.  It doesn’t matter if I send them to bed at 7:00 PM or Midnight, they will still be awake at 7:00 AM Saturday wanting to watch cartoons.
  • 9:10 PM – tuck in all the children and encourage them to go to sleep.
  • 9:20 PM – check on children, again encourage them to go to sleep.
  • 9:25 PM – Again check on children and again encourage them to go to sleep.
  • 9:30 PM – Again check on children and again encourage them to go to sleep. 
  • 9:45 PM – Young children are finally quiet and wife arrives back at cottage with young man that had evening activities.
  • 10:05 PM – Send middle aged children to bed.
  • 10:15 PM – Check on middle aged children all is quiet.
  • 10:20 PM – Sit down to watch TV and visit with my wife.  I would normally put on PJs at this time, but day is not nearly over.
  • 11:00 PM – Send older kids to bed.  Lay down for a nap only to be awoken 5 minutes later by call from senior at away football game.
  • 11:15 PM – Lay back down for nap.  Doze in and out.
  • 11:45 PM – Receive another call from senior saying he will be back at the school in 40 minutes.  Doze for a few more minutes.
  • 11:55 PM – Try to wake myself up and drive to his school that is 20 minutes away.
  • 12:20 AM – Arrive at his school and sit in parking lot with other parents waiting for bus to return.
  • 12:35 AM – School bus arrives.
  • 12:45 AM – Boys finish unloading bus and load up in van.  I have to drive a second boy to the ranch which is 12 miles past our campus, because his houseparents are on relief and the single relief staff can’t load up the whole cottage to go get him.
  • 1:10 AM – Arrive at Ranch to drop off boy.
  • 1:15 AM – Depart ranch en-route to my cottage with my football playing senior.
  • 1:35 AM – Arrive back at my cottage and finally go to bed.
  • Approx 1:55 AM – Fall to sleep only to be woken up at 7:20 AM by the young children I sent to bed at 9:00 the night before.  Only Nine more games to go until Basketball season.

I’m not sure I am going to like the routine of this school year.

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