Try to remember what day it is and what pressing matters demand your attention within the next ten minutes.
Get the sixty-pound puppy off your stomach.
Find sweat pants.
Peel off any stray children who wandered into the marital bed.
Go downstairs and make a gourmet breakfast: pop-tarts and hot cocoa.
Take the compost outside, and hope at least some of the bugs go with it.
Sweep, empty dishwasher, vacuum dog hair, check email.
Eat oatmeal while the teenager mumbles some dissenting opinion or another to anything you say.
Get up middle child and wait patiently while the various threads of hysteria are worked out.
Make another gourmet breakfast: bread and butter.
Walk to bus with sixty-pound puppy and then chase said puppy when he breaks free from leash to chase squirrels.
Understand that despite the offer from the gang-banger big brother of the other child at the bus stop, you will not allow your daughter to 'hitch a lift' with him should the bus be late or absent. Pretend otherwise, as this is Minnesota. Repression, denial and lies are part of the cultural landscape.
Return home to witness youngest child's desperate search for school uniform (jeans, white t-shirt, black hoodie). Because these items are stripped off and discarded, one by one and over time, this is a fun way to rummage through the entire house.
Three mile run with the dogs. Well, run (or be dragged by) one and pull the fearful Satan's Familiar, who is working with his boss (that would be Satan) to insure the Matron's eternal fate after welcoming the sixty-pound puppy into the house.
Drive to work, wondering why it is socially unacceptable to have a cocktail for breakfast.
Discuss compulsory heterosexuality with students in Gender and Women Studies class; note that one young man keeps saying "babe" when referring to women. Be glad he's in the class.
Office hours. Pray nobody shows up.
Two hours of this: Scarlett. Teachers need new theater schedule; stage manager for second show requires schedule for first show; major audition for lead role in Disney film requires contact with not one, but two, agents; family calendar must be updated to include her 24/7 schedule through November; schedule voice lesson; call for auditions for The Little Match Girl (guess who wants to BE the little match girl?); register for Children's Theater Pre-Professional acting troupe after successful audition and wonder about the 'pre' in professional; check with director of next show to see if child is allowed to cut hair half an inch; investigate possible venues for dance lessons now deemed a necessity for someone whose life goal is to live onstage.
Grade papers. Note that 'our' means 'are' for many and forgive the students who believe that sexism and racism are highlights of the 1960s and has nothing to do with them.
Nod attentively at meetings with administrators.
Pick up the youngest from school; use baby wipes in van to clean chocolate off front of shirt and remind self to find a comb instead of using fingers -- all day.
Spend thirty minutes on a four minute rush hour drive.
Question teenager about the viability of spending six hours on the computer playing war games. Remind said teen about homework, dog-training and chores and pretend you're not ready to rip out his hair when he revolts.
Ban everyone from computers and television.
Vacuum dog hair (did she mention the sixty-pound puppy), check email and clean three bathrooms.
Empty lunch boxes, walk dogs again and start dinner. Debate the possibility that all five family members will be agreeable to the same meal. Note how quickly bugs form around the compost by the sink (a lovely empty ice cream bucket).
Start family on food while rounding up Scarlett for rehearsal.
Drive once again through (the end this time) of rush hour traffic and consider listening to NPR a moment of relaxation.
Work on online classes while waiting two hours for rehearsal to end.
Drive home against a backdrop of "why can't we stop at Dairy Queen?"
Chase youngest around for bedtime rally, make school lunches, vacuum dog hair, sweep kitchen, do laundry, check email, whip up bedtime snacks, check family calendar, and reconsider the cocktail.
Put youngest to bed (mostly involves tickling), spend hour attending to middle-child's hysteria (which changes every hour or so), spend more time tending to oldest's needs and interests, offer Advil PM to children who can't sleep, let the dogs out, put away laundry.
Watch Mad Men.
Field queries from husband about adapting a Mad Man model for one's own contemporary marriage.
Close shades and turn on night lights.
Clean up dog vomit (did she mention the sixty-pound puppy?) and put Merrick back to bed after he hears the dreaded rain.
Wonder why nobody makes a hit TV series out of this. She could totally squeeze into a cool designer dress and spend hours trying to manipulate people.