Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day in the Life of a Law School Mama

Several people have done posts like this, and my schedule isn’t as crazy as some of them, but it’s busy and someday when I’m retired and bored I can look back on it and think that a little boredom can be a lovely thing.

The random day chosen is yesterday, Wednesday, April 23, 2008.

5:12 AM: Landon’s wails pierce through my unconscious state. Curse, repeatedly. Decide life would be significantly better if he would sleep until 6. Be sad for a few seconds that my life is such where sleeping in until 6 AM would feel indulgent. Make Landon wait until as close to 6 as possible before getting him. When the fussing turns into screaming, drag self into his room.

5:48: Rescue the Landon from his near hysteria. Get big smile, brief cuddle, and then lots of spitting and hand hitting. Bring him in bed with JP, pretend that maybe for once he’ll curl up and go back to sleep with us.

6:02: Give up on sleeping, go out to living room and feed Landon his breakfast – rice cereal and a container of fruit (anything but the offensive banana)

6:45: Wake up JP, hand him a happy Landon who smells of sweet pears. Jump in the shower; say peek-a-boo every time JP, holding Landon, opens the shower curtain. Lather, rinse, peek-a-boo, repeat. Decide Landon’s laugh is almost worth the lack of sleep.

7:00-8:00: Check weather, see a high of 75, and decide to wear one of the cute dresses I bought in Texas. Continue passing Landon back and forth while we get ready. JP leads the crawling practice, I monitor the rolling on the bed. JP cleans bottles, I assemble them. He folds laundry, I check email. I love the 3 days a week he's home in the morning; the other two he goes to swim. He leaves for work at 8.

8:29: Landon and I have to be out the door by 8:30. Realize I have at least five things to do before that can happen. Reach for box of granola bars, remember that today is Coffee Mess (school provides bagels/donuts and coffee in the lounge on Wednesdays), rejoice, run out to car.

9:10: Try to find legal parking in front of Maya’s. Give up, hope the evil parking police don’t walk by in the next 5 minutes. Laugh at Landon’s excitement at the mirrors in the elevator lobby and his continued fascination with the glowing Exit sign in the hall. Hand him and his little bag of bottles to Maya, try to get him to wave goodbye but he’s too busy with his babies and toys. Finally get him to look up with a big smile, smile back, then turn and run out the door to the illegally parked car.

9:25: Park my non-ticketed car, walk quickly (freezing, perhaps it wasn’t quite warm enough for the dress) to grab a bagel before my 9:45 class.

9:30: Outraged to find there are no bagels left. Apparently Passover meant the administration needed to decrease the number of bagels ordered by 90%. Check email, return call to mother-in-law, run off to class.

9:45-10:50: Sit in favorite class (Advanced Corporations: M&A), think about the bagel I’m not eating while learning about reverse triangular mergers.

10:50-11:00: Buy hot tea because I’m freezing in my cute dress, check email to find 20 new messages in my inbox, balance computer and tea while perched on a bench outside our internet-less classrooms. Debate skipping least favorite class.

11-12:05 PM: Sit in least favorite class (Environmental Law), wishing I’d skipped. Listen to one of the most brilliant law professors in the country, try to keep up with his intellectual leaps, become intellectually tired and spend the last 10 minutes relabeling pictures of Landon in my hard drive. Reflect that nothing the administration does will make a person pay attention in class when they don't want to.

12:05-1:30: Go to Alumni Roundtable Lunch with Cary Kochman, head of the UBS M&A group. Realize I’m the only woman in a room of 20 men. Wonder why corporate law scares away so many women. Eat turkey sandwich while listening to fascinating law v. investment banking discussion that deserves its own post, which I will probably never have time to write. Move on to brownie, carefully picking out the yucky walnuts. Resist urge to suck off every crumb of chocolately goodness from the extricated walnuts. Ask insightful question of Mr. Kochman about URI case I read in M&A, in which he was the lead negotiator. Get lots of fun behind-the-scenes info about the failed merger and the trial Enjoy impressed look from the esteemed guest for knowing so much about his case. Wonder again why there aren’t more women in the room.

1:20-2:45: Go to library, spend an hour catching up on emails, booking plane tickets for friend’s wedding, searching for environmental law outlines, and paying bills. Meet with professor about the substantial paper I’m writing for him. Vow to start actually working on it soon.

2:45: Walk across campus to doctor’s appointment for severe headaches and sleeplessness. Finally get seen by doctor at 3:15. She asks what’s going on in my life and if I’ve been under any unusual stress lately, I say I don’t think any more than normal and then tell her about graduating, the papers, the house, the move, and the non-sleeping 9-month old. She laughs, gives me a prescription for Ambien and an appointment with their “movement specialist” to work on better posture and positioning in front of the computer.

4:00: Get back to the law school, call Landon’s plastic surgeon to negotiate the cost of his surgery since the doctor apparently dropped our insurance between our consultation and the actual surgery. Make a few more phone calls, all of which involve being put on hold, fear next cell phone bill.

4:45: Realize I’m going to be late picking up the Landon. Shove computer in backpack, walk quickly to the car, lament the fact that another day has gone by with no reading and no research. Wonder if I’ll ever catch up in my classes.

4:59: Pick up a very busy Landon – he’s in the middle of the babies, holding a penguin in one hand and a block in the other, and looking very pleased with life. I get a big smile, the diaper-nap report from Maya, and head home.

5:30: Arrive home quicker than usual, make dinner for Landon (Kraft shells and cheese) before he realizes he is suddenly starving to death. Feed him the cheesy shells, three at a time, and marvel at how quickly his solid food skills have improved. Move on to peas, duck as he spits out the last bite, wipe him off, and head for the tub.

6:30: Splash in the water with Landon.

6:45: Unplug drain, dry off, throw on pj’s, pick up Landon from the now empty tub, wrap him in his monkey towel, and toss him on his bed for rolling and bear-wrestling fun.

7:05: Bring the pot of now solidified shells and cheese into Landon’s room and eat from the spatula while he rolls. Feel somewhat pathetic for not at least using a fork to eat out of the pot.

7:15: Cuddle Landon and give him his bottle, sing songs, sway, put him in his crib.

7:16-8:15: Landon cries. Resist going to him for a few minutes, but give in to repeat the singing and swaying. Then repeat twice more.

8:16: Landon is still crying. JP comes home, tell him his son wants him, and go to reheat the shells and cheese. The crying ceases almost immediately and JP accomplishes in 5 minutes what I tried to do for an hour. He claims it's because of the magic of the dung beetle song.

8:17-10:00: JP forages for his dinner, I claim I’m full but then eat bites off his plate. We talk about the house, how poor we’re going to be this summer, and the Pennsylvania primary results. Top Chef comes on at 9pm and I institute the “no talking during the show” rule. JP goes to bed. At 10:30, I join, thinking that I did no school work today but I’m really tired and it may be another 25 years before I’m not tired. Spend 90 minutes trying to fall asleep, vow to get the Ambien prescription filled tomorrow. Desperately hope Landon makes it until 6 before waking up, but know that if he doesn't it's JP's turn to get him anyway.


  1. "Reflect that nothing the administration does will make a person pay attention in class when they don't want to."

    This is the most humorous thing I've seen in awhile!

  2. I'm tired as hell girl as it is.. but reading your post is making me feel exhausted!!!

    Man that's a long day. You're go-go-go!

  3. Hooray! I got linked!

    Heh - my days are long, but at least my kiddo wakes and then is willing to go back to sleep until 7:00 am. Though this is only accomplished through him sleeping in my bed as I throw my boob in his general direction each time he wakes up. Really, he sleeps with me because I'm too damn lazy and tired to get up and go in his room when he wakes up. Hell, at least he goes back to sleep until 7:00. Though, then again, I put him down at 8:30.

    Oh, and right now? I'm fully reading blogs instead of studying for finals despite the fact that my first final is less than a week away. Worst. Student. EVER.

  4. Wow! That is a long, long day. I can't imagine having had Charlie while I was still in the classes portion of grad school. Hats off! You're almost done!

  5. Glad to know I'm not the only one who picks the walnuts out of the brownies!

    Yeah, my favorite classes tend also to have the fewest women in them. A bit disturbing how divided it gets.

  6. I haven't been able to visit other people's blogs in a while (for obvious reasons), but I just looked at my sitemeter and saw "laglive" "laglive" "lagliv" like a million times. Damn girl, you must have more readers than Slate! Thanks for the link, and I promise to get back to my blog-reading ways in a few weeks!

  7. wow, i think im busy now...yikes i dont know how I'll manage when my baby comes. That schedule makes me dizzy!

  8. Wow and to think I moan and groan about handeling work and a hubby! The ear tubes aren't helping Landon sleep better at all?


  9. I was a law school mama and I don't think my days were as exhausting. Phew! You're my hero.

    I guess it's because my early waker would also reliably return to sleep in our bed for an extra hour.

  10. Five a.m. wake-ups were the WORST. And with that schedule, no wonder you're tired. My first thought was wow, I'm glad I'm not doing all that right now... then got a little jealous that your days aren't consumed with laundry and removing choking hazards from a toddler's persistently inquistitive mouth. Tell you what - you fold my laundry, I'll go to Environmental Law for you. Is a few hours too far to drive? :)

    Oh - and don't get pregnant again anytime soon, okay? Because then you'll feel like your tiredness is terminal. Seriously.