Eric Michael Pearson

A Day In The Life Of The Hardest Job I've Ever Had — Working For My Toddler

By Jamie Aderski
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Like many of you, I’m the parent of a toddler. Perhaps not like you, I’m also a working actor (when I’m very, very lucky), a comedian, writer, an artistic director at a comedy theater, and a foot model (no joke). Oh, and I have a husband who works crazy hours as a chef. We certainly don’t live the 9 to 5 lifestyle. My existence currently consists of balancing freelance work, chasing my dream of comedic stardom (like, a sitcom would be nice! Is that too much to ask?!), working from home, and trying to maintain what’s left of my sanity — you know, living my best life. There's a lot of screaming, poopy diapers, and tears along the way. Mostly my own.

Finding time to write funny stuff when your life revolves around the worst boss ever — your toddler — is no joke. Did I mention making people laugh is not necessarily a paid position? Crazy, I know, because we all need to laugh. Turns out, in order to feed said "boss," I have to work several gigs, and because of my overwhelming schedule meeting this adorable tyrant's every whim, they must be flexible. It's like putting together a puzzle, but the pieces don't always fit so you just gotta shove some of them in there, and call it done! This comedy writes itself, my friends. Here's a typical day:

7:22 a.m.: Wake up in a panic that I forgot to set my alarm. Guess what? I didn’t! I did set it — for 7 p.m., so it never went off.

7:25 a.m.: Realize I didn’t need to get up at 7:30. That was yesterday, for my shoe showroom gig. What does that consist of, you may ask? I try on artist samples of shoes and the company choses what they’ll put in to production for you to buy. I’ve been shoe modeling for 17 years! I may be nearly 40, but my feet don’t look a day over 18.

7:26 a.m.: Pee, as my tot refuses to give me privacy and asks if I have to poop. I don’t, but I appreciate his interest.

7:30 a.m.: Get son milk, make coffee. Forget to attach coffee pot. Clean up coffee. Make more coffee.

9 a.m.: Make “cereal milk” which consists of whatever stale cereal I have lying around and milk. I’m a chef, too! (Not even close, but points for creativity.)

10:15 a.m.: Office is open. Check email, go through show submissions, deal with annoying artists like myself.

11:30 a.m.: Make lunch.

11:40 a.m.: Apparently it’s “Ew gross!” Make lunch number two.

11:41 a.m.: Doesn’t want lunch number two. I tell him it’s from McDonald's. Now he wants it.

11:42 a.m.: Keeps asking where his “happy toy” is and “why can’t go to ‘Donald's to eat?”

11:43 a.m.: Throws lunch number two on floor in a tantrum.

11:44 a.m.: Debate if it’s too early to open wine.

11:45 a.m.: It’s not.

Realize my child has been quiet for over 15 minutes, have a mild internal freak out. I scream his name. Never knew how often I would be saying (shouting, rather) his name. Unsolicited advice alert: think about that when choosing your baby’s name!

12 p.m.: Google myself. (I know, I know.)

12:16 p.m.: Wonder why I haven’t heard from my agent lately. Maybe they think I’m just sitting on my butt enjoying mommy-hood? In a panic, I immediately book myself on a comedy show — gotta make sure people know I’m still in it! (As long as the show is over by 10 p.m. because momma’s paying a sitter 20 AMERICAN DOLLARS AN HOUR ALL CAPS.)

12:18 p.m.: Look at bank account. Stress out about money. I am the opposite of “liquid.” Need to book a gig asap.

12:20 p.m.: Fall down the Instagram rabbit-hole. Feel old, ugly, and poor. And everyone is hanging out without me. Bleh.

12:30 p.m.: Realize my child has been quiet for over 15 minutes, have a mild internal freak out. I scream his name. Never knew how often I would be saying (shouting, rather) his name. Unsolicited advice alert: Think about that when choosing your baby’s name!

12:31 p.m.: Clean up Play-Doh, which is smooshed into the rug and now looks like the Trolls threw up all over it. (BTW, have you seen that movie? Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel?! Like, so entertaining. Even after watching it seven days in a row. God bless.)

12:40 p.m.: Clean up dog poop. I have a senior chihuahua who's made it her mission to make my life hell since we brought our lil’ dude home. All fun and games to treat your pooch like your child until you actually have a child. My bad.

12:50 p.m.: Eat leftovers from lunch one, and yes, lunch two, that fell on the floor.

[He] makes sure to tell me how “yuck” everything is, while smearing it all over the table. This is the worst restaurant I’ve ever worked in.

1 p.m.: Take son to the park. Spend $6 on a Spongebob Squarepants ice cream bar that he begs me for, then refuses to eat “friends.” Demands to hold on to it until it melts into an unrecognizable runny sponge of a character. Tears. Spend $4 on a new ice cream — a faceless one that he can’t fall in love with.

2:30 p.m.: Give son iPad so I can meet my writing deadline.

2:30-4 p.m.: Get writing done, yay! (But feel guilty, boo!)

4 p.m.: Take iPad away.

4:15 p.m.: More work comes in. Why did I take the dang iPad away? Struggle between all of those feelings, needing to get caught up on work, and wanting to watch TMZ.

5 p.m.: TMZ was worth it.

5:30 p.m.: He’s crying about missing daddy, “where is Play-Doh??,” and wants a snack but not any that I have.

5:45 p.m.: I make three dinners that he specifically asks for then won’t eat. Also makes sure to tell me how “yuck” everything is, while smearing it all over the table. This is the worst restaurant I’ve ever worked in.

5:50 p.m.: Cookies it is! I give up.

6 p.m.: Send in kitchen cleanup crew: Penny the Chihuahua.

6:15 p.m.: Watch Toy Story 3 via a shoddy YouTube video for the third time today. No way am I paying to buy this movie that I can now word-for-word reenact myself. Try me! I dare you.

8 p.m.: View improv comedy shows via Nest cam (yup, this is part of my job), take notes. Spaz out for a moment thinking everyone will hate me when I give said notes. Question my ability to be a leader when I can’t even get my own child to take me seriously.

8:22 p.m.: Realize I don’t care what people think. One of the great things about getting older and being a mom is that I have other crap to deal with. Like, literal crap. Speaking of….

10:30 p.m.: Pray that he will go back the bleep to sleep so I can watch Below Deck: Mediterranean.

8:23 p.m.: Oh, great! It’s diarrhea. Why isn’t he potty trained yet?! More guilt.

8:30 p.m.: Beg him to go the bleep to sleep.

9:30 p.m.: Pour a glass of wine. Begging and pleading continues (on both sides.)

10 p.m.: A compromise — he falls asleep, but on the couch.

10:05 p.m.: Wakes up because I put him in his bed. Refuses to stay in his bed.

10:30 p.m.: Pray that he will go back the bleep to sleep so I can watch Below Deck: Mediterranean.

11 p.m.: Exhausted. I need to go to bed. Guess who’s coming with me? UGH.

11 p.m. to 2 a.m.: Get kicked in the face, head-butted, pushed and shoved. A wrestling match? No. Sleeping next to a 2-year-old.

2 a.m.: Hubs gets home from the restaurant. Watches Lawrence O’Donnell way too loud. Also can’t hear it but I know he is eating (an entire) bag of Doritos. We talked about this.

2:30 a.m.-3:30 a.m.: In-and-out of sleep, because… surround sound snoring. Like father, like son.

3:30 a.m.: Go to sleep on the floor of my son’s room. At least someone should use it. Sleep at last!

7:15 a.m.: Door opens, “Hi, Mama! Cereal milk? iPad? Phone? Peppa Pig? Elmo? Park? Juice? Paw Patrol???”

And so it begins….