A day in the life, January 2018

Five thirty. The baby is making noises. My wife murmurs something I can’t hear while I stretch. It’s my turn. I get up and go to the cot. He sees me and instantly turns away. He wanted mummy not daddy. After five minutes of trying to sleep, he realises he’s awake. I pick him up, take him to the chair and rock him on my shoulder. After half an hour, he gets quiet asleep. I put him back in the cot and wait the thirty seconds until he wakes again. My wife says he needs food and goes to get him some. I wait. She wasn’t going to get him some, she was turning on the heating and going back to bed. I take him to the living room where the baby bottles are. I take him back and feed him. I get him down to sleep. It’s six thirty.

At seven, the alarm rings. I turn it off, then take five more minutes. I get up again, head for the kitchen to make tea and boil eggs. I turn the boy’s light on, to get him used to the idea of morning. Halfway through my tea, my wife staggers in. She’s been getting up four times a night for sixteen months now, and with the recent teething it’s been worse. She’s got a bad cough that won’t go away. She starts to say something, but the baby monitor is louder: he’s awake. She goes to get him. He’s groggy but up. I take the baby and go to wake the boy. He’s reasonably amenable, especially when reminded there’s oreos and milk waiting for him (his daily nutritious breakfast). I tell him he can watch iPad if he gets his clothes on first. He does.

Ten minutes later, they’re getting ready to leave for school. I sniff something on the baby as I’m putting him in the car seat, so I whisk him off to clean up the poo. The boy is being packaged up ready. I deliver the baby to the car, and head back inside for a moment of peace. My morning can begin.

Shower. Brush teeth. Clothes. Check bag. Into the truck. Drive two slow, boring miles to the station. Park the truck. Into the station. Five minutes for the bart. Not bad. Bart seat is only mildly smelly. Not bad. Into the city in forty five mins. Reading Armada on kindle, not very good. No visible poop or visible needles in the station, surprising. A wet walk to the office. Drizzle.

I’d normally head up to nine for some eggs, but I did have one of the boiled eggs earlier, and I have a suspicion there’ll be doughnuts. I head for coffee on five. Wash hands, latte, glass of water. Head to my desk, unpack the laptop. What on earth was I doing yesterday?

Today I needed to get a real answer for a question for auditors. I ask someone, but I know that some of what they’re saying isn’t true. I find someone else, we verify our answer. I stick it in the sheet, all good. I’ve got a few branches to land from yesterday. Landing branches is slow, and some of them need the tests to be rerun for certainty (I’d spent much of the previous day unblocking the test pipeline). It’ll take a couple of hours. I head to the other building where the team is running a hackday. We need to convert every file from CSS files to JavaScript styles. It’s a lot of tedious work, so it’s best done as a team, in a day, in a room, with doughnuts. There’s a prize for the most files converted. I’m not here for the prize, I’m here for doughnuts. I have a doughnut. I pick up a ticket and work on it while landing branches.

Twelve o’clock and we need to get out of the room. It’s basically impossible to book a good meeting room for a whole day. We head to lunch. I’m doing tacos, because they’re always ok, and I don’t mind boring. I often have tacos. I sit with the team until they bring up D&D. I go back to work.

I keep tabs on a login issue. I think it’s more complex than they realise. I have a suspicion that an error page or asset is pointing to the wrong site and logging us out. They haven’t figured it out yet. I’ll keep watching.

Another trivial ticket I’ve been watching hits 100 comments without real progress. It’s time to go rogue. I remove the disputed image from the page altogether, and then remove the links to the page itself. That’ll solve the problem, but it’s two more branches to land. Two more sets of tests to run.

It’s four thirty. I’ve had an extra brownie and some sweets to keep me going, but I’m still feeling sleepy. I dive into an api migration I needed to get a handle on this week. I can’t get it to work, I chat to the team who make the api. They give me a repro case. Feels brittle, but it’s something to work with tomorrow.

Five o’clock, and it’s time to run. Wife texted me earlier, she’s going to the doctor at seven thirty for her cough. I need to get home. Drizzle is wetter. Back to the Bart. Bit smellier this time. Fine though. I read the book but can’t get into it. Back to the truck. Driving through the rain. Stop at home, bring the bins in, grab the mail. Open the door.

“Daddy!” The boy comes running for a hug. He hasn’t done this since he was three, but he started again this week and I love it. The baby is excited and doesn’t know what to do with himself. He hands me the mail I put down on the bench while I drop of my jacket and bag, then follows me to the bedroom to change trousers and wash hands and face. He gets a big hug. There’s no food ready or anything to really make, so I reheat some dried-up pizza from the weekend. I eat while reading tweets. The baby is shouting “mama, mama” at me, like he does. He’s smelly again, so I go and cleanup the poo again. A little has leaked, so my wife gives him a bath. I make pasta for the boy, my wife leaves for the doctor, I sit the baby down and try to feed him food from a pouch. He has a little. I tell the boy to turn off the iPad, and we have a genuinely pleasant few moments, us three, at the table.

We head upstairs to the playroom. We play James Bond. I’m the bad guy spy. The baby climbs on furniture to turn on the disco lights like he always does. We play until eight. Let’s go down. Mummy texts to say the doctor was good, she’s coming home.

Put your pyjamas on. Put your pyjamas on. Put your pyjamas on. And so forth. Teeth are brushed, rinsed. A wee is had. Pyjamas are on. I take the boy in to read, but we don’t read, we play Space Mazes. It’s eight forty. Up to bed, lights off. Quiet. Quiet. The baby is still playing outside the door. I sit with the boy until he sleeps. It’s nine thirty. He should sleep soon, and then I can steal his hot water bottle and go to bed too. Sometimes I have some decaf tea before I do, dipping some chocolate biscuits into it. Not today though. Doughnuts were had.

Good night.