On juggling

I never really understood why the practice of going to work when one is the parent of a small child is referred to as “juggling.”

But now I get that both involve dropping things.

Like a full box of pipette tips, for instance.  Or a freshly pumped bottle of breastmilk.  Or an expensive piece of laboratory glassware.

And that is only the concrete objects.  There are also the bazillion small tasks on my to-do list that have somehow fallen off of it without my noticing.  Like writing thank you notes for baby gifts.  Or taking out the trash on the appropriate day.  Or remembering to put said breastmilk in the fridge when I get home and not at 4am when I suddenly remember that it is still in my backpack.

And that is where the metaphor breaks down.  Juggling (to me) implies a small number of equally-sized tasks, calmly and regularly following one another through the air.  But really, it feels more like two flaming torches, and half a dozen stuffed animals, and a stroller and an oscilloscope and an ungodly number of towels, all in various states of constantly falling down.

Oh yes, and a baby.

But despite the nagging feeling that I am not really holding it together, I guess— three weeks in— that I have manged to keep the most important balls in the air.

Namely, data was collected:

And the baby is still alive:

Everything else I figure I can pick up later.