It seems like the older I get (and the more kids I have), the less I’m on time for anything. When I was in college, I could set my alarm for 20 minutes before class started, and make it there two minutes early with a quick stop on the way for a breakfast biscuit. Roll out of bed, brush my teeth, pull some clothes out of the pile on my chair, grab my bag and go. These days it seems to take 20 minutes just to get everyone to the car – and that’s AFTER everyone’s already dressed and fed.
It usually starts with the negotiations.
Me: “No, Gwen, you can’t bring 15 ponies to the store…No, you can’t bring five, either…Why don’t you leave them here?…Ok, one. You can bring one – but you’re responsible for keeping track of it.”
Then we have to find shoes.
Me: “Please put your shoes on. No, not the swimming shoes, just put on flip flops…Those are your sister’s flip flops. You know what, forget it, just wear those.”
After that, the accessory debate.
Me: “No, you can’t wear my make up to the grocery store…not my dangly earrings either…ok, if you need your purse, go get it…no, I don’t know where it is, it’s YOUR purse.”
Right before we leave, we always go through the checklist.
Me: Got them.
Me: On my head.
Gwen: What about Calvin?
Me: I’m holding him, Gwen…
Just as we’re walking out the door, someone usually has to go to the bathroom. Fast forward about three minutes, and we’re finally climbing in the car.
Me: Why are you just standing by the car? Open the door, please, and climb in.
Gwen: Can we watch a movie?
Me: On the way to the grocery store? No. Please climb in your seat.
Sydney: Gwen’s in my way! I was supposed to get in first!
Me: It doesn’t matter, just climb over her…Come on, guys, we’re running late…Gwen, turn around and sit down…hurry, please… Ok! Is everyone buckled?
Me: Sydney, please help your sister buckle in…Use your cheetah power, we’re very late now.
Layla: Why are we always running late?
Gwen: Yeah, we’re always late.
Sydney: Mom, maybe we should leave earlier.
Me: *Head hits the steering wheel*
As with most things kid-related, I know one day I’ll miss this. They won’t need me to monitor their clothing choices, buckle them in, and they certainly won’t want to come on every errand with me. I’ll wake up to a quiet house, drink my coffee, maybe have a bagel and some juice. I’ll get dressed by myself, grab ONE bag with only MY stuff in it, and stroll out the door to make an appointment exactly on time. One day in the distant future I’ll look back on the chaos of these moments and smile fondly. I’ll tell my new mom friends to slow down, enjoy the time they have, and find joy in the journey. (They’ll probably want to punch me in the face when I say that, but they won’t, because that would be rude). However, until that time, I guess I should start setting my alarm for an hour earlier…ok, maybe two.