My friend once told me that mothers are allotted an extra 15 minutes per child to arrive at any given event before she can be considered “late”. At the time, I had only one kid, and I thought she was absolutely ludicrous. I mean, sure, I was always a little late (approximately 15 minutes…) now that I had Andy, but I was planning on having more kids. And surely—SURELY—I would not be even later once they got here! I was determined to never be more than 15 minutes late anywhere, no matter how many kids I was hauling with me.
Then, along came baby #2, and yeppers! we were about another 15 minutes late on a consistent basis.
Now that baby #3 has arrived, I’m not sure even an extra 45 minutes is going to cut it. Just this week alone, morning plans have had to be shifted back hours into the afternoon due to all the craziness that is involved with having three kids. At this point, if we manage to go anywhere at all, I am impressed with us. If we were to be ON TIME somewhere, I think I’d pass out from the shock of it all.
There are an infinite number of ways we have managed to delay our departure times. It has been mind-blowing how easily we can tack on extra 20 (or30, or 500…) minutes when it seemed like we were ready to walk out of the door five minutes ago. I cannot tell you how many times I have thought, “Wow! We’re doing really great on time! We may even get there early!” But then, out of nowhere, some unexplainable time warp has happened and we have gone back to being late.
As I sat thinking today about the many, many things that have caused us to be tardy lately, I decided to write some of them down so that I can have a record of the insanity. I am sure that there are many others, but these are the Top 20 that easily came to mind. Please note that each of the following scenarios have occurred singularly and also in any number of combinations.
Here we go:
1. Andy decided to stomp in a mud puddle on the way to the van. Not that the puddle was actually ON THE WAY to the van. It was actually in the neighbors’ yard. But it was outside just like the van was, and visible from the path to the van. So it had to be jumped in. And of course, Finnick followed him.
2. Oliver needed an additional diaper change right as we were walking out of the door, or Finnick did, or Andy suddenly realized he needed to poop, or all three happened back-to-back-to-back.
3. Finnick saw a bottle sitting on the counter on our way to the door and decided he MUST have milk NOW. Which prompted Andy to realize that he needed a drink also AND a snack. Which made Finnick realize that he needed a snack in addition to his milk.
4. Mom knocked over a Route 44 soda while preparing Finnick’s bottle, and it went EVERYWHERE.
5. Finnick’s shirt got soaked with milk when he drank his bottle. Andy spilled his drink in his lap. Both received new clothes.
6. Finnick fell down the steps while walking to the door to leave and required cuddles from Mama and the application of the Boo Boo Bunny.
7. Andy got stung by a wasp and required cuddles from Mama and the application of the Thomas the Train ice pack.
8. Mama’s keys got locked in the van by Dad. A scavenger hunt ensued to locate the valet key.
9. Finnick played with Mama’s keys, or her cell phone, or her deodorant, so another scavenger hunt ensued to track down everything.
10. Andy couldn’t find his shoes, and/or Finnick could only find one shoe.
11. Andy’s shoes were on the wrong feet, so he had to start over. While he performed the switcheroo, Finnick took his shoes back off. And lost one of them.
12. Finnick threw his pacifier, and it rolled to Who-Knows-Where. Then he cried that he did not have it. YET ANOTHER scavenger hunt ensued.
13. Mama realized that the diaper bag needed to be restocked, or she had to re-pack it due to Finnick playing another round of “Throw Everything Out of the Diaper Bag”.
14. Andy discovered a new bug bite and needed immediate application of anti-itch cream.
15. Finnick was put in “Time Out” in his crib for creating havoc while Mama tried to ready the family to leave… and he fell asleep. Therefore, the entire trip was delayed while he finished up his nap.
16. Finnick’s spur-of-the-moment nap lasted long enough for everyone to get hungry. The trip was delayed further for the family to eat lunch.
17. Andy stopped to pick multiple flowers, leaves, and rocks for Mama on the way to the van. Finnick also picked up rocks and tried to eat them.
18. We finally made it to the van, where we realized the car seats had not been re-installed after being taken out for a school trip.
19. Because we had rushed home the last ten trips out due to a screaming baby, or nursing schedule, or some other child-related emergency, we realized we never filled up the van and now had zero gas.
20. By the time everyone was finally ready, and the van was ready to go, it was time to nurse Oliver again.