Monday, August 22, 2011

Mommy Time

We try, we really do.  
We make valiant efforts to get out the door on time. 
But like it or not, something inevitably happens to keep us from being prompt.  
Once you have a kid there's nothing easy about anything anymore.  And there's nothing simple or quick about getting someplace when you're supposed to.  

Going to the beach? You'll need to pack all of Target and half of Walmart in order to survive a two-day trip.  Gone are the days of lounging in the sand with your iPod and a copy of Us Weekly.  If you want to be on the beach at 10 a.m. you're going to have to begin getting ready at 7, considering all the crap you have to lug with you. 
The pool is equally as tedious.  These days I spend more time getting ready for the pool than actually swimming in it.  No more heading out the door with a towel and my sunglasses.  This is like preparing for a trek up Mt. Everest.  I need swim diapers, regular diapers, a changing pad, a wet bag, a hat for Mackenzie, a change of clothes for Mackenzie, a sippy cup for Mackenzie, toys for Mackenzie, shoes for Mackenzie, and enough sunscreen to protect an entire Olympic swim team.  After all the prep work we spend about 15-20 minutes in the actual pool before Mackenzie deems the party over. 
Dinner reservation on Saturday? Start getting ready on Friday. 
I'm serious.  
You can't just walk out the door without thinking of what your kid will need at a restaurant.  
Diapers, wipes, changing pad, more wipes.  Some sort of entertainment for the table. (Unless your kid is old enough to keep himself occupied with the crayons the hostess brings.  My child is at the stage where she wants to eat crayons, so that's not too helpful.)  Sippy cup.  Bib.  Snacks to maintain a sense of calm before dinner is served.  And shoes.  Don't forget the shoes!!! (Easy to do when your child first starts walking.  Up until that point you don't need to think about bringing shoes anywhere.)  If all hell breaks loose and you need to leave the table you WILL need shoes in order to let your son or daughter run around in the parking lot until they're too tired to throw any more temper tantrums. (Responsible parenting? Probably not.  But sometimes it's your only option.) 
Indeed, going out ANYWHERE with a kid is never easy.  And I've heard it only gets harder the more children you have.  
This is why mothers don't go apeshit when someone doesn't show up to playgroup on time.  Someone is inevitably late due to a last minute catastrophic event. 

"Aiden had a poop explosion as we were walking out the door." 
"Riley spilled apple juice all over herself and needed to be changed."
"Ava insisted on dressing herself and ended up putting on two different shoes.  Of course I didn't realize this until I was pulling out of the driveway."
"Brady fell and scraped his knee in the driveway so I needed to do some quick first aid before leaving the house."
"I had to pull the car over to stop Emma and Zachary from beating each other to death."

The stories are endless.  We've all been there.  And you can be insanely prepared and have everything ready to go and you can even factor in that extra 20 minutes, and still, something always happens to keep you from staying on track.  
Luckily there aren't too many places that mothers need to be at a certain time.  
For Mackenzie and I the one commitment we have each day is Stroller Strides.  Class starts at 9:30 and while you won't be sent to the principal's office or get your pay docked for being tardy, it's nice (and respectful to the rest of the group) to be as close to on time as possible.  
But we struggle every morning, despite the fact that we have to travel less than two miles to get there.  
My obstacles are plentiful: 
* Mackenzie refuses to part with her toothbrush. 
* She takes a major dump as we're walking out the door. 
* Her breakfast has made its way into every crack and crevice in the high chair and I will NOT leave the house without cleaning it. 
* She won't stand still long enough for me to spray her with sunscreen. 
* I've forgotten her shoes! (AGAIN!) 
* I'm determined to finish my single cup of tea, despite the fact that I've had to reheat it in the microwave three times already.  
* The Diaper Genie is overflowing and the stench is emanating throughout my entire house.  There is no WAY I can let it linger a moment longer.  Out to the trash I go. 
* Mackenzie insists that I read The Belly Button Book a fifth time.
* I can't find my keys.  Even though they were looped on my bag.  Why I ever taught Mackenzie how to unhook them is beyond me. 
* Eureka! Keys located.  Just about ready. 
As I'm putting on my sneakers, Mackenzie makes a run for it and starts climbing the stairs.  I hobble over, one shoe barely on my foot as I grab her, plopping her squarely between myself and my bag so I can finish tying my laces.  She rummages through the diaper bag and proceeds to take everything out.  Wipes are flying in the air, diapers are being torn into confetti, the changing pad is unfolded in a nanosecond.  My wallet is open and Mackenzie is moments away from tearing up a 20 dollar bill.  
My lord.  Does it get any easier? 
This is what I asked myself as I was sweating and swearing just this morning.  
But in order for you to understand why today was so miserable I have to backtrack to yesterday afternoon when Mackenzie started gagging herself for no apparent reason.  It all started on our way to the grocery store.  I had just given Mackenzie her lunch; of course it had to be fish sticks.  FISH STICKS!!! Not toast or plain pasta.  Or ANYTHING less vile than fish sticks.  
Long story short, she gagged herself hard enough that she threw up her lunch and she was covered in vomit, as was her car seat.
Now, I'm used to cleaning car seat covers.  When Mackenzie was an infant I was constantly throwing her Graco cover in the wash to get spit up out of it.  
Little did I know that Britax car seat covers are NOT machine washable.  If only I was aware of this fact before I basically dismantled the entire car seat to take the damn cover off.  Alas, I had to wash it by hand and allow it to line dry.  Seventeen hours later it was finally free of any moisture.  Just in time for me to leave the house for class.  Since my car doesn't have the LATCH system in the middle position and this is where I choose to keep the car seat, it's a real bitch to install the car seat.  
I spent 25 minutes trying to get that seat to the point where it didn't move a millimeter.  You basically can only do this by curling yourself into a ball and standing in it while maneuvering the seat belt and securing it with plastic clips that the Incredible Hulk would have a hard time closing.  

Aren't you tired just reading about this? 

The bottom line is this: I was late for class because -- once again -- being a mom means you're thrown a curveball every, single day.  And no matter how comprehensively you plan, and how regardless of how prepared you are, something will always pop up to throw you for a loop.  But at least we have other moms to remind us that we're not alone, and to chalk it up to "just another day" when we show up 30 minutes late.  

No comments:

Post a Comment