Thursday, December 22, 2005

Flexibility. Sometimes planned, sometimes forced upon you

Tuesday night:  Get kids to bed...visualizing the morning.  I'm gonna get up at 6.  Get ready.  Get them up and ready.  Drop them off at school, 7:30.  Leave for Mom's right after that.  Drop Audrey off, and get to work by 9.  Stay until just after our Christmas lunch that our supervisor is treating us to and get my "mandatory overtime" in (not that I get paid OT, but it's a solidarity thing--and it keeps the full-timers from pointing their fingers at the part-timers for not having to come in.  Whatever it takes to keep the peace and not draw attention to myself/my schedule.)  Leave at around 1, 1:30.  Fetch the girl and get home by 3:30 at the latest, so the latchkey kids don't have a panic attack.  (And so they only have about an hour alone to destroy each other or the house.)  They're not walking home, but getting a ride from a friend.  (So I don't have a panic attack.)  The perfect plan, I think.  I can do this.  Supermom!  Close my eyes and drift off.

Wednesday morning:  JUMP out of bed at 5 am, when Mr W's alarm goes off.  I'm blindly reaching for my clock when I notice the time.  I'm sure I heard him chuckle, but I collapse back into bed before I can come up with a snappy retort.  Hit snooze button when alarm really goes off, and decide my hair is fine so I can skip the shower and sleep a bit longer.  Mmm. 
'A bit longer' turns into 25 minutes.  Oy! 

Go to get the kids up.  Ben begins his drama...apparently, he feels he is too sick to go to school.  Dude, you've been out a couple of days.  You played all day yesterday. You can go to school.  Tears, pleading..."You wouldn't be doing this if your Dad was here.  Get up.  Get dressed. You're medicated. You're gonna be fine."  "I guess I could try to stick it out at school today, until after your work party." <sniff>  Oh, that little shit.  I almost caved, what with the sudden pang of guilt.  "This is not about my work-lunch-thing.  Knock it off and get ready."  Any hopes of squeezing into the shower, which I'd been entertaining again, poof!  out the window. 

Time: 7:15.

Where's Ryan?

Still sleeping. 

"Get up, here's your clothes..."  I flick on the light.  (Which, I have to admit, is quite bright.)  Audrey wakes up, and like a little teenager, throws her arm over her eyes.  "Turn out the liiiiggght."  I crack up, it's so funny.  Ryan and I imitate her until she reluctantly sits up.  But then she does it again for Nolan when he comes into the room.

Ben is still pouting.  I'm gonna kill him.

Time: 7:30.  So much for Plan A.

Get 'em fed.  Decide to run them to school and come home and get ready myself.  Yup.  I'm still in my pjs, what with Ben and the Princess' dressing needs.

Time: 7:45...

Go to the closet, and grab skirt.  Black tights (Audrey gets a kick out of it when I wear them)...where's my chunky black shoes?  Ah.  Dive into closet.  Here's one...where's the other??

How can I lose a shoe.... in my own closet? 

<Don't answer that.  Don't judge.  Just nod.>

Find substitute black flats, they'll do.

"Yes, Audrey?"

"What are you do-ing?"  "I'm getting dressed."  "Why?"

It's too early for this.

"Go.  Privacy.  I need to hurry."  "Why?" 

Ugh.  Patience, patience...

"Honey, why don't you take the pillows off Mommy's bed and we'll make it when I'm done and you can help."  This bought me a whopping 2 minutes, tops.  (Enough time to wiggle into the tights without commentary on how I was going to get them over my butt.)

Time: 8:20.  Call my Mom to let her know I'm gonna be late.  Seriously contemplate if all this effort just for a couple of hours at the lab is worth it.  Hmm.  Free lunch.  Adults.  After spending a  week here with sick kids, yeah, it's worth it.

Back to the bathroom to put on makeup..almost.   The phone rings.  It's Mr W.  I give him the quick rundown.  He tells me to drive safely. 

Now, back to the bathroom.

"Yes, Audrey?"

"Why you put your face so close to the mirror?"

"I can't see without my glasses, and I need to see what I'm doing so I don't poke myself in the eye."

Rustle, rustle.  She comes back.  "Here Mommy.  Use this."  She hands me a little makeup mirror.  She's so cute about it, I have to smile and thank her....for handing my own mirror back to me.  (It's one that used to live in my purse.)

Hooray!  Finally we can leave. 

"Yes, Audrey?"

"I'm thirsty." 

Time:  8:55-ish.

As we back out, I realize we need gas.  Are you kidding me?

Leave gas station, and finally hit the road.  "Mom.  We're on the way. Be there soon."  Drive thru, get Audrey a drink, and hit the 9:15 or so.

I'm still kinda in rush-rush mode.

Then I figure, it takes 45 minutes to get to Mom's house.  It's not happening to get to work by 9, no way, no how.

I'll probably make it to work by 10:30.

I clocked in at 11.

Flexibility.  I preach it to the kids all the time, because most of their little lives, we've had a baby or toddler in tow.  And babies/toddlers don't care about what your agenda is for the day, they have their own.  Sometimes, the things you want to get done need to shift a bit to accomodate them.  They've learned to be understanding, even if it's an annoyance to have to leave the park, the mall, or the store; and go back later.  They know it's better to avert the crisis then try to deal with a full-blown one in Aisle 5.

It's always humbling to be reminded that you are not really the boss, and your timeline, while well-intended, is almost always gonna be off.   Boy, was I humbled today.

Yes, I know all about laying out everything the night before, and getting all my ducks in a row before I go to bed.

I'm just out of practice.


mum24boyz said...

oh yeah...the shoe thing..has happened to me soooo many times..where do those darn shoes go????

Robyn :)

chseroo said...

I am always late. My family has learned that at Thanksgiving they tell me the wrong time that we are going to eat. Example: If they want to eat at 1pm, they tell me they will be eating at 11:30. No kidding. LOL. But it seems to work.

Merry Christmas!


ekgillen said...

I've always thought their should be a special time zone for parents where a half hour of real time is only five

tdain2003 said...

Do you have a hidden video camera in my house?!  Sounds so familiar : )
How was the tamale cook-off thingee?!  
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday : )

onemoretina said...

Stopping by to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas ....hope Santa is good to you all !  Tina

bridgetteleigh75 said...

Honestly, this is one of the hardest things I've had to deal with as a mommy.  I'm big on time schedules and organization...and it just doesnt' work when you have a little one.  At all.  I'm adjusting, but it's taken a lot of time for me.  


misstyfyd said...

I go through this same thing every morning, and my bosses are always threatening me about the policy for tardiness. four minutes late and you get the equivalent of a demerit, three demerits can get you fired, supposedly i've been fired about 9 times now.  they ask, what can i do to get you here on time...and i tell them to take my kids overnight sometime and they won't need to worry about me anymore.  just once going through my morning would teach them a thing or two.  (they have no children.)  thanks for the laugh.  glad there's someone else fighting the good fight.  jessica