Getting out of the house used to be quick and easy. I fondly recall the days where it only took 45 minutes to shower and be out the door…those days where you could blow-dry your hair whenever you wanted, not just while your child was sleeping.
Looking at the clock, I now think, “7:30 a.m.; great! We don’t need to be there until 10; just enough time to get ready.”
A new process to readying my family and myself has now developed. It involves extensive checklists—both actual and mental—and a detailed plan. Inevitably, despite my best efforts, some random unexpected event will arise and that plan will become obsolete. Like a soldier in battle I quickly regroup, my backup checklist already in the works; I am prepared for the counter attack on my day.
It’s most important for me to be ready first. (And by “ready” I mean rinsed, brushed, and hopefully wearing matching clothes). There is nothing like trying to put mascara on while keeping the blush brush out of Man’s mouth: Who will be most hurt in this situation, Mommy gouging out her eye or Man eating makeup and synthetic horsehair? I vote mommy on this one.
No matter how hard I try though, it seems as if I’m always wearing that tired “mom of a baby” look. I like to own the look: Yes, I meant to wear that splatter of yogurt across my leg! Didn’t you know it was all the rage? Plus, now I have lunch for later when I’m too busy to eat. No?
Once I’m finished putting my chic mommy ensemble together its time to ready Man.
The checklist begins:
Dressing (summer being easier than winter for obvious reasons)
Packing the diaper bag (a blog topic in itself)
Keeping Man happy and occupied while packing the diaper bag
Diapering again for good measure
And then remembering to pack that special toy
Making sure there is food (liquids, solids, snacks, appetizers, entrée selections)
Diapering once more out of necessity
Sometimes I stand in the middle of the kitchen silently running through the list in my head, a vacant expression across my face.
This always worries my husband…“Honey, what are you doing?”
I snap back to reality and look at him, “Huh? Oh, food prep, diapering…” and off he goes to address an item on my invisible magic list.
Then I’m out the door. If I’m lucky I have taken all I need to address any possible scenario (both realistic and outrageously far-fetched). It’s only when I arrive at my destination that I realize I have predictably forgotten something. On one such occasion, when Man was about 3 ½ months, I decided at the very last minute to visit a friend in the city for lunch. I managed to get Man and myself ready in record time. We zipped into the city and I parked at an underground garage that happened to have a nice steep driveway. I got out of the car to find that I had left the stroller at home. I schlepped Man up that driveway and three blocks in his car seat while people just watched trying to stifle a laugh. I don’t know if I was more upset that I had to carry him or because I looked like the naive suburbanite mom that I had suddenly become. Incidentally, I now always add “stroller” to my list.
There is more to write about this, but it’s already 8:30 a.m. and we have to be ready and out the door by 1.
Time to get moving…