I used to be really punctual. REALLY punctual. I'd arrive to parties 20 minutes ahead of time and putz around the neighbourhood until it was fashionably late to arrive. I'm a weenie, I like punctuality and punctual people. People who ran late used to irk the Hell out of me. Even after having kids, after finding my groove with one or two, I'd manage to make most of my engagements on time if not early. That's all gone to Hell. 3 kids and I'm late. I'm always late. I'm surprised if I make it on time. However this isn't just isolated in the world of Joy, lots of parents with 3 are late. Lots of parents of one are late, but 3...well it's a whole new plain of Hell. For those who don't have kids, or those who wonder why I'm late, here's an example from this morning.
6:30, baby is up, after 5 hours of broken sleep. I get up, head downstairs, the only thing on my mind is coffee, so I go to turn on the coffee maker. At this point the house could be burning down, I still want coffee.
6:45, kids breakfasts are made. It's toast with jam and scrambled eggs. Yell at boys to come downstairs.
6:50, change baby's diaper, bring him downstairs (yes, it took me 5 minutes to climb the stairs, coffee was not ready yet)
6:55 practically fall downstairs, pour my coffee into the bottle and formula into my coffee cup. Hit self on head, rinse out said vessels and start over.
7:00, kids are eating, I'm sitting down with baby feeding bottle, reading facebook and drinking coffee. All is right with the world.
7:15, kids are done eating, I fetch their uniforms feeling oodles better and patting myself on the back for being 45 minutes ahead of time.
7:30 Get A Dude dressed, Mister N dresses himself. Baby cooing with contentment-little fart, kept me up all night and he coos!
7:35 Go get dressed myself. Even have time to exfoliate, cleanse, tone and moisturize skin. Go me!
7:50 Ooops, better get moving, lets check on the kids.
7:51 A Dude has managed to get jam all over his uniform and baby has had a diaper explosion, which has leaked out of the waistband part of his diaper and has traveled up approximately to his shoulder blades.
7:52 Rip uniform off A Dude, notice he's peed in his Pull Up, rip that off him too. Run to laundry room where spare uniform vest is still in washing machine. Shit! I thought I did that last night. Throw it in the dryer, set dryer to thermonuclear heat setting.
7:53, okay, 7 minutes til I have to be out the door. Chase naked A Dude around, he falls and gives himself a fat lip.
7:54 dig out freezie, grab A Dude, cussing under my breath. Get him dressed in all but required vest. Do his hair over again.
7:55, listen to A Dude scream bloody murder as I take care of his hair, which is somewhat resembling Beethoven's style right now.
7:57, grab baby. Pull off his onesie, start pulling out wipes. Because it's the bottom of the package it takes two hands and a foot to actually extract each wipe.
7:59 have wipes in hand, start wiping down baby.
8:03 baby is clean, but I forgot the outfit. Slap diaper on him, yell at Mr. Ninja to come watch baby.
8:04 come charging down the stairs with outfit, bark out one word "BOOTS!"
8:05 putting on baby's outfit. Trying to avoid those little claws he calls fingernails digging into my flesh. Yes, I clip them, I clipped them TWO DAYS AGO.
8:10 putting baby's outfit on.
8:11 Mr. Ninja after having his boots, coat and hat on comes in to annouce he has to pee. No, it's not a cliche!
8:12 STILL putting on baby's outfit and coat. It IS like dressing an octopus.
8:13 Put baby in carseat, get coat on A Dude.
8:13 Realize that A Dude still needs vest, take coat off.
8:14 yank vest out of the dryer, assess that it's "dry enough" and put it on A Dude, returning the look of Beethoven to his head.
8:15 zip up coats, put on mittens.
8:16, have herded kids out the door, packing them into the van.
8:17, listen to complaints of "I forgot this!" respond with "It will still be there when we get back, if you don't require it to live, I'm not going back into house."
8:18, finally get out of the driveway. School starts at 8:30, it's a 20 minute drive, not to mention the 5 minutes it takes to get the kids from van to door, which is a freaking miracle considering all the millions of distractions in that 50 feet up the path.
8:30, having broken rules of time and space and a few traffic violations, I have actually succeeded on being on time.
So that is just a brief example of how every moms best laid out plans can be destroyed in a matter of seconds. Somehow I made it to school on time, I channeled some deranged army sargeant and my kids might have been traumatized. Since I only reserve that kind of traumatization for school, I often run late. So I'm hoping parents, non parents, retired parents and whomever else may take some pity. Understand that I am moving at Mach 5 on usually very little sleep, reserves, food and come Hell or highwater, I will make it to my destination, even if it is now fashionably late.