If you have kids, you know this to be true: no matter how well you plan, you can still be late.
A person without kids tends to think about where they are going, how long it takes to get there, and decide from that when to leave. Most moms I know, myself included, add time onto the base prediction in hopes to cover some of the child “x factors” of delay, but even then, it doesn’t always work.
When you have a baby, most people know that there is always the chance you will be late based around the infant’s intense demands on your schedule between nursing, napping etc.
But babies also come with the always dreaded “blow out.” For those never initiated into this plan changer, this is when you have your baby completely dressed, packed for the outing, ready to step out the door and get them into the car seat… and then realize they pooped. But this is not any low level, change diaper, get out the door kind of poop, but a poop that somehow has mysteriously made its way out of the diaper, onto your child’s back, legs and I even had one that went up to my son’s neck. No one quite knows how these little bodies can project their poop so far, but they don’t seem to struggle to accomplish these feats.
Congratulations mom, you will now be late. No matter how much time you allotted for, you probably didn’t plan enough for a complete quick bath/shower/full scale wipe down, plus outfit change, plus restocking a backup outfit.
As they get older, to toddler and preschooler age, you don’t lose the chance of unexpected delays, they just change.
Last week, I had a need for an impromptu change of clothes for my toddler, when he decided he was old enough to get his own water from the fridge… and then promptly dump it out, both on himself and the floor, of course when we were trying to get out the door for my daughter’s preschool.
His “I do it myself” mantra has also made it so that he wants to climb into his car seat himself. This leaves me with two options, both bad, and both slow. I can let him do it… it just takes three times as long for him to climb first into the car, then into his seat, using his little arms and legs. Or, I can try to “speed up” the process by just putting him in myself. Trouble is that he fights me to put him down, arches his back to keep me from buckling him in, and generally makes my life difficult, so much so that I would have to time it to see which is actually the more efficient way to get us ready to go.
Thankfully, at some point, the scale starts to tip back in the mom’s direction as your kids truly become more independent (instead of the toddler version where they want to be independent but can’t actually do things by themselves for the most part).
One instance of this is that my daughter is perfectly capable of going to the bathroom by herself, while I work on getting my son ready, so that on good days, I can actually get out the door quicker. But one of the fun things about my four year old is that she is at the age of epic tantrums, which can strike at any minute, for any cause.
This means that I can have days where I ask her to go to the bathroom as her last step to be ready to leave before school, and instead of a happy girl that goes and does what I ask, she starts to yell, and scream, and then I have to put her in the bathroom myself.
When I put her in the bathroom, I had a fully dressed daughter, down to her shoes. When I checked on my grumpy preschooler, forced to go to the bathroom against her will, I had one in just a shirt. She had decided that as her sign of protest, she would remove all of her bottom half of clothing, including her socks and shoes.
Of course, I didn’t leave enough time for this clothing protest. I didn’t have time for her to keep kicking her legs so I couldn’t get things back on easily. I didn’t have time for her to kick her shoes off again in the car. I didn’t have time to have to carry her to her classroom, having her kick her shoes and socks off again as we went, but that was my Monday, so long story short, we got to preschool fifteen minutes late.
She is my oldest, so I can’t speak for the moms of older kids and teenagers, but I tend to think that the statement still holds true, that you can never plan well enough for the refusing to get up days, the “I have nothing to wear” days, the “I don’t want to go to school days,” and all of the other myriad of ways that kids have found that cause the same end result… you are late.
Fellow moms, I know. I know that best intentions mean nothing when it comes to life with less than full grown individuals working against you. We can’t stop trying, there will always be a start time that we have to try to make it by, we can just keep allowing more “x factor time,” in hopes that it will cover the newest way our children have found to make us late, yet again.