I have a real problem being on time for things; my husband has a real problem if we are late for things. You’d think our kids would be right.on.time. And, probably (hopefully) they will be, but not until I stop having to get them places.
Every Fall we put the kiddos in eleventeen things to help further their brains and bodies and (in general) keep them from becoming serial killers. So far it seems to be working, but they’re only 5 and 2 so it’s a little early to call it.
The thing is, I have been starting to think maybe all these “anti-serial killer” activities are not so much growing and help my children succeed, but instead are inching me closer to a stress-induced heart attack before I’m old enough to have one. Between prep, laundering uniforms, getting kids fed and out the door again, my blood pressure goes from 120/80 to 600/570-ish.
Don’t even get me started on my Rage-O-Meter– this is the giant thermometer-looking gauge that tells outsiders whether they should tread lightly or continue with caution when near me. Let’s say the lower the thermometer, the more peaceful I am; on activity nights, my meter is bubbling 3/4 of the way up with the chance of the mercury bursting through the top with every red light or set of lost car keys that slows us down.
At any rate, Kiddo #1 takes dance lessons, music and swimming, Kiddo #2 take dance and swimming. It makes for some interesting after school routines in our house, since Kiddo #1 gets off the bus an hour before her first lesson starts on any given day. While 60 minutes should be adequate, it is so SO far from enough time to get us all there.
Basically our routine for the months of September and October were as follows:
3:50: Get off the bus, show thumbs up/down for how day went
3:55: Get in the house, toss all jackets/shoes/book bags willy-nilly like a sprinkler
4:00: Proclaim dire need for snackage and flop on the floor dying of hunger until said snack is on the table
4:11: I say, “Honey, it’s time to get your [whatever is needed for whatever they’re taking] together.”
4:18: I say, “Hurry and finish your snack, you need to get ready.”
4:23: We’re leaving in 5 minutes. I’m getting your brother ready for Taylor’s (the neighbour girl who takes excellent care of him).
4:45: AHHH! It’s quarter to 5! RUN RUN RUN we’re late and we still have to drop your brother off and get there. AHHH! GAH! RUN!
Despite our routine, getting to dance includes us squealing into the dance studio parking lot. Luckily we’re late enough that we won’t run anyone over as we Tokyo Drift our way into a parking spot. Heart pounding, rage-o-meter through the roof, Kiddo #1 grabs her bag and we run inside. Every week. Without fail. It’s maddening!
But, possibly because we’re 3 months into our “new” routine, and possibly because we’re getting close enough to Christmas that I am more aware that Santa’s watching (so I must be a good girl), a miracle occurred today; we weren’t late!
In fact– wait til you get a load of this one: we were early. EARLY!
As we pulled into the empty parking lot, I was able to slowly and calmly get an amazing parking spot. No running from 3 streets over? Man, early people catch all the breaks!
Kiddo #1 and I walked (!!) into the studio. A dad and his daughter were behind us and the two girls started chatting about … whatever little girls chat about. I presume princesses and hockey skates, but little girl voices are too high pitched for my concert-abused ears to hear.
At any rate, Kiddo #1 and her friend lined up at the wall and put their ballet shoes on. I didn’t even know they did that. Best part? There were no exasperated tears (from me) trying to put a ballet shoe on her sticky been-in-a-sock-all-day feet. It was just the putting on of ballet slippers with lots of time to spare.
I was feeling slightly dizzy, a little on the vertigo side yet not uncomfortable. In fact, it felt like tweeting birds or fireworks and cotton candy. It was a pleasant feeling that I realized afterwards was euphoria.
Man! If dance class is this pleasant every week, just by being early, I could really get behind her continued learning! No rage coursing through my veins, no sweat on the back of my neck from the elevator-style blood pressure change… nothing but sheer joy that she’s doing something she loves.
But first I have to finish my time machine. Or at least talk to Evie from that 80’s show “Out of this World” and get her ability to freeze time by touching her fingers together. Oh, would you like to swing on a star…