Why I Was Late

Since having children, I have had a tendency to show up five minutes late everywhere, and this year I decided, no more!  I will not be that person!  However, I am still that person but not for a lack of trying.  And for all of those mothers who are on time everywhere and don’t understand mothers like me–I don’t know what to say.  I can only throw my hands up in the air and question, “Maybe tomorrow?”.  However, perhaps if I explain a morning like yesterday’s, I’ll receive a little grace from those who want to condemn me and my lateness.

6:00: Alarm goes off.  I hit snooze (Okay, that may have been my first mistake, but give me a break!  I still got up at 6:10–it’s pitch black outside!).

6:10: Go to the bathroom, wash my face, put in contacts

6:15: Pray, read my Bible

6:45: Begin working on my blog

7:10: Caleb and Chloe simultaneously wake up.  (Darn.  I had one more paragraph to write. I was going to stop at 7:15, anyway.  Now two kids are up before I’m dressed.  I am sunk).

7:12: Instruct Caleb to get dressed. Go to wake up Hannah Grace

7:15: Change Chloe’s diaper, get her dressed.  See Caleb doing karate in the hallway, ask him if he’s dressed.  Haven’t seen Hannah Grace emerge, know she must be lying on her floor doing nothing.

7:20: Redirect Caleb. Go in Hannah Grace’s room to tell her again it’s time to put on the clothes we picked out the night before. (See?  Organization!).

7:25: Give Chloe some books to read. Begin getting dressed myself. Caleb runs in my room, informing me he’s dressed.  Redirect Caleb to make his bed.

7:30: Stop getting myself ready when I realize the baby is no longer reading in her room.  Walk past Hannah Grace’s room where she is still lying on her floor half naked.  Redirect her

7:32: Make it downstairs to where Chloe has pushed a chair to the counter and is trying to get a banana.  Notice all the aluminum foil she unrolled and the dog food she has spilled all over the floor

7:35: Go back upstairs with unhappy baby. Go past Hannah Grace’s room where she is still half naked, lying on her floor.  Redirect Hannah Grace

7:38: Attempt to get ready again.

7:40: Stop getting dressed to yell at Caleb who has found his Daddy’s screwdriver (the tool, not his morning beverage).  Ask Caleb if he made his bed.  He says, “yes” and has, in fact, made his bed.  Check on Hannah Grace who is still half naked on her floor.  Redirect her.

7:45: Attempt to get ready again.

7:50: Put Caleb in time out for tackling one of his sisters.

7:55: Finish getting ready, check on Hannah Grace who is still half-naked, lying on her floor.  Inform Hannah Grace that we are about to go downstairs and that naked people do not eat at my table.  No shoes, no shirt, no service.  Again point out the clothes that we picked out the night before. (At this point I debate if I should just dress her myself.  I decide, ‘no,’ she’s just being defiant and wants me to dress her, and I will stick to my ‘No naked breakfast’ policy)

8:00: Fix Caleb and Chloe’s hair and am ready to do Hannah Grace’s but notice she is still lying on the floor half-naked.  Remind her again of the breakfast policy. Go to my own room to quickly make bed, grab water and cell phone off nightstand.

8:15: Hannah Grace notices the three of us are going downstairs to eat, so she begins to get dressed.  Tell Caleb to get on shoes located in the shoe basket next to the door (More proof that I’m not completely disorganized).

8:20: Serve everyone breakfast, pass out vitamins.

8:23: Grab Chloe’s shoes to put on while she’s in the high chair. Notice the socks that I put on her are no longer on her feet.  Remember seeing Hannah Grace taking off Chloe’s socks during one of the visits to her room when she was lying half-naked on her floor.  Go find Chloe’s socks.

8:25: Put on Chloe’s shoes. Begin to clean up aluminum foil and dog food mess Chloe made previously.

8:30: Give the five-minute warning announcing that breakfast is over soon.  Gather toothbrushes and toothpaste.

8:35: Announce breakfast is over, and tell kids to put their bowls in the sink.  Get bookbags and jackets off of hooks hanging by the door. (I’m really impressing myself with all of this organization)

8:37: Notice that no one has stopped eating; fall into panic mode.  Announce loudly that all bowls need to go in the sink

8:38: Caleb takes a last drink of milk and spills half of it down his shirt.  Hannah Grace grabs her bowl off of the table and spills all of her remaining milk on the floor.  Think to myself that whoever came up with the saying “There’s no use crying over spilt milk” didn’t clean up spilt milk every day.

8:40: Caleb, Hannah Grace, and I clean up spilt milk.

8:45: Everyone brushes teeth.  I grab Chloe and tell everyone to grab jackets and backpacks and head to the car. Then I notice two children who don’t have on shoes.  (Didn’t we already put on shoes?)

8:50: Kids put on their shoes

8:55: Once again, tell kids to grab jackets and backpacks and head out door with strict orders to go straight to car seats and buckle up.

8:55 and 30 seconds: Hannah Grace stops and says, “Oh, look! Leaves!” and begins to waste time admiring the leaves on the ground.

8:58: Finish buckling Chloe who has decided she no longer likes being confined by a car seat.  She perfects the ‘stiff-as-a-board’ body position. Get ready to pull out of driveway.  Look in rearview mirror and see unbuckled daughter in the back seat.

9:00: Begin buckling oldest daughter in the back who then has tantrum because she wants to buckle herself (except she didn’t from 8:55-9:00).

9:03: Leave for preschool (Carpool runs from 9:00–9:10)

9:09: Arrive at carpool.  Kiss children goodbye with clenched jaw and open door for teacher to get them.  Teacher notifies me we are missing a backpack.

9:10: My brain explodes, and then I head home to get a certain little girl’s backpack.

6 thoughts on “Why I Was Late

  1. Jennifer, your house sounds exactly like mine! We even have the same no-naked breakfast and limited-eating time policies, except I only have two and our "school" is right off the kitchen. But I have to say, having worked for part of my children's early life, I LOVE being there in the morning to get them up, get them ready, and welcome them to school! I'll take the frustrations of getting the morning started any day 🙂


    1. I guess I'm a little relieved to know that my daughter isn't the only one who tries to eat breakfast without clothes in the morning! And I agree–I taught briefly when Hannah Grace was just a baby, and I hated leaving the house before anyone was even up to say 'goodbye.'


  2. YOu might have to get up a llittle earlier but I do like some of the signs that you are getting organized.

    your understanding Dad.


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