Ugh. That morning school rush. We always arrive at the school gates at the same time, somewhere around rushed-but-can-still-make-it-o’clock. This year, I also have to get our baby ready to go in the morning. It seems like we’d never make it with those added responsibilities, but we do—and we get there at the same Almost Late time as last year. How is that possible? It makes me think that last year, I should have had enough free time to train for a 10K and draw up a plan to end world hunger. Instead, I emptied the dishwasher.
The goal every morning is to leave at 8:05. So far we have hit 8:13 every day. Why is there an 8 minute lag? I’m using every minute to work toward the goal of leaving on time, but I begin to suspect I’m the only person working towards this goal.
Here’s what this morning looked like:
Ten minutes until it’s time to leave. Colin is ready early! He believes school is a vacuum that sucks away his time and soul, so he rejoices at his extra minutes and goes to play in his room. He promises that he will come out immediately and be ready to go when I call him.
Baby Carson is almost done slurping milk, and I need to brush my teeth. Annabelle just needs to put her shoes on. This one is in the bag.
Annabelle is excited about a long-lost possum backpack that she has discovered in the dark netherworld of her closet. We have already discussed where Possum came from (her aunt), when he arrived (Christmas one year), and who he was given to (probably Colin, but I pretend not to remember, as Colin is listening a little too attentively, and there is no time for a fight over possum ownership).
“Annabelle, go put your shoes on,” I say because I think we’re done with Possum’s origin story.
But Annabelle is not done. “Sometimes Possum didn’t get enough air in the closet! So do you know what he did? Whenever someone opened the door, he breathed real hard to get more air.” (Demonstration of Possum breathing hard to prevent his demise.)
“Oh, good thinking, Possum. Go put your shoes on, Annabelle.”
“Do you know what Possum did when he got cold? He put on a jacket! Because there are lots of jackets in there!”
“Well done, clever Possum! Go put your shoes on, Annabelle.”
“He also packed some food for himself for when he got hungry. And he packed just enough for the days he was left in the closet. It’s all gone now, but I took him out, so it’s okay.”
“Well, he better not have made a mess in there.” Like I need another thing to clean up. “Put your shoes on, Annabelle.”
“Guess what’s in Possum’s bag?” she asks because Backpack Possum is carrying his own little pack. He’s like a little fractal possum.
“Food!” I guess. “Or maybe his babies? Or, I know! School supplies.”
“No. It’s stuffed with fuzz.” (The “Duh, Mom” is implied.)
“Put your shoes on.”
She said OK! Oh, sweet success, this is what you feel like.
Annabelle walks to the kitchen.
“Wait, where are you going? Your shoes are not in the kitchen.”
“Oh! Ha ha!” Annabelle goes to the shoe rack. As Etta James would say, “At Last.”
Before I brush my teeth, I call out, “Time to get your shoes on, Colin!”
“OK! I just have to clean up real quick.”
Colin commences putting away his 57 Lego minifigures that he has somehow managed to scatter everywhere during his five minutes of free time.
When I come out from brushing my teeth, Possum is telling Colin about his closet experience. No one has their shoes on.
I check on Baby Carson, who cannot find his blue fluffy blanket that he likes to be wrapped in for the morning school run. He blames Daddy. I do not disagree with him.
Our ten minutes are up, and what have we accomplished? I’ve fed and burped the baby, brushed my teeth, gotten the baby in his car seat (sans blanket), gathered my purse, the baby carrier, and pacifier, and made sure the children have their backpacks stuffed with lunches, water bottles, and jackets. Annabelle has helped Possum outline and pitch his memoir. Colin has fought and won several Lego battles. Carson has spit up all the milk I just fed him and lost his blanket. We leave at 8:13 again.