Getting Ready for Work

Kids have three undeniably impressive skills: to get out every toy they own in just under 4.7 seconds, to use an entire bottle of syrup on one single pancake and to make everyone in the family late for work. I can live with the first two, but it's the last one that drives me crazy. Doesn't matter how early we get up. Doesn't even matter if I work from home. Somehow, we are always on the road 15 minutes later than we need to be (we should be out at 7:45). In the three-plus years I've been a Dad, we've left on time once—Once! It's so rare, even Snopes.com is starting to question it's validity.

To give you a better sense of what happens, here is a minute-by-minute recap of a typical morning in Klems Manor. If you see somewhere we can save time, by all means, let me know. But it'll be tough: You'll find the routine below is super efficient.

Our Timeline
6:55am Alarm goes off. Keep smacking it with hand, but it won't turn off. In fact, it keeps getting louder. Finally wife says, "Get up and stop smacking me!"
7:00am Head to bathroom and start peeing.
7:11am Finish peeing. Go into youngest daughter's bedroom to wake her. Find her balled up in one corner of the crib, but find her blanket balled up in the opposite corner. Think to self, Wonder what they were fighting about?
7:15am Toss unwilling-to-wake-up toddler over shoulder and carry her to my bed. Start zerberting until child is somewhat aware that it's time to play with Mom's makeup. 
7:16am Switch off wife's nonsensical television selection of "The Today Show." Replace with "Saved by the Bell" on TBS.
7:17am Go into eldest daughter's room. Feel sorry for the baby doll who is hanging onto the side of the bed for dear life. Feel sorrier for daughter who is, for some reason, sleeping face down on her own dirty socks. Begin round two of zerberting.
7:20am Get both kids in shower.
7:29am Get both kids out of shower.
7:30am Get yelled out by wife for wrapping them in hand towels.
7:31am Hand kids off to wife.
7:32am Spend next 28 seconds showering.
7:33am Kids are back—fully awake, fully dressed and fully uncooperative. Attempt to brush their teeth. Get toothbrush and toothpaste to touch at least 40% of each kid's smile. Consider it a victory.
7:35am Simultaneously brush my teeth, put on deodorant, shave and act as a human jungle gym.
7:37am Get dressed. Look in mirror. Contemplate: Is this what I wore yesterday? Sniff under arm. Smells OK. Decide to "just go with it."
7:38am Take kids downstairs for breakfast (which wife has started).
7:39am Listen to kids argue over who gets to use the princess placemat. Can't figure out what the difference is between this particular princess placemat and the five other princess placemats we own, but, measured by the volume of the argument, it must be epic. Suddenly find myself also wanting to use that particular princess placemat.
7:40am Eat bowl of Cheerios while daughters eat their bowls of Cheerios.
7:41am Clean up bowl of Cheerios older daughter has spilled because she had to "mix them up" before she ate them.
7:42am Clean up bowl of Cheerios the other daughter has spilled on the floor because, after seeing her older sister do it, felt she also needed to "mix them up" before she ate them.
7:44am Give my not-spilled bowl of Cheerios to daughters to split. Eat Pop Tart.
7:45am Realize the last time you bought Pop Tarts you didn't have any children.
7:46am Rush to bathroom. Curse Pop Tart.
7:50am Wash hands. Start getting daughters in coats.
7:51am Wife comes downstairs, wonders why girls are wearing each other coats and not the right ones. Blame daughter closest to you.
7:52am Promise to deposit an extra $5 her college fund to alleviate guilt.
7:54am Load kids in car. Crank the Aaron Neville CD. Pull out of driveway.
7:55am Pull back into driveway. Let wife in car and apologize for forgetting her the first time. Swear this is the last time it'll happen. Blame other daughter.
7:56am Promise to deposit an extra $5 in other daughter's college fund.
7:57am Pull out of driveway again. Replace Aaron Neville with Dora CD. Start singing, "Come on, vamanos … "
7:58am Wave goodbye to the house and head to sitter's house. For several minutes, complain to wife that we're running late. Also complain to kids that we are running late. Then quietly acknowledge to self that, one day, I am really, really going to miss this.
8:00am Get stuck in (expletive) traffic.

What slows you down in the morning? What tricks have you learned to get the morning moving faster? What's your favorite Aaron Neville song? If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them.

Also, I am legally bound by my wife to point out that she gets up at 6:30 and she is not a slacker, as this post may unintentionally indicate. She thinks I should buy her something nice. Should I?

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