Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Time Is On My Side

I love punctuality.  I would rather be thirty minutes early than five minutes late.  If it ever starts to look like I'm going to be late for something, I start to panic.  My voice becomes shrill, my breathing pattern shortens and becomes somewhat erratic, and I overall just kind of freak out.

Blame it on the fact that the thought of making others wait horrifies me, blame it on the fact that my father used to call the US Naval Observatory in Colorado to get the exact time down to the second when it was time to change the clocks.  Blame it on God for making me a big old freak.  I don't know.

What I do know is that since having kids, I've had to relax my whole "If I'm going to be late, I just won't go at all" stance.  Small children love to make you late for things.  They work against you at every level to ensure that you are going to be that obnoxious person strolling in fifteen minutes after you were supposed to.

Adelaide had a winter vocal concert at her school last night.  The instructions sent home from her teacher were that she was to be in her classroom between 6:15 and 6:20.  We were not to arrive any earlier (foiled at every turn!), because there was another concert at 5:30, and the school was doing their best to synchronize the movements of families leaving one concert and arriving for the later one.

Guess what?  We were on time.  I had Adelaide deposited in her class and ready to go at 6:15.  Oh, and Derek had to work yesterday evening.  Go me.

The secret is having a plan, and lots of time.  I knew Derek had to work, so I started mentally reviewing our schedule days beforehand, then made a physical list that morning.  When you have a five-year-old, three-year-old, and one-year-old, you have to be super-anal.  It's that, or slowly lose your mind.

We started getting ready at 4:30.  Three baths, four wardrobe changes, one hair styling, several diaper and bathroom breaks, four meals, and pounds and pounds of coats, mittens, and hats later, we were ready to go.  I firmly believe it's all because I made them start getting ready an hour and 45 minutes early.

Of course, in between clothing and eating I made them all sit in front of the Christmas tree for an impromptu photo shoot.  It's a rare occasion indeed when all three of them look presentable at the same time, and I knew I wasn't going to be able to take pictures during the concert itself because I'd be too busy chasing Caedmon around (and I was right).

And to think that it only took an hour and a half to get them to look like this!

Oh, and the concert itself?  Lovely, and all of fifteen minutes long.  Nearly two hours of preparation for fifteen minutes of an actual event.

Welcome to parenthood.

(And Happy Birthday to me!)

(I just couldn't resist.)

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