Lost shoes? Check.
Missing sippy cups? Check.
Pulled off socks? Check.
One last poopy diaper? Check.
Using every minute of the two hours planned to get out the door? Check. Check. Check.
I thought it was hard getting out the door with infant twins. Ha! Little did I know, the chaos and stress of being somewhere on time with two infants in tow was just practice for leaving the house with toddlers.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Chasing children who can pull off their own socks and shoes, carry off the sippy cups and snack baggies by the door and run away screaming when you bring them their jackets is not for the faint hearted. Or the weak. Or the slow to react. It takes ninja-like reflexes, an hour (or longer) of planning and preparation and the patience of a calm nun on Xanax to get my twins ready to leave for any outing.
I keep thinking I just need to start preparing earlier, but here’s what typically happens NO MATTER WHEN I start getting us all ready to leave:
Look at the clock and count backwards from when we need to leave, allowing a ridiculous amount of time to get everyone in their car seats and all of our gear in the car. Think to myself, “Amazing. I can easily make it out the door in one/two/four hours. You got this mama! You’re on track to be early!”
Start filling drinks for the road, packing goldfish (even though the girls could probably skip lunch simply by munching on the hundreds of goldfish stuck in their car seats) and throw a diaper or two in the bag. (I’m so over the days of leaving the house over-prepared…I don’t have the time or energy anymore to pack three extra outfits, piles of wipes, Motrin, books, bibs, burp rags and the million other things I used to think were necessities. If we have two diapers and I am wearing a long sleeved shirt to wipe up any disasters, we can survive anything. Not kidding.)
Get everyone dressed, fight with one fiesty toddler over the three outfits she managed to wrangle out of her closet and find four socks and four shoes to wrestle on to little feet.
Look at the clock and think, once again, “I am SO on track to be on time if not early!”
Finish the final bag packing and make a move toward the door. Sweetly tell the girls it’s time for us to go.
Herd the toddlers to the door where the packed bag and cups are sitting, ready to go. Look down at their feet and notice one has pulled off her shoes and the other is missing both socks and shoes. Search for the missing shoes and socks, find three out of four shoes and one sock, sigh and grab new ones.
Get back to the door and realize one child has now taken off her jacket while the other one has pulled both sippy cups out of the bag and is wandering away from the door. Try again to encourage the girls to come sit to get their socks and shoes back on so we can be on time to go.
Realize sweet talking is a waste of time and chase down the shoe-less escaping toddler with the sippy cups. Catch a whiff of a poopy diaper. Throw down the newly-found socks and shoes to stop everything and get a clean diaper on the runaway.
Carry the now-clean toddler back to the door to sit while I go and catch her sister and find the socks and shoes I had to abandon to change the diaper.
Find toddler 2 sitting in a puddle as she bangs her sippy cup on the ground to make it drip milk. Clean up the milk and tote twin 2 back to the door to finally get all of the socks and shoes back on little feet. Finally.
Take a deep breath and look at the clock quickly. Realize I can still be on time, but it’s going to be close. Get the shoes and socks back on, convince the picky toddler to put her jacket back on, grab the bag and try once again to herd the kids out the door.
Smile with gritted teeth to encourage them to try to go a little more quickly so we can be on time. Hear, “I pooped!!” and try not to have a complete mental breakdown when I peek at the diaper and realize she’s right.
Drag both children back inside to change the second diaper as fast as possible. Catch a peek of the clock and panic. Now we can only be on time if we don’t catch any red lights and have a little luck.
Carry both toddlers out the door this time to save a few seconds, and fumble with the car seat buckles while trying not to actually panic. Those buckles seem to tangle themselves on days when the clock is ticking (which seems to be every time we get out of the house).
Pull one toddler off of the tricycle she decided to sit on while I was putting her sister in the car. Hear the milk cup/toy/blanket she managed to sneak out of the bag hit the floor and roll under the car when I pick her up. Buckle in toddler 2, crawl on the garage floor to fish out the runaway item and throw myself exhaustedly in the driver’s seat.
Stare at the clock in disbelief. How is it possible to spend hours getting ready and being “on time” to now be running seriously late?
It doesn’t seem to matter if I pack the bag the night before or the morning before, lay out the clothes early or recruit reinforcements to help. In fact, after nearly two years of trying, the only logical conclusion I can reach is that it is scientifically IMPOSSIBLE to be on time anywhere with two toddlers.
But I’m not ready to give up trying. It may take some therapy and some divine intervention along with setting the clocks in our house an hour ahead to get us on time anywhere, but I’ll try anything.
Do you have any tips that help you get out the door on time?
The link to the original post on the Greeley Tribune website: http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/9669961-113/door-shoes-socks-bag