February 7, 2011

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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Woz said...

You had me until Aaron Neville. Now I just feel dirty.

Amanda Hoving said...

Yes, I think your wife (and all wives everywhere) deserve large gifts. Daily.

And, if you just cut out the peeing thing, you'll be golden.

CB said...

Just combine the peeing and showering, it'll save lots of time and it all goes down the same drain

Anonymous said...

what the heck is "zerberting" ?

Anonymous said...

Now you understand why I took the bus every morining to work and your mother drove, eventhough we both worked at the same bank downtown.

I got out the door before you kids woke up and let your mom deal with you in the morning.


Kevin said...

1. make scrambled eggs the night before and leave out on plate ready for the girls to eat the next morning.

2. Take 6 minutes to pee, not 11.

3. Take pictures of the daughter sleeping in her dirty socks. Retain for her wedding day.

4. DON'T CHANGE THE CHANNEL. Seriously, this is like poking a sleeping bear with a stick. It's just not smart (but endlessly hilarious to re-create in a beer-soaked haze during college).

5. Shower the kids the night before. They won't have BO in the morning, they're just not old enough yet. If they smell, just spray a little Axe Body Spray on them.

Kara said...

I, seriously, don't know how you do it. The boys have physical therapy twice a week, up in Mason. I have to leave the house absolutely no later than 10:30am to get there in time. We're late EVERY SINGLE TIME. And I, like you, hate being late. No matter when we start getting ready (at least two hours before departure), we're late. How is that possible? Loved this post.

Also, Brittany deserves something very, very nice. Because she's doing something in addition to helping you get the girls ready: She's growing another human being. Totally deserving of something nice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! I thought only my life was like this because I am a single mom. In my house you would have to add the last-minute frantic search for matching socks and, if it rains, splashing in every single puddle in the parking lot before getting in the car. And someone ALWAYS needs a diaper change or potty trip right at the moment we are walking out the door. I really enjoyed the read. Blessings to you and your family.

Redorkulated said...

Wow, must be an epic pee-er. This makes me kinda happy I got to start my motherhood experience with an 8 year old. We have her shower and lay out the next days outfit the night before and she even has her own alarm clock that she has to walk across the room to turn off.

Of course all of our nice routines will be out the window once this new baby shows up. Thanks for the laugh. I'm glad Alegra linked this.

sarah said...

Your girls seriously shower in the morning? I already get up at 6 to get to work by 9. Bathing my girls would easily add another hour to my routine! Most days I don't even dress Lilah (she's 5 months old, so I consider a clean sleeper from the night before to still be suitable attire).

Louie said...

I get my daily fill of Aaron Neville as the theme song for the Little People DVDs. You know, the stalky kids getting into shenanigans that may or may not be "kids" but instead a knock on true little people. I have some theories. And who in their right mind would be choosing Matt Lauer (only an honorary Bobcat alum) over Zack and Kelly's endless saga?

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