Before kids, I was on time. Early, even, so early that I’d drive around the block a few times before going into a restaurant. During eight years of motherhood, though, that’s changed. My three kids have given me dozens of reasons to be the mom who’s running late.
Puke. Lots and lots of puke.
Here’s a list of 21 reasons why I might be running late again today.
- My 3-year-old decided today, when it’s 5 degrees outside, is the day to take a firm stand against pants.
- My daughter discovered the artistic genius lurking deep inside her and realized she had to express her creativity at 8:05 AM. There’s a priceless scribbled portrait drawn with permanent blue marker that goes from her belly button to her nose, then continues all the way across her bedroom wall.
- My hairbrush got dropped in the toilet by accident. Or thrown. It’s hard to tell what lurks in the minds of toddlers.
- My son pulled a Grinch and his feet grew three sizes overnight, so none of his shoes fit him any longer.
- I had to stop for coffee. The monster-fighting spray that keeps the boogiemen away from my son’s dreams failed last night, so we were battling one-eyed vampire werewolves (and sleep) for hours.
- No one could ever remember whose day it is to feed the fish, so we are now fish-less. We held a very solemn toilet bowl burial at 7 AM.
- Yogurt switched sides in the breakfast battle and is no longer an ally. It’s now behind enemy lines, whether blueberry or strawberry or vanilla, and so my 4-year-old is surviving on air and Cheerio crumbs until yogurt switches sides and becomes an acceptable breakfast food again.
- My 2-year-old tech wizard changed my phone’s time zone to Eastern Standard, so now all my appointment reminders are two hours too late.
- My sons got in an argument about whether or not blue whales will be extinct in 28 years. Since it could not be solved by mere mortals or Google, it deteriorated into a fight about who’s the bigger poop-head. It’s a tie.
- Sunscreen application took 33 minutes because it required chasing down my toddler, telling her it’s robot paint, finding a new blue tube of robot paint, replacing it with pink robot paint, and then still holding her down while she shrieked and got sunscreen all over the carpet.
- There’s baby spit-up in my hair, on my shirt, and everywhere except on the burp cloth.
- My toddler’s favorite shirt is covered in smashed banana, and I couldn’t convince him to wear anything else.
- The baby puked in my shoes.
- The dog ate the baby’s puke, and I had to open a window to keep myself from puking.
- The right shoes from three separate pairs of my son’s shoes have been devoured by the dust monsters under his bed.
- Somebody had to go to the bathroom, didn’t make it to the bathroom, and/or thinks potty-training success stories should only happen right when it’s time to get out the door.
- Crusty smashed yams were everywhere after the baby’s joyful, messy orange veggie feast.
- The class pet escaped and we discovered a dead lobster on the basement carpet. And they do not sell replacement lobsters at the pet store.
- We’re all out of red chewy vitamins, the only acceptable type of vitamins on Tuesdays, and no one can put on their coats until we have more.
- We almost made it out of the house, and then we were foiled by carseats: buckling kids into carseats, convincing them to sit in their carseats, cleaning smashed Goldfish crackers out of carseats, untwisting carseat straps.
- I got out the door, with two minutes to spare, with everyone else’s backpacks, water bottles, changes of clothes, coats, and cherished lovies of the week. Then I had to turn around and go back inside to find my own purse.