I have to admit: I’m confused.
The topsy turvy sensation of new parenthood, of everything taking an extra hour because of a newborn’s needs for swaddling and nursing and diaper changing and napping and…that feeling is long gone. I’ve ditched the diaper bag. I always have snacks and crayons. I’m still not in my element, and it all feels like being in a foreign land, but I know about how long it takes to get the small people in my charge ready.
It takes a long damned time.
I learned pretty quickly that, to get a school-age child and a toddler in my house somewhere on time, I have to start the “we have to leave soon” announcements a full thirty minutes before we need to go. Apparently, dressing, brushing teeth, grabbing a lunch bag, putting on shoes and hat, and checking for a jacket takes my children longer than it takes to pass a Constitutional Amendment. (Like, say, for instance, a law overturning the Citizens United decision by making sure people and corporations can’t buy elections. Perhaps.)
But this week I’ve been shocked by the speed with which my offspring are out the door. Two days in a row, I issued the “we have to go NOW” announcement with fifteen minutes remaining on the oh-my-gawd-how-do-we-do-this-every-day clock. The toddler checked the weather and declared no coat. The six-and-a-half double checked and declared it was freezing and he needed his jacket. They both got shoes, sun lotion, lunches, and…holy crap, we’re ten minutes early.
I don’t understand. This process worked for a year. Has gravity reversed itself? Do we live in a wormhole? Is the time-space continuum not continuing?
Because Butterbean loves preschool so much he fights getting ready less than he used to? I doubt it. He still refuses and stalls and asks for “one moe meedee” of naked dance time. (Green Day, Diana Krall, and Bee Gees, thanks for asking.) He still refuses shoes and screams about lotion. And the older one still needs several reminders and a relatively calm, “I’m getting angry. You can get ready now or I can put you in the car in what you’re wearing, but whatever you choose right this minute is your final answer.”
Is it possible I’m getting faster? That they’re getting faster? That Schrodinger’s Cat is helping them get ready while I’m not looking in the box?
Should I now prepare for five-minute departures and actually play with my kids, or do I maintain the twenty-minute prep phase, knowing full well that just as I get used to quick mornings both kids will get a case of the Eff Yous?
Maybe someone switched my decaf for full strength. Just saying.