Friday, August 06, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

We got home from vacation at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Since then we have been to two dentist and three doctor's appointments. So sue me if I'm a little hyper about getting everyone moving in the same direction at the same time so we can get to an appointment before they call us wondering where we are.

This morning I went for a walk with a friend. Grant watched the kids for the little bit of time between Mike leaving for work and my return home. While I was walking I got two phone calls from home wanting me to listen to why it wasn't their fault.

I got home and had a half hour to shower, eat and get everyone out the door. I started yelling I'm getting in the shower, everyone get dressed and ready to go to the doctor. When it was time to go some people obviously didn't understand what I meant by "get ready to go." By that what I really mean is: "GET READY TO GO!!" It's not rocket science. And I'm pretty sure I'm speaking English. Eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, put on shoes. Come on now, it is really that difficult.

The girls weren't ready because they were trying to decide which shoes to wear. I know, again with the shoes. They picked pairs that were too big or we could only find one. I started to freak out a little more. Just grab your flip flops and put them on in the car. We are late. There is road construction.

I called Mike on the way because I couldn't exactly remember where this office was. Some kids were complaining and whimpering about needing the bathroom right now. I wonder why they didn't go before we left? Oh right, they didn't have to go then. And they were looking for shoes. All the while I am trying to park my huge van in the parking ramp. No small feat there.

We ran in, found the bathroom: one stall. Great! Went to the office and checked in finally when Maren announces she needs the bathroom. Because she didn't five seconds ago. My head was about to explode when the nurse stuck her head through the glass and let us all know that the good doctor was running thirty minutes late and we could reschedule if we wanted. Well, there is no way on God's green earth that I was going to repeat the process of getting everyone there, but at least we did have time to take Maren to the bathroom

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It was like a well-needed thump on the head. Hurry, stress, chaos and then we had to wait anyway.

I know there are things I need to do to streamline our outings. I remember reading a controversial book years ago that talked about "three candy speed". The idea was to put three M & M's on the table and get your kids to do race to do a task get the candy as a reward. Not that I ever did that, but if I did I'd take care of the rest of the candy. I'm a problem solver like that! It's a lesson so that when you are in a hurry you tell them to operate at "three candy speed". If only I had started that earlier and before they ate a ton of junk food and wouldn't do anything for three measly M& M's.

I should simplify. Fewer shoes, fewer choices.

I should plan ahead. Maybe I took on too much in one morning. I should have gotten up earlier.

I know those are practical realities. But do you know what else I know? Life happens. It can be chaotic and stressful. Some days I don't plan well. Some days I don't herd well. Some days we are late. Some days they kids are distracted and don't move very fast. Some days we have too much going on.

After we heard the doctor was behind, all the stress melted away. It was actually pretty funny. I started to enjoy hanging out in the waiting room with the kids. We ran into a lady that recently lost her husband and was thrilled to see the kids. The kids liked the waiting room so much they wanted to stay even after our appointment was over. I don't think for one minute it's worth getting all irritated and cranky. Soon enough they will all be back in school and my days will be pretty quiet. And I'll miss them.

Big lessons considering it was an appointment that took all of 60 seconds.