Be prepared! That’s the Boy Scout’s marching song,
Be prepared! As through life you march along.
– Tom Lehrer
My 4 year old son recently started his first team sport, soccer. He’s taken soccer classes before at his preschool, but this is a real team with uniforms and Saturday morning games. The practices are Mondays from 5:30 to 6:00. Obviously, it’s important to be on time since there is only a half hour to practice. Additionally, my husband’s softball season started last night. Games are Monday nights, so after soccer practice the boys and I can head into the city to cheer for Daddy.
That’s a lot to do in one night, especially handling both kids by myself. Anyone who juggles multiple resonsibilities, multiple events in one night, and multiple children knows that they key to all of this is preparedness. Plan in advance, and everything will be smooth sailing.
At a minimum, one should set an alarm. One *should*. But one (ahem, me) often does not.
At 5:02, I was sending a work email. I saw the clock, exclaimed “Oh Sh–!!!” and started racing around the house like a mad person. I have never been very good at preparing things in advance. (Part of the reason we survived on chicken nuggets as long as we did.) So, rather than calmly closing my laptop, getting into my pre-loaded car, and calmly going to get my children, my evening went more like this:
Slam my laptop, run upstairs, grab chin guards, soccer shorts, and a t-shirt for J, grab two diapers for K, I’m sure the diaper bag has spare clothes in it right?, run downstairs and throw the things in a bag, oh no I forgot the cleats!, run back upstairs for the cleats, back downstairs and throw the cleats in the bag, throw the soccer ball in the bag, what else do I need? Ooh, a protein bar for J, throw that in the bag, oh and K needs a bottle, damn all the bottles are dirty, Sh–!, wash a bottle, fill the bottle with water, put some formula in a little container, throw that in the diaper bag, I’m sure the diaper bag has a bib in it right?, throw the diapers in the diaper bag, run out to the car, throw the bags in the car, drive to school, halfway there realize I forgot my cell phone, run into preschool, grab my son, race down the hall to the bathroom, change his clothes, no time to get the cleats on, back down the hall, get the baby, the baby will need a new diaper soon, no time no time,
throw gently place the children in the car, drive by the house, run inside for my phone, drive to soccer, run up the hill to the field, get there ten minutes late, get the cleats on, go go go, practice is over, grab children, run back to car, buckle everyone in, gotta get to the softball game!, forgot a blanket and the ground will be wet, drive by house, get blanket, throw blanket in trunk, need food, no time, will go to mcdonalds, get in car, crap I’m almost on empty, stop by the gas station and fill up, drive through McDonalds, give J his cheeseburger and milk and say an apologetic prayer to the foodie gods for this act of desperation, at least it’s milk and not soda, right? right?, drive into the city, I think I have to go to the bathroom, see a bathroom in the park but how am I supposed to go with two children, keep going, find the softball game, park, buckle K into the Baby Bjorn, grab J’s hand, grab blanket and diaper bag, get to game, kiss husband, lay out blanket, notice that K is completely soaked because I forgot to change his diaper, reach into diaper bag for diaper, change K, discover there is a spare onesie but no pants, oh well it’s not that cold out right?, K starts crying, bust out the bottle that is no longer warm, try to feed him, no way mom I only drink warm bottles, give up and put bottle away, K getting fussy because it’s his bedtime, tell husband I have to leave, what but you just got here!, pack up the diaper bag, grab my pantsless child and snap him back in the Baby Bjorn, leave J with daddy, take K home, put him to bed, oh good I finally get to pee!, collapse.
I think I’ll be adding preparedness to my May goals.