I am in dire need of a dental checkup (I said dental, not mental, smartass) so I called the other week to make one. I told them I was available before 11:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays (the times that all three kids are at school). They had a spot available on the 29th at 8:00. It took the girl a minute to find that and I suspected that if I turned that down there’d be a considerable wait, and since I have a tooth that’s been giving me occasional pain I didn’t want to put it off any longer. That left me with a little bit of a quandary. I need to be there at 7:45. I could, technically, drop both the public school kids off that early, as there’s a before-school program. However, that leaves Miss Eliza at large, because preschool doesn’t begin until 9. My best and, really, only option is to drop her off with Robert’s dad and brother. However, I’m not entirely convinced they are equipped to deal with an insane toddler on their own, and I’m not sure how kindly E. would take to being left there with the two of them. So my solution is as follows: I will take both Eliza and Madalyn to FIL’s house in the morning and leave them there. This way Madalyn can keep Eliza company and help watch her and get her breakfast. I will go ahead and drop JZ off at school since he wouldn’t really add much to the scene at FIL’s house; indeed, if anything he’d add to the amount of work. I should be done by 9:00 and will then deliver both girls to their respective schools slightly late. It’s the best I could come up with.
Now, normally we get up at 7:15 and leave the house around 8:15. Tomorrow we need to leave around 7:30, though, and I need to shower first, so we’ll be up around 6:30. I have decided JZ can eat breakfast at school and Madalyn and Eliza can eat at their grandfather’s house while I’m at my appointment. The getting up early and eating elsewhere and my going to an appointment (which necessitates a real outfit as opposed to pajama pants and a t-shirt) all require, I feel, some forward planning on my part. Some people might be able to simply mentally acknowledge, “Yes, we need to leave earlier and do things a bit differently tomorrow” and then move on, but not I. These are the things I’ve done in advance of our altered routine:
*Ironed my shirt and the kids’ school clothes (though the ironing of the kids’ clothes is the usual for me).
*Hung JZ’s outfit in the usual location but hung the girls’ outfits on the back door, by which we exit. This is because the two girls will be going to FIL’s in their pajamas so they can eat breakfast and not ruin their school outfits. Madalyn will get them both dressed after they eat.
*Located shoes and underwear for everyone and set them out where they can be easily accessed.
*Placed into a bag one box of cereal, a granola bar, Madalyn’s toothbrush and paste, and two headbands (to keep the girls’ hair from getting into their food while they eat).
*Grouped together in the fridge one Gogurt tube, one cup yogurt, Eliza’s cup of juice and a container of strawberries, which I de-leafed and sliced. These are to be placed in the bag with the rest of the food just before leaving.
*Wrote a note excusing Madalyn’s tardiness and put it in her backpack.
*Sat the older children down and explained what we will be doing tomorrow and why, and briefed Madalyn on what I need her to do and what I expect of her while she is at her grandfather’s house.
*Had all three children in bed by 7:30 in respect of the fact that they will need to be up earlier than usual tomorrow.
When I look at that list it seems perfectly reasonable and rational, but it also occurs to me that it might seem a bit, oh, I don’t know, excessively fussy to others. I suppose it would vary from person to person as to whether the outside observer would view this as being dreadfully control-freakish (why not let FIL and BIL get breakfast for the girls?) or very together and well-planned. I’m not even sure what I would call it, myself. My opinion fluctuates madly from day to day. All I know is, despite having spent the day packing a U-Haul, I simply could not sit down and relax until I had done every possible thing I could do to ensure that the morning would go smoothly. It boggles the mind how someone can be as lazy and procrastinating and yet so fastidious and painstaking. With such two diametrically opposing sides, it’s no wonder I drive myself bloody crazy.