Saturday, January 8, 2011

Getting Ready

Perhaps I should start this with a positive so you will not think that I am a complete failure. My children get up for school every day with alarm clocks. The alarm clocks are set strategically to giving at least fifteen minutes between each one so that there aren't fights for the bathroom. They are able to get up get ready for school, get downstairs for breakfast (which they know how to make for themselves) and out the door in time for the bus. This makes my life significantly easier as I get a little more sleep, then go down to talk to them and see them off. So that we are clear, Monday through Friday they are able to get ready to leave the house in a timely manner.

I am a college educated individual. However, I do understand my strengths and weaknesses and understand the depth of knowledge I am able to accumulate without spending every waking moment worrying about things I either have no control over, or wouldn't be able to fix anyway. I do not watch the news. I do not get the news paper. The only time I watch the news is to get the weather. While I cannot control the weather I can at least know how to dress for the day. I understand that apparently there are some birds that are apparently dropping dead and no one knows why. I know that there are bad things that are happening everywhere. I also know that I am not a scientist, a police officer, a government official, or anyone else with power to solve the problems. I can pray for all of the issues and the people who are in positions to help. All of these things are worthy of my time and energy to research and occupy my thoughts and time but they are not the things that plague me.

The thing that keeps me up nights, invading my thoughts and occupying my time is as follows. How on earth do I get the kids up and ready to leave the house on the weekend? On Saturday's my son plays basketball. On the night before we will discuss what we have the next day. I will tell them in depth that they need to set their alarms or do anything they need to do to make sure they are ready to leave the house at a specific time. On Sundays we have church. They all know that we have to be there at a certain time and on one Sunday a month we have to be there earlier because I have nursery duty. These are not surprises. These are nothing away from the norm. Yet every single Saturday and Sunday at five or ten minutes after the time I said we were going to leave I am yelling at them that it is time to go. I realize there are worse things to worry about. I realize that, truly I do. But the thing is, is that I'm certain I can solve this problem. There is something I am missing. This is something I CAN fix. I just know it. I just can't figure out how.

We have all heard the jokes about how long it takes women to get ready. I think this is a joke made up by a man who obviously doesn't have children, or perhaps doesn't realize that the woman has to not only get herself ready then everyone else. When my children were younger I would get them all ready then get myself ready. Giving the illusion that it took me longer to get ready. My children are now fourteen, thirteen, and eight. All of ages that they can get themselves ready unassisted as they prove every week day. I timed myself yesterday to see how long it took me to get ready if I have no interruptions. From start to finish with shower, dressing, makeup and hair it took me twenty five minutes. If I have to share the sink with my husband give me an additional ten. I think this is a pretty good time.

Today it took my children well over an hour to get ready. That is without a shower. What they do on weekends is as follows. They wake up and stare at the TV. Then when I realize they are up and not moving I get started telling them to get ready. Then they think about it. Maybe they will shower. If they do then you may as well figure in thirty minutes per child in the shower. Then they think about getting dressed and getting ready. It takes them another fifteen minutes to figure out what to wear. Nevertheless they doddle. The poke. They drift around the house as if in a daze not knowing what to do. Five days a week they are a well oiled machine then on day six they run out of oil. You cannot begin to understand the level of frustration this causes me. I tell them in advance. If they would only plan ahead like they do for school. We wouldn't have the arguments. We wouldn't be late. But you see don't you? They are out of oil. So how do I keep it filled up? This is what plagues me. What will keep me up thinking. If I could just figure this one out, my life would be complete. I would have accomplished one of the great mysteries of my life. This may seem trivial to you in the greater scheme of things. Perhaps it is. But I lead a pretty simple life. I will not cure cancer. I will not be president or fight crime. I am even less likely to get the kids to eat asparagus. But you see THIS I am sure can be solved. Right?

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