Am I the only person who finds that getting kids clothed, shoes on and then out of the house on the weekend for a day trip as simple as a walk in the park is a monumental task?
For us to get out of the house for even the simplest thing is unbelievably exhausting.
Leading up to the departure is endless frustration. Parents barking orders at children who are blissfully ignoring everything directed at them.
For example, Sweetheart and I are directing our kids to put on shoes. And then when they gleefully do put on their shoes we realize that they don’t have pants on yet.
Someone has to go upstairs get appropriate pants for them. The struggle then is to get the pants on the kid who is pantless. Typically it is not me who is pantless.
Once the pants are on the screaming begins because the pants are of course the wrong kind or are too itchy, too tight, too loose, or too hot or who knows what.
Once that battle has been won or lost we return to the shoe battle. Trying to get appropriate shoes on a couple kids for the place we’re going is mind blowingly frustrating.
Yesterday we were going to go for a walk around a local urban forest. One of the girls decided that wearing princess shoes that are three sizes too large would be appropriate.
Honestly, I didn’t even bother arguing. I let her wear princess shoes that were three sizes too large to let her learn a lesson about the consequences we get from our actions.
Unfortunately the only person who learned about consequences was me. The consequences of allowing a small child to wear princess shoes that are three sizes too large while out on a nature walk is that the I either end up piggy-backing or letting a 50 pound kid ride on my shoulders for the entire walk. That taught her a good lesson!
Once everybody is fully clothed in princess shoes, princess gowns and tiaras and all the other assorted articles of clothing like pants, it is time to begin the “you need to go to the bathroom routine.”
The first word out of any kids mouth when you say you need to go to the bathroom, is usually, “I don’t need to go.”
Which is typically correct until they get to the place you are going and they see that the place to go to the bathroom is either behind a bush or in what is essentially a stand-up toxic soup of a cesspool.
As soon as kid sees one a Porta-Potty they need to go pee and usually harvest a poop. Awesome (not really awesome. More like FML at that point).
But back to getting out of the house. Typically I give up on the gong-show inside the house and I go out through the garage door. I don’t lock the door behind me because I am making the assumption that there will be little people and their mother following along behind me.
Then I notice that the little people are coming out the front door of the house. Of course their mother is not carrying her keys so I need to go back upstairs and lock the door behind her.
Unfortunately we have forgotten an essential item, something like the 45 gallon drum of sunscreen that we take everywhere with us and so Sweetheart needs to go running back into the house to get it.
Of course she goes in through the garage door, gets the sunscreen, and then comes out to the front door. Now both doors are unlocked.
Both kids are now in the front yard, Sweetheart is in the van and I’m going into the house to secure the premises.
While I’m inside I discover that the back door has been left open letting the dog and the cats out of the house and into the backyard.
I am then in the backyard literally herding cats. And the dog not wanting to be left at home is going crazy trying to dig her way underneath the fence in an attempt to get to the family van.
I successfully managed to get the two cats and the dog back inside the house, I close the back door, lock it, and then go out the front door. I lock that door as well.
The kids are playing hockey in the driveway and Sweetheart is in the van. I climb in and tell the kids to get in so we can go.
Someone opens the garage door to put the hockey sticks away and the dog shoots out. I shut off the van, take the dog back inside, and close the garage door and lock it.
By this time one or both of the kids needs to go to the bathroom. They are unable to wait until we get to the vertical cesspool.
I lose my cool at this point and say “well then we might as well not even bother going”. The screams and cries of anguish and tears begin and I realize my nomination for father of the year may be revoked. I am feeling like a total and complete jerk.
Kids climb out of the van and go inside and go pee. They come out the front door and the dog gets out with them. The dog is now in the front yard running around trying to get inside the van knowing that it will be avoiding a day of being home alone if it can only get inside of the van.
All I am thinking is the dog is insane, if there’s anything I would like at this point is a day at home, alone.
Kids finish up in the washroom, come downstairs let me know that the toilet is fully and completely plugged now because they used an entire roll of toilet paper.
They come out the front door and leave it open. We wrangle the dog so that we can get the dog back in the house through the front door, come out the front door, lock it and then get to the van and see that the garage door is still open.
I jump out of the van and lock the garage door, jump back in the van and before anybody can say anything about their need to go back inside the house or the bicycle they left behind the van I put it in reverse and crush the kid’s bicycle and flatten the rear driver side tire.
And another glorious day of family fun has begun.