Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to leave the house with children.

Back when I was young, carefree and single. I would grab a bottle of water and some chapstick and hop in my truck (which was always spotless inside and out) and just go.

Okay, I would always have some food tucked in my purse, like an apple or a granola bar. No one wants to be around me when I get low blood sugar. And since I live in Colorado, I would also have two extra layers of clothes and sunglasses. It is not uncommon to see people wearing shorts, flip flops and a parka in this state.

Regardless of my chapstick, water, food rations, layers and sunglasses; I could still make it out of the house in 5-15 minutes. I could even eat my breakfast in the vehicle if I was in a hurry.

Since having children, and those children being 1 and 4, it now takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours to leave the house. I wish I was exaggerating. FYI, those are the 1 1/2 to 2 hours that childless people get to use to do things like Exercise, Get Ready to GO (which includes showering and styling your hair) or Have Relations with their Significant Other. Let's all pause and have a moment of silence....

If your house is anything like mine, here is how the 12 hours prior to your leaving will break down:

1.) You will have decided the night before, when your 4 year old didn't go to bed until 9, that you are, in fact, too tired to stay up and get ready to leave.

2.) You will go to bed, but lie there unable to sleep because your husband fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow and his breathing/snoring is keeping you awake.

3.) You will finally nod off at midnight, and if you are lucky, you will sleep through the night until the four year old hovers by the side of your bed at 5:58 a.m., which is clearly an unreasonable hour to be awake.

4.) You or your spouse shuttles him back to bed and you try to get a little more rest because you are exhausted, but you are thinking of everything you need to do and can't sleep so you finally just get up at 6:45.

5.) You put on coffee.

6.) As soon as you sit to drink your coffee, both children are suddenly awake. Awake Children=Needy Children.

7.) You have to feed them, as children require scheduled feedings and it is pretty much cruel to make a small child miss a meal, seeing as they can burn through all of the calories that they consume during a day in one manic wrestling match diapering session. I do not recommend feeding a one year old in your vehicle. Let's leave it at that.

8.) Next, you have to hose down the feeding area because it will now appear as if a Frat party exploded in your kitchen, or a pack of wild dogs. Either way- same result.

9.) Then you look around the house and you realize that it looks like maid quit three months ago and no one bothered to hire another one. This will always be the case when you are trying to leave for the day, even if you spent the ENTIRE previous day cleaning. So if you are like me, you will feel the need to do a quick pick up, because who wants to come home to a dirty house when you have two no-napping children on the verge of a meltdown at 8 pm? Not I....

10.) Then you must get both children dressed and ready for the day. Savor these moments that they let you select their outfit and they aren't spending every day dressed as Spiderman... or Zorro (I know a grown man who did this. And yes, I dated him. My decision making skills are unparalleled...)

11.) Then you must pack a bag with 22 different "emergency situation" outfits, diapers, formula, food, drinks, cups, bottles, bibs, cleaning rags, pj's, blankies, pacifiers(OMG DON'T FORGET THIS!), toys to amuse them in the car, wipes, sunscreen, hats, strollers, backpacks and maybe a pack-n-play, depending on where you are going. When you have all this crap packed up in 3-8 different bags, you will most definitely leave the ONE THING YOU REALLY NEEDED sitting on the kitchen counter.

12.) Now that the children have eaten, the mess is cleaned up, the house in semi-orderly and the bags are packed, you set your precious angels down in front of Max and Ruby and you go get yourself cleaned up.
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT skip this crucial step. You will want to. You will think to yourself "I feel like I just ran a damned marathon and we haven't even LEFT yet. This pony tail and these sweats that I slept in last night are fine. I don't need makeup! I'll just throw on a ball cap!"
I say NO!!! Guess what??? If you leave the house like that you will most certainly run into 1 of 2 people: an old boyfriend, or worse, an old flame of your spouse's. GUARANTEED. Go shower and slap on some mascara and deodorant.

13.) Then you put the dogs in the barn or the house, which requires belly crawling under your vehicle to retrieve Red Dog who scuttled away from you and is hiding in dead fly position because she believes that we will never return to throw the ball for her.

14.)Then you herd the excited children and the 500 pounds of crap that you are hauling with you into the vehicle, buckle up and listen to the manic laughing turn into spitting turn into screaming turn into crying.

15.) Then you arrive at your destination and you do your super fun thing that you left the house to do!

Yay! Caged intelligent beings that haven't yet
evolved into humans! a CAGE! yay?

16.) Then you drive home. See 14. If you are us, your children fall asleep in their car seat approximately three miles from the house.

17.) Then you unpack the vehicle and attempt to get the kids to bed before you collapse into an unconscious heap on the kitchen floor.

Have fun traveling with your kids this summer!

We are staying home.

Why would we ever need to leave? We have beer in the fridge and boxed wine in the pantry.

Peace, Love, and Unicorns,


  1. thanks for the laughs and the great illustrations too! red dog was my fave!

  2. When I have kids they are going to be perfect, not scream, dress themselves by one, and carry their own bag of crap to the car at the same age. When I take a shower they will have my clothes laid out for me and bring me my brush. They will also fall asleep the second the car leaves the drive way. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (stop to breathe) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  3. The illustrations are PRICELESS! The forlorn looks... the haggardness... you captured it all beautifully!

    (I see this as the start of a VERY humorous Parenting Manual. Please begin pronto. I'd like a signed copy when you're done. Also, I know a lot of people that are pregnant with their first and they could use this type of advice. It would make for a great baby shower gift.)

  4. These are GREAT, Johi. And you're making me think maybe I should write a guest column on getting packed the night before an early flight... (I think we got 1.5 hours of sleep by the time it was all said and done.)

  5. Thanks for the memories... It was several years before I left the house after Alex was born. Now my kids are at the age where we're hardly ever home: soccer, football, lacrosse, gymnastics, dance, bass lessons... Some time at home would be lovely!

  6. @tex- the drawings were rushed in between 4 loads of laundry, cooking dinner, clean-up, bathtime and bedtime. I'm pretty sure I could have done better ones with a little more TIME. :)
    @Sari and TIsh- Are either of you available to nanny? If you can do that with my kids I'll rename you Mary Poppins!
    @Phoenix- I need a co-writer! Know of anyone???? I think this would frighten preggos though. Muahahahaha!
    @Francesca- I would love for you to guest post! Send me something!
    @Tortoise- I am a total homebody so I'm not too troubled by it... :)

  7. If I lived close I would so nanny. I love kids. (they love me too btw)


  8. Dogs love me. Some of them pee themselves when I am around, because their love is so fierce. Or maybe it is because they can sense that I am the Alpha.... either way, I am better with dogs than most kids. My dogs are not well trained. What does that tell you about my kids? :)
    Just kidding, my children are perfect.

  9. See!?!? You're already one step down. :)

  10. I love the drawings! I have 4 children and I still need your reminder to fix myself up before leaving the house. I went to the store wasn't pretty. I know I've evolved to a new stage of parenthood; I wear "comfies" EVERYWHERE and I now relish the benefits of "just staying home to drink".

  11. It never fails. I'll remember to pack the Nintendo DS Gameboys but forget to pack the chargers. If I do manage to remember to pack the chargers, I'll forget the chargers at the hotel. If I don't forget the chargers at the hotel, I'll forget to have them charge the Gameboys the previous night and they are worthless the whole ride back home. Which, in turn, means the boys will annoy me constantly and make the husband yell.

  12. Number ten made my life. Ha ha. So funny!

  13. If I ever end up having children, you had better be ready for some questions, because you seem to have this down to an art. Not the neat Cubist sort of art, more a Pollock style. But still. Art nevertheless.

  14. @Aubrey- that is why I wear those summer dresses around. They feel like pjs too!
    @Hobo- *writing down: remember Nintendo Game boy chargers....* I remember when times were simple and we just stood on the seat next to our parents and used our dad'd arm as a seatbelt.... this need of ours to be entertained all the time is disturbing. i have to go, Top Model is on.
    @ Kari- funny or scary? A little of both for me.
    @Ally- I actually can draw well if someone were to give me my own room with music of my choice and TIME.... oh well. These 40 second masterpieces will have to do.

  15. Max and Ruby are GREAT babysitters when you need a shower! Excellent blog, still laughing!

  16. holy shit have you been spying on me this whole summer? oh noa sent me over, i don't think i'm ever going to leave. hubby and i did the same thing this summer, decided to spend our money on more beer and wine and have a "staycation" in our backyard, slip-n-slid {yes we used it as adults}, kiddy pool {i have 3 kids so it totally was't awkward to buy}, and full coolers {because i didn't want my kids getting the floors in the house all wet just to get a beer for daddy.} epic summer. and your blog = win.

  17. My toddler is small enough that I can successfully bypass half of those steps (the other half held in reserve for when I have an A.D.D. moment and run around for absolutely no reason other than to confuse the hell out of my husband).

    I'm of a somewhat unique perspective, though: I really couldn't give a rat's ass about my exes... and I know too much about my husband's exes to see any of them as a threat: "I'm fat, bedraggled, and hoisting a ragefaced toddler midair by the back of her shorts because she just smashed a jar of Smucker's in Ralph's. Do you honestly think I'm intimidated by your fake tan and vague memories of bad sex?"