In the days before kids, if we had to leave the house, it went something like this:
"Hey, let's go to [wherever]."
"OK. Just let me grab my coat/brush my teeth/go to the bathroom/get a drink. I'll be right there."
Now, of course, it's more like:
"Hey, let's go to [wherever]"
"OK. Just let me-
- make sure all children are dressed appropriately for the weather,
- put shoes on children,
- change a diaper or encourage a bathroom trip, or both,
- pack snacks and drinks,
- bring along all the baby hud, and
- have the kids pick out a toy to bring in the car.
Did I miss anything? I'm sure I did.
The worst time for this to happen is when I'm trying to get out the door to go running. It's not always easy to work up the motivation to go exercise, and even the smallest obstacle can turn into a good enough excuse to just stay home. When I could decide to go running and be able to leave the house within two minutes, it was so easy. Now, each workout is a major ordeal involving three people.
First, I have to make sure Magdalena has been fed recently enough that she won't freak out once she's in the jogging stroller. Miriam can take along a snack and a drink, but I have to go pack it for her. If I forget, it will cause major drama once we're on the road. These days, I need to make sure they have a blanket in the stroller, too. Miriam needs her sunglasses. I need keys, my phone, and my Shuffle. Hopefully, Magdalena hasn't been fussing the whole time I'm getting all the above ready. Then it's time to load up.
There's still no guarantee that everything will go smoothly once we're out the door. Most days, one or the other (or, heaven forbid, BOTH) of the girls will fuss for one reason or another. Magdalena hates it when the sun gets in her eyes. Miriam gets upset if I go a different route than the one she has in mind. Life sure gets harder when kids start to form opinions.
Sometimes I feel bad because to the casual observer, I'm sure it looks like I'm running with earphones in, oblivious to my crying kids. The truth is that there's nothing I can do about it except run really fast to try to get home sooner.
Once we do get home, the entire process gets repeated in reverse, with the added complication of trying to keep Magdalena asleep if she's dozing. It's also nice if I can get a few minutes of stretching in, but that almost never happens immediately. Some days, a couple of hours pass and I look down and realize I'm still wearing my workout clothes.
All things considered, it's a miracle I ever go on a successful run. And yet I do manage it, most of the time. Despite the girls' best efforts at sabotage.