What it takes to get out of the house, for any given destination: Mommy versus Daddy (at least in MY house).
A decision is made to go to the park. Both parents jump into action to get out the door.
1. Quick glance at kids. Kate's shirt is disgusting, Jack is fine. Head upstairs to grab new shirt for Kate.
2. While upstairs, realize there isn't another shirt that matches pants so (vanity, I know) grab entire new outfit for Kate.
3. Dress Kate, directing Jack to put on his shoes at the same time. Count to 3 in effort to get Jack to get up and get shoes on. Turn off Phineas & Ferb. Tell Kate to stop crying, she IS wearing this outfit, her other shirt is too dirty. Chase Kate into kitchen and force new shirt over her head. Let Kate put skirt on "BY MYSELF!"
4. Glance at diaper bag. Note that it only contains one diaper, wipes and a smattering of McDonald's Happy Meal Toys. Grab clean bottle, formula out of cupboard. Grab extra diaper, bib, burp cloth, and as an afterthought grab a pull-up for Kate, just in case.
5. Attempt to pack snacks without kids noticing, as they will immediately start begging for them. Turn Phineas & Ferb back on to assist in this endeavor. Notice Jack has his shoes on the wrong feet -- tell him to switch feet. Hide in pantry with snack bags, and stealthily sneak Goldfish crackers and raisins into two snack bags -- one for each kid. As an afterthought, grab a package of fruit snacks for each kid, too. Grab another bag and load with Puffs for Charlie.
6. Wonder if we'll be home for dinner. Just in case, grab sippy cups for big kids. Thinking again, decide to fill sippies with water now, and grab extra one for Charlie, too.
7. Tell Kate to put her shoes on.
8. Go out to garage to put diaper bag in car, in an effort to keep kids from discovering snacks inside.
9. Come back in, tell Kate to switch her shoes, and tell both big kids to get in the car while I'm getting Charlie up from his nap. Tell Kate that, yes, she can bring her baby. And her purse. And the random piece of Happy Meal Toy that she is clutching in her grubby little hand.
[Note -- our garage is attached, and right off our kitchen, and yes, I do regularly load the kids up while I'm still getting ready to go because they are SAFER THERE THAN UNDER MY FEET. I'm not apologizing for that.]
10. Head upstairs to get Charlie. Halfway upstairs, remember hats and sunscreen. Turn around, grab three hats, sunscreen, and bring to car.
11. Tell Jack to stop yelling at Kate. Tell Kate to get in carseat. Answer pleas for Dora with "The car is not ON yet, there IS no Dora! You have to wait for Daddy!" Buckle Jack in carseat. Order Kate to sit down NOW, or she's staying home by herself. Buckle crying Kate into carseat, reassuring her that we won't be leaving her at home by herself.
12. Go back in the house to get Charlie. Enter room of sleeping baby, and immediately notice smell of poo. Sigh audibly. Smile at baby who wakes up, sees my face, and squeals happily. Bring Charlie to changing table to change smelly diaper. Wrestle with baby, handing him anything within reach to catch his attention (Tylenol, Butt Paste, rattle), in a lame attempt to keep him from rolling over and smearing poo all over changing table. Finish changing baby, and clean poo off changing table.
13. Bring Charlie downstairs, drop poopy diaper in the garbage, put Charlie down so I can wash my hands.
14. Enter garage where kids are screaming in the car. Yell at Jack to stop teasing Kate. Remind Kate that, as the car is STILL NOT TURNED ON, there is STILL NO DORA. Buckle Charlie into carseat. Hand sippy cups of water over to the big kids.
15. Check trunk for stroller inventory. Decide we need the Bob Duallie. Drag it over to car, and place it behind minivan for Daddy to load.
16. Climb in front seat. Notice Charlie has no paci. Run back into house and hunt for paci. Find one on the floor under kitchen table. Wash in sink, grab a paci-string, and bring back out to car.
17. Climb into passenger seat. Realize I don't have sunglasses. Run back inside, grab sunglasses, go back to car.
18. Notice three old sippy cups on floor under Kate's feet. Grab them, and throw them inside the door to deal with later.
19. Climb back into passenger seat to wait for Daddy. Remind Kate again that there is NO DORA YET!
In the meantime...Daddy:
1. Brush teeth.
2. Go to bathroom.
3. Curse about putting Bob in the back of minivan.
4. Get in drivers' seat, and finally turn on DORA FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TO STOP THE SCREAMING!
Why is it like this? The best part to me is that, on the off chance Andrew makes it in the car before me, he will actually ROLL HIS EYES AT ME, and SIGH as I do my final trips back and forth to grab forgotten items. AS IF he would ever have ANY idea (1) what is actually IN the diaper bag, and (2) what things he would need to pack if HE had to do it. And what is he doing while I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off, grabbing all the supplies needed to keep everyone as whine-free as possible, and to guard against emergencies like a random boo-boo, or (worse) poopy diaper?!? How could it POSSIBLY take that long to brush his teeth? And why does he always get to go to the bathroom in peace, with no little people barging in to demand "MORE MILK" or to commend you on your efforts ("Good pee-pee, Mommy! You get an M&M!")?!? I don't know, but somehow I have a feeling I'm not the only Mommy with a routine like this...