Sunday, November 15, 2009

Herding Turtles

If I am late one more time because of Lego Star Wars, there is going to be an Unfortunate Incident. I hate being late. I hate rushing. Yet, all I do is rush around, five minutes behind schedule in a big, white, 7-seater Ford Tampon. And it's about to get worse. Because of the cold. Because it takes the little terror suspects that much longer to get out the door when you add in variables like hats and gloves...I will never be on time again. As it is, I haven't been on time since early 2003.

I have mentioned this phenomenon before. I harp on it. I am a harpy. Because I can't take it anymore. What happens to short people when they need to leave the house? They are zippiest little buggers on earth when its time for quiet reading but ask them to get ready for school and time stops. This morning, for example, The Slowness hit at breakfast. It should not take 25 minutes to eat four tablespoons of oatmeal. It should not take 17 minutes to put on a pair of Crocs.

I am currently an imbecile. You know this. I have dedicated several posts to the subject. So it should come as no surprise to you that I. Don't. Get. It. I would be more understanding if there were some logic behind their behavior. There is not. So I tend to lose my, ahem, shizzle. I don't like using my dragon voice but sometimes I have no choice. I am being driven crazy. Do you have any idea the amount of un-Christian behavior it takes to get my family to church on time? Neither do I. Because we have never once been to church on time.

Now, if they hated going to school I would understand that it might be difficult to muster the enthusiasm required to find your backpack [hint: it is blocking the front door, along with your sneakers and hoodie, right where you left them when you came home yesterday]. But it doesn't seem to matter. Example: We can't wait for Suzy's 5th birthday party. All week long: Is it today? Is it tomorrow? How many sleeps 'til Suzy's stupid, rancid, pathogen-filled Chuck E. Cheese nightmare of a birthday party? Yet when the day comes, in spite of the fact that we have been dressed for the party since 7:30am, we arrive 18 minutes late. Here's the play-by-play:

Large female: "We have to leave in 5 minutes. Let's get ready to go!"
Small female: "Yay! Finally... Where's my shoe? [pause, whining] I want my pink fleece not my pink vest! And you said you'd braid my hair and you didn't and that's breaking a promise to me."
Large female: "You asked me to braid your hair on Thursday. This is Saturday. No time now, sorry. [points to bathroom, hears squeal of anger] You most certainly are going to the potty now because I am not setting foot in that public restroom. Go. Now. [Stomping. Then 5 minutes goes by. No sound of flushing has been heard.] Are you done? What do you mean NO? Why not? What are you doing in there?
Small female: "I'm braiding my hair."
Large female: "Dear God. Daddy! Get in here."
Large male: "What the ?! Is that a dreadlock?"
Small male: "HA HA HA! You look stupid!"
18 minutes later we are in the car. Hair is fixed, but my daughter's face is pink and streaky from having her handiwork dismantled with power tools and hot oil. And she never actually used the bathroom. Dang! Now we need a juice box and some Kleenex for the ride there. Fine, I'll go back in the house. Aw, come on! I forgot my go-cup of coffee on the counter. Back in the house.
Total elapsed time from the first statement of impending departure until now: 31 minutes.

You've heard the expression "herding cats", right? Its not like that. Its much worse.
"Herding cats" implies a sometimes frustrating and often futile exercise. This is more like herding turtles. I am a turtle herder. If you prod a cat, it runs. If you prod a turtle, grab a magazine and make yourself comfortable, you are going nowhere. Turtle herding ("turding?") is always futile and frustrating. And sometimes, on a bad day, it even involves real turds.
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