Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

A consultant's life usually involves a lot of travel, but most of our client work is in the region. But we are trying to expand our footprint. So far, with the notable exception of my many trips to the US Virgin Islands, this has meant manageable day trips to Baltimore, Harrisburg, New York, and Trenton. In many cases, I can hit these places without deviating from my normal routine of walking the kids to day care at the beginning of the day and picking them up at the end of the day.

Yesterday was intended to be one of those days. I had meetings in Baltimore that would have me home on the later side, so, because we can only have the kids in day care for 10 hours, I had to kind of bring them in on the later side as well. But I couldn't dilly dally too long, because I had a train to catch. So I got breakfast over with and then sat them in front of the TV while I went over my notes and Amy got some last-minute cramming in for her big exam.

Calculating how much time I'd need to get the kids to day care and myself to the train station, and then factoring in a little wiggle time, I then announced to the kids that it was time to go to school. Only Jada picked that moment to inform me that she needed to go poopie. And, given her general constipated self, I dreaded that this would not be a quick bathroom run.

Sure enough, ten minutes later, no sign of her being able to go and thus us being able to go. Amy wondered if Jada was somehow bluffing to avoid going to school, but I countered that it was quite likely that it was really taking Jada this long to go poopie. At a certain point, I told Amy I really had to go lest I miss my train. So, wrecking the serenity of her pre-exam routine, she had to wait for Jada to finish and then take her to day care, as I had to head out with Aaron and then to my train. I was so stressed that I forgot to leave Aaron's pacifier at home, and got a scolding from his teacher when he arrived with it in his mouth; and Amy was so stressed from speed walking Jada to day care and then speed walking over to her classroom that it took her a few minutes once she got there to compose herself.

Just when you think you've gotten everything set up so you can juggle work, school, life, and small children, the small children part of that juggling act goes off and does something completely unpredictable. For someone who is as organized and regimented as I am, this is one of the bigger adjustments to parenthood. Needless to say, I am now extra motivated to make sure Jada drinks her prune juice and eats her special fiber yogurt.
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