Hurry up, please.
Three words, you should never – ever tell a toddler. These are the code words that fire off a command in your kid’s brain to move their body in slow-motion. Big clomping steps become tiny ones – as if dragged through invisible pudding on the way to the car.
Here’s a fine example. Every single morning, I get up for work. I get the kid up for school. I look at the clock.
Crap. It’s already 20 minutes past when I wanted her up.
Me: “Come on baby, time to wake up!”
Against my better judgment, I let her snooze another 5 minutes while I throw my own clothes on and do my morning rituals.
This actually takes 15 minutes.
“Ok, kid. Let’s get up now. Come on, let’s go.”
“Alright, for real now. We need to hurry.”
Famous last words.
Now that I’ve said hurry, and I’ve physically hustled her out of bed, the challenge has been accepted. She’s asking herself, now that the request to hurry has been submitted, “How do I slow things down as much as possible?”
“I don’t want to wear that.”
Too bad, kid, put it on. Unfortunately, this is the hill I’ve chosen to die on. The worst part is, if I go back on my resolution now, I’m the “pushover” mom who can wishy-washily be expected to do whatever her kid wants. But, having died on this hill, I’ll now be late for work, for the 900th time in a row.
She’s dressed. I’m dressed. I made breakfast to go. The coffee is in my hand (cold, but it’s there, dammit.) I’ve remembered my phone, and shoved it into my bra. Awkward rectangle pokes me in the shoulder as I struggle to carry my tote, and toss my mini-backpack purse (that looks like an owl, totes cute) on my back. If we exit now, and walk briskly to the car, I might not be late for work, for the first time…ever.
“Ok, kiddo! Let’s hurry to the car now!” Uh oh. I said it again. Big mistake.
She looks at me, fire in her wide hazel eyes. She takes a tiny step forward.
I’m holding about 7 things, balancing breakfast on the crook of my elbow, hefting my bags and attempting not to spill my coffee (it’s in a My Little Pony open cup because I couldn’t find a travel mug to save my life.)
She takes another tiny step forward.
“Come on, baby. Please move a little faster.”
Time for desperate measures.
I start to walk to the car, shouting “I’m going to win!”
She looks at me, and the slow burn turns to sudden challenge. She picks up her tiny shiny red shoes and begins to MOVE. She books it for the car, dodging around me and my sherpa-like collection of travel gear. She leaps gracefully over an ant-hill apartment complex and stops in front of her car door, gleefully gloating “Ha-ha-ha-HA-ha!”
Thank goodness, we made it to the car. I deposit my sundries in the passenger seat and open her door.
“I wanted to open the door!”
“Honey, you can’t, remember? You still need my help.”
She descends into sniffles and refuses to climb into the car. Snot streams down her face like two snail trails racing to her chin.
“Climb in please.” She miraculously climbs in, snotty face and all. She spots a toy on the floor. Grabs it, and immediately is immersed in a fun world of playtime involving mermaids and dinosaurs and dragons.
Oh no. It’s adorable. It’s delayingly, stallingly, slowly adorable. I’m doomed.
She ended the teleplay and at last climbed into her seat, after asking, threatening and at one point physically hauling her butt into the seat (which she immediately climbed out of and then went in of her own free will, because I want to do it.)
We’re moving. At last. She’s buckled. I’m (oh crap, now I’m) buckled, we’re traveling at breakneck speed toward our day.
6 minutes late. I call it a win.