The state of late

Now that spring has sprung, you’d think that getting up to greet a beautiful morning would be an easy feat.

Not for me.  Sadly, I’ve become an a.m. lateaholic.  No matter what I do, I can’t get the Maiden to school on time. At least that’s how it lately seems.

Last week, I was spoiled.  The time change destroyed my sleep patterns, but its coinciding with spring break here meant that I could get away with following my old sleep schedule for seven days.  I didn’t get out of bed before 9 the whole week.

Sunday night, I realized that my poor habits had created the potential for disaster.  So, I prepared: I set my alarm clock for just after 7.  Since we need to leave around 8:11 to arrive at the Maiden’s school at 8:30 sharp, I figured that it would give us enough time to get ourselves ready with minimal heart palpitations.

Monday morning, 8:05 a.m.  I wake up.  The house is silent.

I found out later that the much-cursed alarm did go off, just muted.  I have no idea who was responsible, but for convenience’s sake, let’s blame the Maiden.  It’s also her fault that she of the 6:30-a.m.-hello-world-it’s-time-to-wake-up-and-happy-spring-break-to-you-too decided to finally, actually sleep in that morning.  I had to rouse her at 8:06, and deal with the resulting “Mmmrrhrhhrh,”  “Ehheheheheheh,” and the other sleep-deprived, grumpy sounds that my charming daughter has learned from me.

I rushed her into her uniform, rushed her breakfast down her gullet, and we bounced down the road as fast as we legally could.  Still, though, we did the Late Parent Walk of Shame to the classroom door at 8:45.  Gulp.

Then the worst possible thing happened: one of the Maiden’s teachers passed by.  I babbled something incomprehensible about alarm clocks not ringing, and beat a hasty retreat.

I swore it wouldn’t happen again, but I couldn’t handle the task on my own.  So I decided to beg for divine intervention.  “Dear Lord, please do not let us oversleep tomorrow. And if You decide to let us oversleep tomorrow, can You please at least make sure that one of Kiersten’s teachers is NOT outside when we drive up 15 minutes late?”

The next morning, we were both awake at 7 a.m.  I marveled at What Hath God Wrought, etc., etc.  We had time to get dressed with no threats.  We had time to eat breakfast.  We had time to have a twenty-minute fight about whether or not she had to put away the toys in the basket before I would put on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  She had time to watch the last five minutes of her show.  I had time to orate about how she would have gotten more time to watch, if she had quit arguing and just put away the darn toys.  She had time to ignore me.

Even after all that, we were ready to go out the door by 8:08.  I was beaming.

Then: “Wait.”


“I have to go to the potty.”

As all parents of 3-year-olds know, the potty urge only strikes when your mother opens the door to leave the house.  Grudgingly, I waited.  Then we leapt into the car and set off.  If we made all the lights, we still might get there a couple minutes ahead of time.

Then came the traffic.  Tons of it.  More than I’ve ever seen.  As we waited in line for three whole lights, I watched the evil digital numbers climb higher on the car dashboard clock.  Finally it was our turn: I hit the gas.  But despite my attempts to not-quite-break-the-speed-limit-but-almost, we arrived at 8:31.

So close.

To add insult to injury, as I was leaving, I saw one of the Maiden’s teachers.  I put on my dark glasses, avoided eye contact, and crawled to the car.

However, it wasn’t completely bad.  As I maneuvered the car out of the parking lot, I saw one of the Maiden’s classmate’s moms tearing towards the building.

And suddenly, I felt as though a great weight were lifted.

Sure, we were late.

But she was later!

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