I will probably never be able to get out of the house in a timely manner ever again.
Or maybe it just feels that way for now.
Somewhere in the last three weeks of new baby euphoria, I realized that it's a good thing the end of August is an unscheduled blur, because that's exactly what I needed at first. RaggedyDad leaves for work, and the rest of us are able to take the day as it comes. Pajamas for everyone until 2 p.m.? Sure! Cereal and milk for lunch(again)? No problem!
Now that Ann is about to begin another school year, though, I'm looking forward to getting into some kind of routine. In the spirit of that typical early September idealistic optimism, I've been resurrecting some of my notebooks and lists. I'm dusting off (or starting) plans for school lunches, weeknight suppers, Shabbos meals, general grocery lists, and household tasks, some of which had gathered dust long before giving way to four months of throwing up, two good months, and nearly three months of bedrest.
For now, getting ready to leave the house with three little ones in tow has been humblingly chaotic. Ann is pretty self-sufficient in terms of getting dressed and ready, with a few road-bumps along the way. Andy is equal parts helper and destroyer, and tends to get his finally-dressed self full of something like food, water, milk, soap, or worse. Little Rag is three weeks old, and anyone who's been the parent of a three-week-old knows what that means.
And then there's the part where we're actually out the door - with all of the "stuff", of course - Heaven forbid we forget any of the "stuff" - none of which we actually wind up using, but all of which we would surely need if any of it were left behind. Once upon a time I had it pretty together, and I know I will again, but for now I still seem to be at that point where my flustered demeanor gets me some knowing smirks and pitying stares from people on the street.
I tend to be a stickler for leaving the house without a mess lying around, so the kids are on toy-clean-up patrol while I hit the morning dishes. By then, there are more diapers to change, a fit of hysteria over my having chosen "the wrong shoes," crayon has somehow decorated the table surface, Ann and Andy are "sooooo thirsty" and, of course, Little Rag is crying. Again.
I do have to stop answering the telephone, because invariably, the caller will ask, pointedly, "Is everything okay over there? Are you managing?"
To which I like to say, "What?? I can't hear you. Is that on my end or on yours? I guess I'll call you back later, then. Bye!"