I want to apologize to you, now. I’ll probably be late to that meeting/playdate/hangout/party that I just agreed to. It has nothing to do with you. As a matter of fact, if I’ve agreed to step out of my baby cave to come and see you for any reason, it is because I either love you very much, or value your services dearly. I know that this will not excuse me from being considered rude by several of you. I know that many of you have never struggled with tardiness and can not relate, but I need you to see my heart and not a clock, for a brief moment.
My youngest son is six weeks old. He is an adorable, chubby, happy little time sucker. Thankfully, he is my fourth child, so I had previous experience with the ‘time vortex’ of new motherhood. It can be disorienting for most, and downright frustrating for some new moms, but I kind of relish it. Time is no longer dictated by a clock for me. In fact, I rarely look at the clock, anymore. My rhythm is set by feedings, diaper changes, bouncing and cuddling, staring at my baby, changing clothes after being puked on, and trying to figure out where I can safely put him when I have to pee. He is brand new to this world, and cannot yet check his phone for the time, so we rock-and-roll all night, and party everyday. He will only be like this for the blink of an eye, and I get the honor of bearing witness to this stage in his life. This is why I am reluctant to make plans. It is also why my house is a mess and I always kinda smell funny.
If we’ve made plans, know that it is because you are dearly loved. So, when my phone alerts me that we are getting together in two hours, please forgive the fact that I may audibly sigh (or curse under my breath). It has nothing to do with you. I’ll start the countdown with the kids. “In two hours, we have to leave. Please brush your teeth and put on your clothes.” They will happily agree and run off to their room to do neither of those things. I will make an attempt at putting the baby down so I can jump in the shower long enough to put soap on the most crucial places, and hope that I have enough time to rinse it all off again before someone is screaming bloody murder for me. I’ll jump out of the shower and put on any clothes that are clean and somewhat appropriate for the occasion. By this, I mean that I will throw on the nearest pair of yoga pants and my least stained t-shirt (you’re welcome). I will break up several fights and listen to the constant din of Spongebob Squarepants as I run around the house feeding, watering, cleaning, hugging my children, and trying to listen to another knock-knock joke from my 6-year-old. Then I’ll remember the load of laundry that never made it to the dryer, so I will run out and rewash that load.
Back inside,”Why aren’t you dressed? Where are you pants? No you may not wear the Minions t-shirt for 5 days straight! You do have clean underwear in your drawer. (Oh wait, is that the load I am rewashing?) Get a pair from your brother’s drawer.”
I’ll attempt hair and make-up. Let’s face it, concealer and I are best buds. Nope, baby is hungry. Crap. How long has it been since anyone has eaten? As soon as I sit down to nurse the barrage of requests for various foods and beverages begin. Not when I am able to have two hands to meet these requests, but when I am supporting a small human who is taking MY calories to nourish themselves. I will attempt to open cheese sticks and cut apples one-handed, or I may just end up putting a box of goldfish on the table and letting them fight it out.
Time to burp the baby. He just threw up on me again. Where is my second cleanest shirt? “Boys, the baby is happy on the floor. Don’t touch him!” Back to the makeup. Halfway through the mascara the baby is crying. I look out in the living room and see that all 3 of the big boys have surrounded the baby and are taking turns poking him (they say they are tickling him). “Get back in the kitchen and eat your goldfish!” I attempt to hold the baby and complete my ‘day look’ while the boys are in the kitchen.
I catch a glimpse of the clock. We have to leave in 30 minutes. Seriously!? Ok, put diapers and wipes in the diaper bag. I ran out yesterday and do not want to repeat that situation. “Mom, I need your help in the kitchen. Boy 3 spilled milk all over the floor.” Quick! Get a towel before it runs down into the floor vent, again!
“Mom. Mom. Mo-om! Can you wipe me? I pooped.”
“Of course, just let me put the baby down. Boys, don’t touch the baby!”
As I am finishing up washing my hands, the baby begins to cry again. I emerge into the living room and see the other two playing an aggressive game of peek-a-boo. I rescue the baby and tell the boys it is time to find their shoes.
“I don’t know where my shoes are.”
“They should be in the shoe closet.”
“They’re not there.”
“Why didn’t you put them away?”
“Clearly, you did not or you’d be able to find them. Boys, help your brother look for his shoes, and his pants.”
Dishes in the sink. Make sure I have all the baby essentials. Change his diaper.Grab two spit rags. Only 15 minutes until we need to be there. Baby in the car seat.
“Boys we need to go! Son, you cannot go in public with just a shirt on! Pants and shoes must be worn.”
“I can’t find them.”
I take a glance in his room and both are laying on the floor right by the door. “Found them!” I help him into his clothes and lock up the house. Shoot! I never did anything with my hair! Did I switch the laundry? Nope! Unlock the house and put the laundry in the dryer. Re-lock. Get to the car and buckle all kids. Sit in driver’s seat and turn on the car. Crap! Five minutes until I’m supposed to be there! I’ll just text you and let you know that I’m on my way.
I arrive at least 5 minutes late looking frazzled and possibly dragging one or two kids with me. You are a radiant beam of gorgeous light in my life. Clothes that match, hair done, and makeup on. I feel every bit the hot mess that I am, but I tolerate it because I love you. Thank you for your grace in allowing me a little wiggle room. I may be late, but I’m fun!
P.S. If you are ever waiting for me at a coffee shop, I take a Chai Latte with Soy or Almond Milk because the baby is sensitive to dairy.
One thought on “Why Being Late Means I Love You: A New Mother’s Confession”
I love reading your posts. Hilarious and so true.