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Top Ten Ways to Be Late


The top 10 ways for you and your 5-year-old to be late for school and work… or, my Monday through Friday

  1. The night before school/work, consume a quantity of alcohol equivalent to that needed for nineteenth century surgery. This ensures you will sleep restlessly through the night and will wake groggy and ill-prepared. Other methods of losing sleep include allowing the child to climb into bed with you at 2 a.m., but forgetting to clip her toenails for the previous three weeks.
  2. Under no circumstances should you start making the child’s lunch box until 3 minutes after you should have left the house. Not the time you really have to leave the house. The time you say to yourself you have to leave the house (approximately ten minutes apart, or 15 miles per hour faster in your morning commute).
  3. If at all possible, try not to have any clean underwear, but only realize it after your shower.
  4. Somewhere in the morning, encourage the child to have a perfect storm meltdown by bringing together the following three events: forced wearing of the itchy sweater grandma got because we need to send her a picture of it, misplaced favorite nap-time blanket/toy, and the kind of hair-brushing it’s rumored they do in Guantanamo.
  5. Breakfast should be at least one of the following: too hot, too cold, too soggy, too burnt, licked or stolen by the pet, or forgotten altogether until the child reminds you in the car and you throw some crackers at her from the lunch box.
  6. If you have both of the child’s shoes, make sure there is a missing glove. If you have both gloves, make sure there is a missing shoe.
  7. Spend ten minutes coaxing the child to brush her teeth by trying to make a game out of it, because you told yourself you wouldn’t be mean mommy today. Realize ten minutes have been wasted and no teeth have been brushed and become mean mommy anyway.
  8. Waste ten more minutes blow drying underwear you hand washed in the sink.
  9. If you have any spare time, instead of applying makeup or doing your hair, try to burn it thusly: yelling at the child from upstairs to inquire whether or not she hears you and is doing what you ask. Running downstairs because you get no response. Determining correct threat level to use for motivation. Running back upstairs, and repeating every three minutes.
  10. Allow the child to watch her favorite morning television show, then when it’s time to leave (the time you really for real need to go), pull the plug right at the climax. If you were running on time, this one is sure to cause tardiness.

(Yes, yes I only have just the one. Yes, yes I know I don’t even have to deal with homework yet. I’m aware of my shortcomings, thank you.)


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