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Late

Christine AntusI never used to be late anywhere. I was always at least 10 minutes early everywhere. I also didn’t have kids. Which means I had a clean house and pillows that never wandered away from the bed or couch — I used to think pillows were kind of like kids, right?

These days I have to start getting everyone ready at least an hour ahead of time. Even then, we’re still late and it’s usually because:

I have to wait for my two-year-old to put her pants on because, “Mommy, I do it!” First, both legs in one leg hole. Then, one leg in one leg hole and the other leg in a leg hole that was inside out. Then, both legs in the opposite leg hole. One leg in a leg hole and one leg in a shirt hole. Sometimes she’ll wave a leg hole, indicating surrender, and let me help. Other times we leave with her wearing her pants in a way only Lady Gaga can appreciate.

Everyone in my house moves at 0 miles per hour.

• The child who doesn’t have his jacket on decided this is the moment to put his train set together.

• The child who doesn’t have a shirt on decided this is the moment to look for a toy we don’t own.

• The child without shoes on is sitting on the kitchen stairs with a shoe in the mouth.

• No one is near the car.

I can never find my car keys. Let’s face it, I haven’t been able to find my brain since the birth of my first child. If my keys are not in the ignition, on the key hook, or taped to my forehead, I’m not going to find them.

I have to go back home for a “second.” On the way, someone realized they forgot their favorite bear and the fabric of the universe was going to tear if we didn’t turn around right now. Of course, once we got home, no one remembered where it was. Six hours later, here we are — minus the bear, which somehow got lost in the car on the way. Which means we might be here for another five-and-a half-hours, just so you know.

My kids forgot where the garage is. Except when we don’t have to go anywhere. Then it becomes a magical room full of things that don’t belong to them.

Everyone has to go potty.

• The first one didn’t have to go.

• The second one did have to go, but needed privacy. Then needed the step stool. Finally, needed more toilet paper because whatever was left on the roll was now on the floor, in the toilet and wrapped around the child.

• On the way back to the car the first one did actually have to go potty.

• Once I got everyone in the car, the baby had a blowout.

I have spit up in my hair. I didn’t notice right away but found it when I had to clean out the syrup. You can’t just wipe the smell of sour milk out of anything with a wet wipe, so it took a careful and creative way of using the right amount of shampoo and water to spot clean.

I have to change because I had poop on my shirt. You’re welcome.

Someone got hungry. Because no one ate breakfast. They were too busy playing in the garage and trying to creatively put their legs through the correct pant leg holes.

I forgot you were having a thing. I never remember what day it is anymore. Most days I don’t even remember to brush my teeth until 9:30 p.m. You’re lucky I can remember who you are because on a good day I can’t even keep my kids’ names straight.

So, now that I’m here, and your thing is over, we can call it coffee or a playdate. I know you don’t have kids, but you have a few pillows. Those are kind of like kids, right?

— Christina Antus

Christina Antus is the senior editor at Mom Babble. She lives with her husband, three kids and two cats who still haven’t caught the red dot. When she’s not neglecting laundry, or avoiding the grocery store, she’s writing and making mediocre meals for her family. You can find her overthinking things on her blog or on Facebook sharing dinner recipes and house-cleaning tips. Just kidding. It’s mostly a lot of nonsense and nothing useful.

Reflections of Erma