Emily Writes: Going Out

I remember a time when I wanted to go somewhere. And I just went there. Now I have children...
Mum dragging kid

Every time I want to go out with said children – an ordeal begins. It goes something like this…

Step one: Decide you want to go out.

Step two: Check calendar to see if you can go out. You don’t have anything else to do until your Plunket appointment in three hours! You can definitely make it out! Three hours is LOADS of time to get ready and go and have a coffee somewhere!

Step three: Change nappy in preparation for excursion into actual real world.

Step four: Feel charge of excitement and anxiety over venturing beyond your house. Could it be? Will you make it out? A coffee! You could talk to another person!

Step five: Imagine talking to a real person that has an age that’s more than a single digit.

Step six: Break into a sweat.

Step seven: Put on your best post-maternity leggings.

Step eight: Look for a hair brush.

Step nine: Give up after 10 minutes. Where did those kids put it? It’s your third hairbrush this month? Why are they hoarding hair brushes? It’s not like they enjoy getting their hair brushed?

Step ten: Pack a jumper for each child in case it gets cold, a singlet for each child in case it gets warmer. A hat and sunscreen. Another hat in case you lose the first hat because your baby keeps pulling it off and throwing it on the floor. Pack socks, a pair of pants and a pair of shorts. Pack three bibs.

Throw in a fourth for good measure.

Step eleven: Consider swapping already enormous nappy bag for bag on wheels.

Step twelve: Make a lunchbox of snacks. Provide at least 15 different types of snacks so that your fussy child has a variety of things to throw on the floor.

Getting the kids out the door can be an ordeal

What’s that smell?

Step thirteen: Change nappy again. Add an extra nappy to the nappy bag. Pause. Add another four nappies. If only the baby slept as often as they poop.

Get interrupted by three year old.

Step fourteen: Encourage them to wee. Listen to impassioned eight minute speech by precious precocious firstborn about how they don’t need to pee, have never ever needed to pee, you can’t make them pee, you’re a mean mummy, they don’t want to go out anyway, they won’t go to the toilet no matter what not ever no never ever, are we going to the park? They only want to go to the park. You’re not their best friend. You’re their best friend.

But they need their other shorts. Not those ones, the other ones. They’re a baby dinosaur OK. Say it. Say Goodnight Baby Dinosaur.

Step fifteen: Say Goodnight Baby Dinosaur.

Step sixteen: Spend 10 minutes trying to get oldest child to put on shorts. Give up. Let them wear tutu with rugby shorts underneath, bow tie, pink gumboots, fairy wings, leg-warmers, and a dinosaur apron with Fireman Sam hat.

Step seventeen: They will not go to toilet.

Step eighteen: Where is the baby? Find baby in the shower covered in soap. Change baby into new outfit.

Step nineteen: Hustle children to the car. This takes at least 20 minutes and includes the following questions:

Mum what is sun?

But why?

What is yellow?

Why is yellow?

Am I a leaf?

Why is this?

Can a volcano eat a raincoat?

What is air?

Step twenty: Bribe them with pretzels. Feel guilty for bribing them with food. Consider that maybe you’ve given them food issues forever. They’re going to hate you when they’re older and you will have to pay for their therapy. What did that lady at coffee group who seemed to have her shit together say? Don’t use food as a treat?

Step twenty one: Eat half a block of chocolate standing by the car crying.

Step twenty two: While you’re putting three year old into the car seat, toddler pulls open nappy bag and opens container of yoghurt and pours the contents into the nappy bag.

Step twenty three: Repack the nappy bag while baby cries for yoghurt. Try to ignore outraged yelling from the car as three year old yells at you for leaving them in their car seat.

Step twenty four: Put baby into car seat. Climb into front seat.

Step twenty five: Oldest says they need to pee.

Step twenty six: Take them to the toilet. They want to wear shorts. Tell them to go to their room and get changed while you check baby.

Step twenty seven: Give baby a rusk and turn around just in time to see three-year-old emerge from the house wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, on his head.

Step twenty eight: Change three-year-old.

Step twenty nine: Go into temporary dream state where you remember what it was like to leave the house before children.

Step thirty: Realise you have to be on the other side of town for your Plunket appointment in 13 minutes.

Like Emily on Facebook and see more of her posts on her website.

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