From getting the registration into the soccer
club on time and scoring that preferred Monday versus Sunday timeslot, to producing a child who doesn’t land in the
overcrowded kindergarten class because you delivered two days after January 1st,
there are some things we can control in terms of timing, and some we
can’t. You might want to take my advice
and take control where you can. For instance:
Don’t tell your kids you’re
taking them to the dentist, doctor, or other such dreaded appointments until
the last minute. And by last minute I mean when you’re walking in the door to
their offices. You’ve just cut the
whining time to about two minutes. (Or in the case of the doctor’s office
potentially two hours, in the waiting room, where all can enjoy.)
Next time you have a long car ride,
you might surreptitiously mention to two of your favourite kids that they have
about three minutes to jump into their favoured seats in the family vehicle
before yelling out the age-old “We’re leaving now!” announcement to the rest of
them. Squatting rights and all that.
You’ll save loads of time listening to fights on this one.
If you’re heading out to a
restaurant with your kids, you might want to call your order in before you even
get there. The minutes spent waiting
with children in a public eating space are existentially not the same length of
the minutes that pass while you’re sitting in a bar with your friends. These
minutes with children drag and you need to make sure to minimize the impact on
fellow diners, and your own patience.
If you frequent a neighbourhood
park, you have to be careful of not only the Last-minute Extension Situation
(you’re just leaving and Junior’s BFF arrives – of course with his annoying
mother in tow, and you have to stay an extra 20 minutes or face a melt-down of
nuclear proportions), but also avoid that Mom or Dad who always comes to the
park and has to “dash back home” for a snack or something, and is gone for an
hour (no doubt drinking wine, eating dark chocolate and snickering over your gullibility)
while you watch their kid pummel your kid with a sand shovel.
There are many things we simply can’t
control in terms of timing with kids, such as the internal alarm of theirs which
goes off the second you close the bathroom door, get on the phone, computer or
BlackBerry, or collapse with a glass of
chardonnay on the couch – fyi their alarm sounds like this “MOOOMMMMMMM!!!!
WHERE ARE YOU????? YOU NEED TO COME HERE
RIGHT NOW!!!! MOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!” – so we need to learn acceptance techniques
for things like this, as these are universal problems which have likely been
faced since Mom took a break from the butter churning and racoon skinning to
take a swig from her own wineskin. We
need to have “wineskins” too. I like to
think of mine as Twitter, Facebook, and email.
Just be thankful you’re not living in that place, a way back then, when an escape into technology wasn’t
possible – in fact like it or not, you’re in your right place, at the right
time. You timed that well, after all.
Kathy Buckworth’s latest book, “Shut Up and Eat: Tales of Chicken, Children and Chardonnay” is available at bookstores everywhere. Visit www.kathybuckworth.com or follow Kathy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kathybuckworth