I’m late because we were at the door, halfway through arduous process of putting on boots and jackets and hats and mittens and scarves and getting our bags to go when Ayoub wanted to zip his jacket up for himself. But of course he had already put on his mittens when he decided it would be a good idea to zip up his jacket, and he didn’t want to take off his mittens, and wouldn’t accept suggestions of my zipping up for him, and the whole thing devolved into a tantrum where the jacket came off completely, and one boot came off, and then he threw himself into the living room and onto the carpet with one boot on and we had a bigger problem because now he was wearing boots on the carpet and I had to take my own boots off and run into the house after him and carry him kicking and screaming against me back to the door to force him into his jacket and zip it up and put the mittens back on and readjust the hat because by that point it had come off (all of this through screaming and crying) and put my own boots on without releasing him, and carry him out to the car (since now he’s only wearing one boot) and force him into his carseat and strap on the 5-point harness, and come back for the other boot and my bag and my scarf.
I’m late because when we finished paying at the grocery store, Ayoub wanted to climb back into the shopping cart, which he had climbed out of against my suggestions when we had first arrived at check out, and by that point there were bags sitting on every surface of the cart and there was no more space for a three-year old to sit, and when I told him no he decided that that was fine as long as he got to push the cart which of course he couldn’t do without decapitating multiple shoppers and taking down a few of the store displays and so when I told him no he threw himself on the floor of the store and cried and screamed and kicked and pounded bloody murder, and I picked him up because of course now the people behind us couldn’t pass and he wasn’t amenable to being picked up, and I threw my back out in the process but there was no time to think about that because we are in EMERGENCY mode right now, we are in get out of the store and go pick up Daoud from Saturday school before we’re even more late mode, and I carried him and scolded him and blackmailed him with never getting to grocery shop again and I bribed him with candy and chocolate when he’s a good boy and he listens to Mama and he tearfully obliged, and then we walked in a fragile peace to the end of the store and past the statue of the guide dog (and I said a silent prayer when he didn’t stop there in surprise, as he does EVERY SINGLE TIME WE PASS the dog, and shriek DOG!!! DOG!!! and point for 2 minutes) and we got to the car without further incident, if you don’t count my constant ‘no! don’t run! walk next to mama. not too close to the cart of your leg will get run over. don’t wander away! not too far! no we aren’t getting balloons or sunglasses we already have both of these things at home.’)
I’m late because Daoud remembered, while we were at the door, that last night at about 5:30 I told him that maybe we could read his library book before bed if he finished his dinner quickly enough and cleaned up the toys, and he took this maybe as a yes while I meant it as a firm maybe, and now it’s 8:15 a.m. and he can’t believe we didn’t read the library book and there are tears in his eyes threatening to spill over and they do spill over and we talk about responsibility and in the middle of this Ayoub wanders away from the front door and back into the family room and takes off his hat and his jacket and his neckwarmer and his sweater for good measure, and when we turn to leave I notice he’s not there anymore, and I have to take off my boots and go find him, and the mention of a book has reminded him of HIS favourite book so he’s holding out “the very hungry caterpillar” to me and insisting we read it right then and of course I say we can’t but do I really want a tantrum and to have to forcibly dress a 35 pound uncooperative sack of flour? No, so I give up and I read him the book (the way he reads, with constant shrieks of delight and pointing and flipping the pages in either direction at random and shouting STRAWBERRY!! every chance he gets) and now poor Daoud is staring at us, thinking ‘why did I not get my book?’ and he asks quietly in the car, and I have to explain that when he was 2, and 3, he did get his book, every time, and now it’s Ayoub’s turn.
I’m late because last night it took 2 hours to go to bed and then once the boys were asleep one of them woke up at 1:30 and wouldn’t fall back asleep before 2, and the second one woke up at 5 and that was that, and when he finally went back to bed at 6 and the alarm rang at 6:15 I didn’t hear it again until 6:57.
I’m late because it took Ayoub literally FIVE minutes to get the soap out of the soap dispenser, and he refused all help, and then when he had finally done it he lost his mind when the soap went down the drain with the water and I couldn’t even anymore because that is HOW HANDWASHING WORKS and I walked away and let him finish his tantrum in peace (ha!) and that took 7 more minutes. I’m late because we stopped for toothpaste at the pharmacy, because the green beans were green, because it rained and we couldn’t find our little boy umbrellas even though we have perfectly good rain jackets and boots and splash pants.
I’m late because I’m late because I’m late because I’m late because and maybe someday, at some point, I will be on time again but right now I’m late because I read a poster on facebook that said “sorry I’m late, that’s just who I am right now” and I thought, well, that’s the truth.