39.5 mins: the time it takes me (and 2 children) to leave the house

Try getting this pair out of the house!

It really does. Leaving the house with two children under 2.5 is really, really difficult. This time, after being shamefully late to meet a friend (again) I worked out how it took me 39.5 minutes to get out of the door …

  • Find coats, shoes and hat for toddler and snowsuit for baby (this takes 10 minutes, as the toddler’s shoes were hiding under a towel on the bathroom floor). 
  • Dress them (5 minutes – the toddler wants to wear a different hat and the baby arches his back with rage as I’m squeezing him into the snowsuit).
  • My buggy is still in the car! This involves dashing outside to fetch it, carrying toddler who refuses to be left (5 minutes once I’ve got us back into the house and assembled it).
  • Buggy straps are too short, so I remove toddler and fumble about trying to lengthen them (a further 5.5 minutes, God I hate hate hate buggy straps).
  • It’s a bit cold outside so I should probably have put footmuffs (stupid word) onto the buggy. I consider the implications for a few moments (colds, chest infections, pneumonia) and then guilt gets the better of me, which requires removing both children, position footmuffs and readjusting the straps (4 minutes).
  • Panic is beginning to set in. I run around throwing last minute things into my bag. Wallet, keys… toddler is too hot…and explodes. MUUURRRRMMMMYYYYYYY!!!!!!Urgently seek out beaker of juice (I know, bad parenting, think of his teeth) to pacify screaming and pre-emptively locate dummy for baby. (2 minutes).
  • Should I take a bottle? Probably. Just in case I’m late back. No pre-prepared boiled water (of course) so need to boil kettle. While I wait I plug my dying mobile phone into the charger and send out an apologetic text message to the friend we’re meeting (3 minutes).
  • Can’t find a bloody lid for bottle. Why do I never have a lid? Make mental note to buy bumper pack of spare lids on Amazon. If they don’t exist, there’s a good business opportunity for me. (1 minute).
  • Shove the bottle along with a Petit Filous and a rather broken packet of Mini Cheddars (sorry, no rice cakes in this house) into the bag and pull on my coat. Wallet … keys … urgh, catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror. Dash upstairs to brush hair and apply shimmer blusher (it’s the first thing I see) (2 minutes).
  • Toddler and baby both in meltdown. Remove toddler’s hat and hand him bag of Mini Cheddars. Baby gratefully accepts dummy. (30 seconds).
  • Finally we’re off! Do last minute check for keys in pocket before slamming door behind us (don’t want to make that mistake again). We’re seriously late now so resolve to send a second apologetic slash begging for forgiveness text message as we head to the bus stop.
  • PHONE!! Dammit, dammit. Back we go again. Leave buggy (and a singing toddler?!) parked outside house while I charge in and grab it from the charger. (1.5 minutes – I also noticed I’d left the milk out of the fridge and couldn’t resist grabbing a chocolate).
  • My friend has replied to my text message: “Don’t worry, I got here a little early, so I’ve got us a table by the window. See you very soon!”Bloody typical.
  • Begin composing response as we wait for bus. Consider blaming baby, then toddler, then bus. Instead I come clean that it’s taken me 39.5 minutes to leave the house and promise not to bore her with a précis of exactly what I got up to during that time…
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