Every parent knows that getting out the door with children in tow is a work of art. The process begins in my mind the night before...planning out what time we need to arrive somewhere and then backing up the time for each step in the process. Additional time must be added for the loading and unloading of carseats and if there are any children who have a thing for examining bugs along the way. Planning includes, but is not limited to:
- what everyone will wear (and do we need to take a change of clothes just in case?)
- ensuring tummies are full
- checking one last time that bladders are empty
- brushing teeth
- combing hair
- packing snacks/drinks for everyone
- socks & shoes on (bonus if they're on the right feet)
- & finally, do I have what I need? wallet, sunglasses, phone, keys
Wait a minute, where are my keys?
That's where my system stalled out this morning. I had a doctor's appointment this morning at 10:30 and the Littles were going to accompany me. I had an iPad, an iPhone, and two sets of headphones carefully stowed in my purse. I left myself more than enough time so that we would not be rushed. We even had time to straighten the house before walking out the door. But the crisis struck the moment I couldn't find my keys.
My first thought (after looking on all counter tops and checking jacket pockets) was "I must have left them in the fitness room when I worked out this morning." So with both Littles in tow, we ran (not walked) to the fitness room to find my keys. One problem. You have to have keys to get in the fitness room! Fortunately someone was in there running on the treadmill and I'm sure they were just delighted to see me banging on the door and thus forcing them to interrupt their workout to let the crazy woman and two children in the fitness room. Much to my dismay, my keys were NOT in the fitness room.
Hmmm...perhaps someone turned them in to the Leasing Office.
Crazy woman, Little #1, and Little #2 run to the Leasing Office.
There was a sign on the door that says they are closed for President's Day. But the door was cracked, so I let myself in. The alarm was going off already, so I figured I'd at least check out the front desk on the slim chance that someone had left my keys there. Rounding the corner, much to my surprise I came face-to-face with Ms. Deloris.
Ms. Deloris is an elderly lady that lives in the Northeast most of the year, but stays with her daughter here in California each winter. We've gotten to know Ms. Deloris a little over the last 4 winters. She likes to shuffle down to the Starbucks here at our apartment complex each day to enjoy drinking complimentary water and smoking cigarettes provided by passer-byers. She is a sweet & friendly lady and my two boys make her smile. When I saw her this morning she was helping herself to the complimentary coffee provided by the Leasing Office. We exchanged pleasantries, both acting like it was quite normal that we should be in a dark Leasing Office with an alarm going off.
Alas, my keys were not in the Leasing Office, so we all made our exit before any authorities came by to check out the reason behind the alarm.
As the boys and I trudged back to our apartment I said, "Well, I guess we're not going to the doctor afterall, kiddos. Mommy can't find my keys!" I fumbled around in my purse one last time and, what do ya know? My keys had been in there the whole time! (Unless, of course, Ms. Deloris had somehow attained them and then covertly dropped them in my purse when I was unaware. Just kidding.)
This brought Caedmon great delight and he went ON and ON about what a silly mommy I am as we sprinted to our van. I was tempted to put Sammy under my arm like a running back carrying a football, but I refrained and we still made it on time. I'm pretty sure, however, that I lost brain cells through the experience.