Raising Three Kids: Determining Pickup Time

My mother in law was visiting to help out while my husband had an especially busy workweek.

On the first day she was here, she said “So what time do we need to leave to pick up the girls from school today?”

It would seem like there is a very simple answer to this question, like 12:15. But that’s not the case.

I have a newborn and our two preschoolers go to different schools, which have similar pick up times. So I have to bring my newborn to get the 2 year old from her school and the newborn and 2 year old to get the 4 year old from her school. It’s a little chaotic.

I thought about my pick up juggling act for a few seconds and then replied, “I have no idea what time I need to leave to get the girls. I’ve been trying to figure that out for the past week! Yesterday, when I picked up my oldest, she said ‘Mommy, why do you always pick me up late now?’ So … Yeah, I will let ya know once I finally figure it out!”  She laughed. I laughed too. No reason to stress over it while you are sleep deprived and the house is a disaster. Everyone is just lucky that I can feed them at this point.

Moral of the story – If you’re a parent of three young kids, it may take you a few weeks to figure out how to time everything so that you can pick your kids up on time. Things that need to go into your mathemagical equation include the following variables:

  • Nursing the baby (Baby’s gotta eat All. The. Time. Else suffer the consequence: Being in a car with a very vocal p*ssed off back seat passenger).
  • Burping the baby
  • Changing the baby’s diaper
  • Changing the baby’s clothes (If it’s wet, another outfit you get!)
  • Changing your clothes (Well, Junior just Niagra Falled on me so … new outfit with new undies it is!)
  • Remembering to make yourself presentable to outside society (Did I put on deodorant this morning?)
  • Putting the baby into his/her car seat (If baby is not already sleeping in said car seat. (S)he is your third child after all…)
  • Locating your keys/wallet/coat because you forgot where you placed them due to lack of sleep (Keys in refrigerator? Check!) or because your Mini Me’s played with them and relocated them on your behalf (Keys in laundry basket? Check!)
  • Figuring out the fastest route to school given fluctuating traffic conditions (Maybe if I take the surface streets here and then take the second most popular road, I can get there slightly faster…)
  • Getting your toddler or preschooler from the first pick up to cooperate so that you can get on time to your second pick up (Do I wait 7 minutes for my 2 year old to get into her car seat by herself or do I pick her up and do it for her and deal with a tantrum right before the next pick up?).
  • Getting the baby and toddler out of the car to then pick up your oldest (Because naturally you cannot pick up the older child first – she has a real “class” with a strict schedule – No Early Pickups Allowed – even though that would make your life a million times easier since you’d be dragging the older kid to get the toddler instead of the other way around).

In short, I’m still working on figuring out the algorithm to get to my kids’ schools on time. I’ll let you know when (if?) I ever find it!

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