Friday, December 08, 2006

Schedule madness

When my kids were small, I couldn’t understand how people’s schedules could possibly get so crazy. Why don't these people just cut something out? I thought. I worked hard so my little angels were in bed by 7:00 and I could have some evening time (what I ever did before internet I will never know!). How could you let your little ones be out so late, anyway?

Well, here’s a sample of a crazy evening at our house. It’s the part of having a big family I hadn’t bargained for when all my kids were preschoolers and I was Master of the Schedule. It's definitely something I would never have thought I'd stoop to be capable of (especially dragging a two year old out late in the evening!). But if I got a babysitter for every evening event just to keep them on "schedule," I'd be in the poorhouse! Our kids know that one parent will be there for all their special events, but there are times when both simply can't be there. It is SO HARD - I feel so guilty, but this is reality - I can't be two places at once!

I spent all day trying to figure out how I was going to orchestrate the evening’s events, which included a basketball game, a 3rd grade program, and two middle schoolers singing in a choir concert (one with an additional guitar rehearsal):

5:30 13 yo daughter’s basketball game (20 minutes from home)

6:30 8 yo daughter to 3rd grade program (neighborhood school)

6:45 Drop 12 yo son at choir rehearsal (15 minutes in another direction)

7:00 BB game over - need to get her home to change for choir concert

7:00 3rd grade program starts (run back from concert location)

7:40 3rd grade program over (get home to pick up 13 yo)

7:45 13 yr old to choir concert (back 15 minutes the other way)

8:00 Middle school choir concert starts

Let's not forget feeding everyone and making them look presentable for each of these events. Of course, the only thing that could possibly go wrong with this impossible tight schedule is having cranky preschoolers. Um, yeah.

Somehow, with a little creativity on the drop-off times, we made it. Not sure I looked all that good (Did I remember to put makeup on? No clue). My husband did the basketball chauffeuring (He did not get to attend the 3rd grade progam. Bummer!), and I did the rest, crying two-year-old notwithstanding.

The guitar ensemble was great, my older daughter even got a shower before changing into her fancy choir dress, and our eight-year-old tapped her percussion instrument on the beat. Whew!

We were all in bed by about 11:00. Ah. Until about 1:45 a.m., that is. That’s when the little one had another one of her nasty bouts with night terrors.

Maybe I’ll get a nap later. Should I do that before or after I clean up the disaster area that became of our house last night…


Laura said...

Yikes! That is even too much for my organizing mind to handle. My hat goes off to you my friend because in order to orchestrate such impressive scheduling as you did you HAVE to be very organized. Well done!!! Now go take that nap, you deserve it! Laura

Anonymous said...

Wow! Good think you had your hubby to help out! Good job getting everything done!

Anonymous said...

I am SO totally there! It gets so crazy here with 7 to get around. It does help so much now that we have another driver! The most difficult part is not just the cranky two-year old, but the special needs 8 year old that doesn't understand and freaks out with change. We do get a sitter as often as possible for her. She is just so much happier that way. GLad you got it all done, but it does get frustrating not getting to both "do it all" with them. Life sure changes when they get older!

Holly said...

forget the disaster take the nap

Nicole said...

That is a family with 5 kids alright! I only have four and they are still young enough to not be that busy. I've heard it will be here soon though. AND we have 2 kids with night terrors in our house. Glad to hear we are not the only ones. They freaked me out at first, but now it is just part of our lives. Don't they flare up after a busy day? Maybe you can slow down so that the 2 year old won't have them. Ha Ha Ha!!!

Susanne said...

Oh my! Now that my kids are out of elementary it is a tad easier as we don't have all the school Christmas concerts! Personally I say go for the nap before!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my! I'm the one now saying about friends I know- "Why don't they cut something?". I guess I'll eat my words too someday with #4 on the way!

Anonymous said...

Hard while it is happening, but what great memories you and your kids will have. We look back at those days and wonder now how we ever managed--and it is so much fun to remember all that chaos!

Anonymous said...

We are not there yet but I'm anticipating the craziness. I remember what it was like to grow up in a house of four!! =) I applaud your efforts in trying to maintain sanity during the chaos.

Anonymous said...

Wow - I'm in awe! I'm one of those "kids in bed before 8:00" kind of moms, but I know that as they get older it's going to be much harder to stick to that...

Anonymous said...

Hello! I found your site from a link to a link to another link... :O) I hope you don't mind me stopping by.

I agree with the other have got quite a schedule! We have four but only two left at home now and it can go from crazy to crazier really fast!

Your family is just beautiful!

Love and God's Blessings,