(welcome to the brain of a chronically late-for-school mother)

September 9, 2013

7:18. (OMG HOW did that happen? Oh no no no….)

I sit up fast and get dizzy, stand up, walk slanted to the bathroom.

(Okay, I’ll call to the boys to get dressed while I get Elsie out of the crib and I’ll just bring her to preschool in her pajamas and apologize and I have to make coffee. This is Monday. I think.)

Bathroom. No details needed. You’re welcome. (That was a weird dream. Why would I be dreaming about a grandmother sinking into a mud pit? She was one strong woman though, the way she pulled herself out of there. It’s too bad I was missing part of that Mumford and Sons concert to watch her…wow, I was really close to Mumford, and the sons, that was so cool. BIG BEARDS….dreams are ridiculous. But I must REALLY want to see M & S in concert…of course I do…)

Rushing downstairs, apologize to the boys and tell them to get dressed, we’re going to have to rush rush rush turn the TV off have you eaten anything do you have your lunches…. (There is no way these pillow lines on my face are going anywhere and how will I rub them while also doing all the things?)

Guys! Move faster. This is my fault but you’re going to have to listen! Yes, go ahead, bring saltines and cheese in the car. (Oh that reminds me, there’s some half eaten sandwiches and a dumped out bag of pretzels in the back seat…ew…I have to tell the boys to clean that out….are these the right keys? Why can’t I recognize these keys? Yes….these are the keys…Heather!)

Asher asks to go wake up Elsie. (Oh yeah! She’s still in bed!) Sure, but only if you feel like you’ve done everything to be ready. I’m ready, Mom! Look at me! Okay, then go! (Wow, I said that with a whiny voice….and then I wonder why they whine…ugh….)

Coffee drip drip drip (HURRY UP COFFEEEEE.)


Check backpacks for folders and lunches. Again. (Did I do this last night? I think I did…No. I don’t know…lady in mud. Old. Why? Does she have a cane? I think that’s how she pulled herself out…WHY am I still thinking about this dream? Maybe I feel that old….and I do feel like I’m in mud…now…wait…what was I doing…OH YEAH I WAS BEING SWALLOWED BY MUD WHILE WANTING TO JUST KEEP WATCHING THE CONCERT!!! SYMBOLISM!)

(HEATHER! FOCUS. JUST FOCUSOh yeah, Asher got Elsie up that’s why she’s yelling stuff like OUT.)

I run upstairs. Can’t breathe. HI GOOD MORNING!!! (Try to appear calm and serene, Heather. She doesn’t need you to start her Monday in such a frantic way. Being late (again) is not the end of the world.)

Grab. Hug. Kiss. Let’s GO, honey oh so fun to go to school and you can go there and have breakfast and you get to go in your PJ’s (Holy Sh*t what time is it? It has to be past 7:30….we’re going to be so late. Why do they start at 7:45 anyway? Why not a concrete 8am? That would be better….for Mumford and me…)

She is saying no no no, Mommy. I not go…no I not nigh night!

No, honey. You’re not going there to sleep….yet….that’s later….you’re going there to eat and get dressed! YaY!

No, Mommy.

(Make it fun, Heather. Don’t panic. Just find all the shoes, where are all the shoes. I had all the shoes RIGHT HERE and now all the shoes are not RIGHT here…)


blank stares.

Oh, they’re on your feet. Okay, GOOD. You guys are so great! Now get in the van and get buckled and I’ll walk Elsie over to M’s….

Can we come too?

(Is this a battle I want to fight I don’t know what’s happening did I pour coffee if they come with it won’t take THAT much longer…)

Sure okay whatever, guys. We just need to get out the door.

(Wait. where are MY shoes?)

Rush upstairs, run through all the rooms. (Oh look, by my bed….that’s what I tripped over after the grandma was sinking in the mud hole and Mumford was singing,

I will hold on hope
and I won’t (let them?) choke
on the noose around
my neck
and I’ll find strength in pain
and I will know my name

la la la laaa laa. That’s not how that goes…how does that go… I know there’s a noose around a neck…)

flip flopping back down the stairs.

(It’s good to find strength in pain. And know your name. Oh how I love me some Mumford…what do I need? Okay, the check for school fundraiser…CHECK! heh. My shoes. CHECK! Coffee…) Grabs coffee, slams fridge things around looking for creamer (Why am I doing this? It can wait…no it can’t…yes, it can…no, I’m just doing it, I can’t wake up…maybe it will make the lines on my face pop out!) 

(Are the boys walking Elsie next door? Crap….)

Run through house with sloshing coffee.

Oh look at you! They’re standing in front of neighbor’s door, looking at it, waiting for me.

Run through yards. Can’t breathe.


HIIIIII! I overslept and so she is in PJ’s but I brought this outfit….no, I didn’t….where’d it go? I had an outfit…and a check for you….

Miles, can you go see if I left that stuff at home, with M’s check too. I think I did, right by each other…. Miles runs back home. Asher stares. M smiles and reassures. Elsie blows kisses. (OHH I love her so much. Look at those eyes. Sleepy. I woke her up so abruptly, no time to adjust, poor thing. Ugh…)

Asher can you go home and get buckled? Oh thank you Miles, here are the things ‘kaythanksbye!

Shut door. Run across yards and get in van. (Oh thank God I put the coffee in here before going over there. Let’s DO this.)  Can’t breathe.

Turn around to smile reassuringly at quiet boys.

Asher, your glasses!

Sheepishly he says, OH. Whoops.

Jump out of van, run in house, frantically searching all surfaces, upstairs, downstairs, back upstairs, downstairs. (WHERE ARE THEY MAYBE HE DOESN’T NEED TO SEE TODAY OMG WHY AM I ALWAYS LATE OMG WHERE ARE THE GLASSES??!) 




(and IIIII will hold on hope….)

Run to van. Hop in. Hand back glasses. Do quick inventory. (It’s all here. Maybe.) Can’t breathe.

Start driving. Try to calm down. Look at speedometer a lot. Don’t look at clock. Just don’t.

Oh look there are the longhorns!!!

Oh that’s great boys! Look! Yes! COWS!

Realize fat lip is fat because I keep getting this weird infection in my fat lip and try to make mental note to call doctor but busy checking speedometer. (Fat lip needs heat, helps embarrassing swelling. I know! I’ll use my coffee mug!)

Pout lip out and apply coffee cup.


Realize people in car next to me are staring while we all wait impatiently at red light…

Don’t care.


Turn left. Turn right. Almost there. (Oh look at all the cars coming from the opposite direction because they are on-time parents and they are done dropping their kids at school and oh no this means I have to look at the clock and oh no it is three minutes past the bell and we are not even in the parking lot and WHY WHY can I never be on time? It’s so weird? Like a condition or a curse or something, even when I don’t oversleep, here I am, rushing rushing rushing….I’m organized….I do lunches the night before. I set all the things out….and still it’s like there’s some sort of time warp….or force rising up against me and…)

MOMMY! Let’s get out of the van! What are you looking at?! We’re late!

Oh, sorry. I was just thinking. (That’s it. I think! I think a lot! I’m a thinker! That’s the PROBLEM!

(I love aha moments!)

Get out of van, tell boys to walk faster. Walk faster! No, really guys! Walk faster!

The office lady is at the door and she is holding it open but time is ticking and then we’ll get tardies and we can’t have tardies on account of MOMMY. Let’s sort of RUN…

HI! Good morning! (Does she see the lines on my face? Oh my crap…I never even LOOKED at my hair…oh for the love of all that is holy, it must be sticking up all over the place…maybe if I just say stuff and smile big no one will notice…)

I call out to her, from too far away, I say, I think I have a chronic condition!!!

She looks concerned (oh no, she doesn’t know Im’ making a joke)

OH just kidding! I just mean that I’m late no matter how hard I try! Ha! ha ha ha…

She doesn’t laugh. OHHHH, she says. Well, we’re starting to give out tardies this week….

The boys look confused and stare at me…while rush-walking.

It’s okay guys! My fault!

Enter doors, rush to office for visitor name tag. Office lady says to boys, You guys GO GO GO GO to your classes, ya gotta go. Miles rushes out. Asher stands next to me, frozen in fear. I always walk him. I wait for name tag. Lady repeats, GO GO GO you’re late! Asher grabs on to me.

We feel like rebels. Again.

I grab name tag after it pops out of alligator mouth thingy. We rush away.

Mommy! He’s talking but I can’t hear him over the announcements. I shout, I can’t hear you!!! Teachers in rooms look out doors.

Oh. Hi. Sorry.

We jog-walk through hall. Get to his class. Teacher is softly speaking to attentive students in front of her on the rug. We come in, tip-toeing and entire class stops listening intently to the teacher to look at us.

I make the I’m So Sorry face for Nice Teacher.

We put away all the things. I whisper go sit down. Asher looks overwhelmed. Bye. I love you.

(UGH, that poor kid. I could cry. I am not making it easier for him. I’ll do better. I’ll tell him we’ll never be late again! No…wait….I can’t do that because it’s not really possible….but I’ll promise to try harder!….Again….)

Rush past office. Bed-head down. Stare at floor like it’s my JOB. Push through doors. Try to breathe deeply. Humidity. Can’t breathe.

Get in van. Realize door is full of used tissues from recent cold. quickly shut door before anyone sees over-flowing snot rags. Start driving home. Turn left, turn left, turn right, drive by tweens waiting for buses. Most of them are on iPods or phones but one boy is always reading an actual book with pages. (I love that boy….and I love my iPhone.) (Wait, where is my phone?)


Pull in driveway. Notice Elsie’s blanket is in the van. Run across yards. Can’t breathe. Put it in entry sneaky-like so she doesn’t see and get confused. (I am such a ninja.)

Run back home, through door and to kitchen. Hold side of counter for the breathing. Get more coffee. Apply cup to lip. Make hot cereal while cleaning the fridge of the very old stuff I find old-ish contents.  (Why am I doing this right now? The kids are all to their places and I need to write all the things and I am cleaning all the things and this is exactly what is wrong with me. I’m not normal. I can’t stop cleaning out the fridge just let me wipe the inside a little wow this a lot to put next to the sink for later but I hate that part all the containers with old things in them, just sitting there asking to be cleaned out there’s always so much to do and I wonder if Asher feels better….I’m really always late and why am I standing in the pantry? what was I getting? Nothing, I don’t think…I should write a blog post about this comedy of errors that is every morning ever….but it probably won’t be funny….it’ll just sound insane….but maybe that’s good…ya know, keep’n it real, yo….I mean, I’m sure other mothers are chronically late and are traumatizing their kids a little tiny bit with all the rushing and being late and really, it does take them too long to put on their shoes, so….it’s not just ME….)

Walk out of pantry with nothing.

Look at clock.

8:05. (???)




Cristina September 9, 2013 at 9:58 am

You have to walk them inside to their classes? I’d be late too.

Heather September 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

No, I don’t HAVE to….but I HAVE to for the kindergartener that’s still having a rough time. And no, it doesn’t help make us more on time. At all. heh.

Cristina September 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Well you are a saint. I drop him off and drive away gleefully. It’s cool the school lets you come in, ours has a rule that you can only take them to the classroom for the first week. After that it’s drop off or bus only.

just JENNIFER September 9, 2013 at 10:52 am

I love a post like this. It’s a peak inside your head….your train of thought. And yes, other mothers have this problem too.
just JENNIFER recently posted..The Best of Summer 2013

Kallie September 9, 2013 at 11:18 am

I have this problem too. I always have. In high school I was label “always late” in the year book. I don’t even have an excuse for it. I’m constantly saying to Chet, “hurry up, we’re late.” I hate those words and myself when I say them to him.
I love the twist at the end “8:05.(???)”

wendy @ mama one to three September 9, 2013 at 11:20 am

our mornings are the stuff of nightmares!
wendy @ mama one to three recently posted..Robins

Thekitchwitch September 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm

You know what’s funny? My kids get up at 6am (well, 5:30 for Miss M. the Rooster) And school doesn’t start until 8:15, but somehow there’s always this mad dash at the end to get everything/everyone collected and carried. WHY is it always so hard to get out that door? And I make all the lunches/collect homework/sign planners the night before. So why? *scratches head*
Thekitchwitch recently posted..Dog Days: A Rant

Heather September 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm

This is the same for us!!! Miles gets up at 5:30 or 6 and Asher just a bit after 6 and usually they get me up and we’re STILL late. I don’t get it either.

Karmen M. September 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm

If I could start a “wave” for this post I so totally would.

Heather September 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm

ha ha haaa! I love that mental picture, Karmen. I’ll probably be thinking of it tomorrow morning when I’m running late.

Shaina September 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm

This (up there) was my Friday. Today was slightly better. It’s never-ending. I know because this is my 9th year. Only 13 more to go. xoxo
Shaina recently posted..Buckwheat Groat {Kasha} Dumplings with Peach Coulis and Strawberry Sauce

Lindsay September 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm

So me, so this morning! I second the wave idea! You are not alone!

Leslie September 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I might have the same brain. :)

Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam September 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Oh, I remember those frantic mornings all too well. Even when I got up early enough somehow we were always rushed and forgetting things and I was stressed and always felt like I had completed a marathon once my older two were dropped off at school. I can’t say I miss those crazy mornings much, but the quieter house after the crazy mornings is kinda nice.
Now, that we homeschool I am grateful for not having to rush out the door, but the house is rarely ever quiet. =)

Kristin Shaw September 9, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Oh my goodness. This made me tired just reading it. See, this is why I am only cut out for one. You’re supermom to get all of that done before 8:05!
Kristin Shaw recently posted..Milestones

Leigh Ann September 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I still walk the girls to their rooms as well. And Rachel inTO her room. Lots of hugs, lots of kisses, blow one to me, looks away, GOGOGO MOM! It breaks my heart to take off when she’s distracted, but I gotta do it.

“Pout lip out and apply coffee cup.” DYING.

Nicole September 10, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I love this (and I’ll find strength in pain). My mind works the same way (And I’ll change my ways). The. Same. Way. I actually have to take passionflower – an herb- to shut my mind off at night (And I won’t let you choke), that way if I get woken up at night I can fall back asleep without the 2 hour hamster wheel ride my mind takes during the day (on the noose…).

Jen Rhyne September 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I stare at the floor like its my job!

Jen Rhyne September 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm

7.freakin.45… your not late … they are ALL insane and early.

Ashley Hanson September 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm

I just love your blog, Heather! Love your honesty and your entertaining stories. I can relate to every single word in your article, from the way you feel in the morning to the way this story ends :) LOL. Thanks for sharing!!!!

susannah September 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm

oh yes- so very true and describes my race to school at which not only do i have to walk her to class but i have to park two blocks away and drag my darlings up a hill a looooong block long to get to the school! killing. me. also, being on time is overrated. or at least that’s what i tell myself.
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Nina September 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Ugh– YES. All of it.
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