Punctuality is an interesting concept.
Being somewhere EXACTLY when you are expected to be there is a mix between science and art. You have to know yourself and the situation around you and plan for the unexpected, all for the chance to be there perfectly on-time, no questions asked.
Before kids, I was on-time, every time, like we all wish airplanes would be.
Now, as a parent, I have dual perceptions of what punctuality means in my personal life. [Note: professionally, punctuality is the rule, without exception.]
My family is three kids, two adults, one dog.
For us to get the entire brood up, fed, dressed, pottied, packed, and in the car to go anywhere at any time takes a Herculean effort.
Kids are messy – literally and figuratively. Let’s focus on the figuratively. They provide unexpected challenges at every turn, from clothes that fit YESTERDAY not fitting today, to hating what was their favorite food last week, to nap time lasting blessedly longer than expected, to having a meltdown because you put on Paw Patrol and not Sesame Street.
It’s nearly impossible to crack the code and figure out what combination of timing, food, clothing, packing and everything else aligns to get us where we need to be.
Feel for us parents. Excuse us. Don’t judge us for tardiness when we have kids in tow.
On the flip side, parents know how valuable every second of every day is.
If we are expected somewhere and we get there when we should get there…and someone is late…that does not go over well.
We didn’t do everything we had to do to get somewhere on-time to wait for anyone else. That’s wasted time and we don’t have time for that.
Is this a double standard? I’m pretty sure it is.
But do know this: All things being equal, staying home to watch movies, play in the backyard, and bake cookies sounds like a fulfilling day to me.
So if parents go through the trouble to get the family out of the house – be it one kid, three kids, or even more, it means we REALLY want to see you and spend time with you.
If your parent friends are going to see you today, you are better than pajamas and cookies.
Which means you are amazing and incredible and valued and loved. You are the party parents want to be at.
We’ll do our best to get to that party on time. Feel free to get started without us, though. The baby is napping.