Why Being Early Isn't Always Great
Once upon a time I used to own a watch. Yes, it is true. I used to be on time for everything. I prided myself on it. If truth be told, I was often early. Never late for appointments or functions of any sort. I didn't understand how people couldn't just organise themselves so that they would be on time.
Then two things happened. The watch broke and I got married/had kids (children that is, not goats). I'm not really sure which came first but they both happened and they both changed everything. To this day I'm not sure why I didn't just go and get the watch fixed. I virtually lived by that watch. I looked at it a thousand times a day. But no, whether it was from laziness or being too busy, it just never got repaired. I was teaching at the time and anyone who teaches knows that you can't tell time by the sun in a classroom. You need a clock/watch to help you navigate the day's workload, to know when the class has to get to library or sport or music, to know when it's time for lunch, when it's time to pack up, when playground duty starts, when the next teacher is supposed to relieve you...you get the drift. So I started relying on other clocks, mainly my phone and the wall clocks in my classroom and home. It's not always convenient to have to pull your phone out to check the time and I'm sure I never had it with me on playground duty. So yes, time started to not be so exact and I was not always on time.
The husband and children - well, they were the real life changers. If I only had to get myself ready and out of the house, I think I would still be okay. But living with four males is absolute murder when getting ready to go somewhere. You would think boys are a lot easier...but no. From my husband down to my youngest they all dawdle. And it drives me absolutely insane. I'm forever telling them to HURRY UP!! And no doubt the neighbours can hear me screaming, "WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE!!" I really don't understand how a man with little hair can take longer than me in the shower...and equally, I don't understand why Samuel, my littlest man, has to wait until he's neatly dressed and just about to be placed in his car seat, to do a big, smelly number 2! Nothing worse than being late and finally thinking you are about to get everyone in the car and then have to race back inside to do a big nappy change! Grrrrrrrrrr
From all I have written above, you would be forgiven for thinking I am now always late. I'm not. Somehow, someway (often miraculous) I manage to get to places on time. Not all the time, but 80% of the time.
And sometimes...I'm early. I'm not talking 10 minutes early, or even half an hour early...I'm talking an hour early. This is insane. I am not ultra organised - I'm just so flustered and bamboozled trying to get everyone around me ready that I end up getting to functions an hour early. This is plain embarrassing. I did it recently to my friend Leah. What do you most want when you are hosting a get together at your house? Your guests to turn up an hour early. Not! Thank God, she was gracious enough to understand and not make me feel like a total idiot.
Today I did it again. Turned up to a kid's birthday party an hour early! Big, big mistake. Huge. To kill time waiting for the party to start, I thought I would do some window shopping since the function was located within a shopping centre. Impossible. A whiny 5 year old eager to get to their friend's birthday party is not the ideal shopping companion. I virtually walked in and out of shops barely looking at anything, went up and down escalators and lifts (because he thinks those are cool) for an hour. A precious hour of my time that could have been spent at home...cleaning. Or sleeping.
When we finally arrived for the bowling party, Thomas did not want to wait for everyone to get there and everyone to get fitted with shoes. More complaining. More rolling around over floors and furniture. More hyperactivity.
The party also ended up running behind schedule and bowling didn't start until 40 minutes later. Yes, if you are doing the maths, I virtually had to entertain a 5 year old with thin air for an hour and 40 minutes. I was silently screaming, "Kill me now!" It got worse. Most 5 year olds find it difficult to sit through a game of bowling with so many children needing to have turns (they were all starting to go a little nutty, and with music blaring and lights dimmed, so too were the parents), but add tiredness and hunger to the mix, and well, I just wanted to evacuate! Sugar ended up making it all okay... and then there was more hyperactivity and more tears. Joys.
The moral of the story is, being early is not all it's cracked up to be! And any smug person who thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread (where did that saying come from? What's so great about sliced bread?) just doesn't have children or a husband in tow!