You know what can turn me from Mommy to Screaming Mimi in 2.5 seconds? Running late! I stink at time management! And on top of that, I am a little bit of a self-perfectionist, so I’m really picky about being on time for scheduled events. It doesn’t matter how early I get up, if I lay out my clothes, if I pack the night before, if I set my keys and purse in the same place every night… Some unforeseen circumstance is going to happen to make me late! Where the heck are my keys?!!!! Oh, they’re on the floor and in my husband’s jeans that he wore yesterday, where else would they be? Where are the baby’s shoes?! One is in the yard and one is in the toy box, of course!
It’s even more complicated with young children who can’t dress or fend for themselves. The 5, nearly 6-year-old is pretty capable of dressing himself by now, except he needs constant motivation to continue the process. For example, he’ll put on his pants and then I find him playing in his room shirtless, sockless, shoeless. The baby is obviously dependent on me, so there’s nothing I can say about that, other then the obligatory diaper blowout when we’re running late for something we absolutely can not be late for. I have a doctor appointment this morning, so I help the boy finish putting on socks that suddenly grew too tight overnight and get his shoes on the right feet, and leave to dress baby. I hear the boy go outside, good start- easier to wrangle towards the car. I finish dressing baby and I grab keys and bag, lock the door, and head to the car. As we walk up the stairs, “Where Are Your Shoes?!” I can feel myself turning into a Screaming Mimi. Set the baby down, (back starting to get tired) unlock house, locate shoes, scold boy for walking around the yard in white socks. I finish and see baby girl sitting in the flower bed gleefully grabbing handfuls of dirt. I scoop up baby, dust her off & continue to the car, while barking “Go, go, go” like a drill sergeant to the boy, who is suddenly interested in every ant hill and piece of vegetation in our yard on the way to the driveway. I’m hollering “Get in the car, Get in the car, Get in the car!” The neighbors probably think I’m the meanest mom ever, but in my defense, when you have a child with ADHD, it happens on occasion that their brains are so busy taking in information from all around them and trying to process it, that you have to repeat something to them over and over before they actually hear it. I climb into the car and buckle baby girl into her car seat while trying to coerce the boy to get into his and buckle up. He can only buckle himself in when we’re not in a hurry, by the way. I’m sweating now. I drive, pressing the speed limit as far as I dare. I get caught behind an elderly couple meandering their way through town driving 5 mph under the speed limit. We arrive to my doctor appointment, I hustle the kids into the building, check in. We’re 10 mins early. My appointment was at 10:30, not 10:15. Mimi sits down in the waiting room, catches her breath, and apologizes to the kids.