Saturday, September 27, 2008


Don't stop and smell the flowers or appreciate the gentle curves of a rolling green hill. I mean really, smelled one flower smelled 'em all, right? They smell all floral-like. Hill, schmill, you see them on the way to work every day. Don't you dare stop to appreciate any of nature's beauty because you had better hurry up and get to wherever you are going, and I mean RIGHT NOW!

That means if you have to cut someone off on the freeway or not wait for a pedestrian to cross the street or make a passing move that is not quite safe, it's all for the sake of getting to where you need to get just a little bit more quickly.

How did we get here?

Don't get me wrong. I don't like to meander down Interstate 80 any more than the next guy. I love that working odd hours keeps me out of commute traffic for the most part. But come on, where are we all going that we need to get there so fast?

When I see a carload of teenagers swerving in and out of the lanes and speeding and tailgating and doing all sorts of crazy stuff, don't tell me they are trying to get one of the passengers to the emergency room because his appendix has burst. Or that they all work at the same place and are late. Or that they are undercover superheroes on their way to save the day. I'm not buying it.

No, they just want to get there before everyone else. And the sad part is that I do, too, even though I always remember something from a book I read. I think it was in Don't Sweat the Small Stuff that the author talked about the fact that you could just chill and drive the speed limit and stay in your lane and you'd get there at the same time as the crazy guy doing all the crazy stuff. In my head I know it's true, and believe me, I try not to ever exceed the speed limit by more than 5 miles, but I still get aggravated when someone is in front of me going exactly the speed limit. I will literally yell and use bad words (if my kid is not in the car) and wish my car was equipped with machinery to remove the car in front of me off the road if that car is going 64 miles per hour when I would like to continue at my steady pace of 67. Who cares? Really, who cares? Even when I do not have to be somewhere at any particular time, I'm like this!

Which brings me to another problem. I think I might always be rushing because I have taken too long to get ready at home. No matter how organized I think I am or how I have all the time in the world to get ready, there is a always a snag. And strangely enough, it seems the more time I have to get ready, the better the chances I will be running late. Something always comes up that throws me for a loop and extends my getting ready time. For example (and this is pretty common), I get too hot. Invariably when I'm getting ready I wind up getting really hot and this slows me down. I don't want to sweat so much that a) I can't put on my makeup or b) I sweat off the makeup I've put on or c) I get stinky. I have always been the hottest one in the room (and I mean that quite literally and not at all figuratively), and carrying around 100 extra pounds makes me even hotter (again, literally).

Of course, if I am trying to get Kayla out of the house with me, we can throw countless variables into the mix. Let's just make a list:

1) She doesn't want to take a bath. For the longest, this was never a problem. Recently, however, it seems that she is much too busy to be bothered with bathing. No matter how I try to sell it (Bubbles! Play with your toys! You'll be clean and shiny and fresh!), we wind up going back and forth and back and forth until she relents or I throw her in kicking and screaming.

2) She does not want to go where we are going. Now this is kind of an unusual one. She is usually game to go wherever it is we're going just for the sake of not staying at home. But sometimes she will decide she doesn't want to go to such and such a place, so I figure out a way to sell the place as the best place she'll ever go, so she will allow me to continue to get her ready to go to said place.

3) She throws a fit... about anything and everything. Wow, my least favorite delay-causer by far. She can go from a perfectly content and angelic place to an evil, awful, horrible place in about 10 seconds. For example, I'm getting ready for work. I have the light on so that, oh, I don't know, I can see what I'm doing. Kayla doesn't want the light on. Why? You would have to ask her. Have you tried to reason with a 33-month-old kid lately? So much fun it should be illegal. And very time consuming. Especially when you try to roll Super Nanny style and get that kid to stay on the Naughty Chair for the entire length of the timeout she earned for a) screaming, screaming, and screaming, and b) hitting Daddy.

4) She is too busy. As in, "Kayla, let's get dressed." "Mommy, I'm too BUSY!" She tells me this all the time. "Would you like to have some lunch now?" "Mommy, I'm too BUSY!" Where did she even get this? What does she know from busy? She's not even three years old! If she is this busy at this age, just how fast is she going to be driving on the freeway one day?

Kayla taking time out to enjoy the great outdoors with Dolly Diego.

The next time you are taking a walk and your kid stops and says "This is a beautiful pink flower, Mommy," and proceeds to smell it, I suggest you do the same.

"Watch me, Mommy, watch me! Watch me run in circles! Mommy, run in circles with me!" Yes, it is just a kid running in circles in your kitchen. But one day she'll be driving, on her way to college or her job, no doubt in a hurry because she's running late, and I can pretty much guarantee she will not be asking you to watch her run in circles anymore or to chase her.

Don't think I wrote this post for all of you. I mean, I did, but I also wrote it for me and I hope I'm listening.

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