It was an interesting morning routine. My wife is starting a new job and the plan was to commute together. This means the children must be dressed, fed, supplied, and ready to go by 7:15. On paper this was possible, and we did really write it all out last night including ten minutes of nag time to get Child Harbat dressed. She can dress herself…on paper. In reality there are sock changes, sock complaints, sock adjustments, changes of leggings, then new socks to MATCH the new leggings, then the jacket is lost, the replacement rejected with a yell and slammed door, the selected shoes are “boring” so comically oversized shoes are picked that make her walk and stumble as if she’s wearing swim fins. Imagine cramming that into a ten-minute space and you see the futility of writing out a morning schedule.
But wait! There’s a second child to contend with! For his part, Number Two was quiet and watchful, as always. His only minor complaint was when he was left strapped to his high chair as everyone else vanished from the dining room, his blueberry yogurt tantalizingly out of reach on the table.
Despite all this, it was rather fun getting everyone bundled up and in the car, all four of us heading to our respective places. Once I dropped my wife off I had—in principle—a quick two-mile sprint over to my office to arrive roughly on time. Despite being on a virtually empty six-lane stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, I managed to hit every single stoplight for these piddly cross streets whose drivers frankly shouldn’t be given A HALF HOUR TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE INTERSECTION…sorry, I was doing so well there. Where was I? Oh yes, sitting at the traffic light. Finally it’s green and I’m off like a cheetah after a gazelle. Until I come to my street and there’s construction. Three lanes diverge into two and I, being clever and foresightful, dart into the left lane. Behind a tow truck. Who decides TO STOP AND PUT HIS LIGHTS ON SO HE CAN TOW SOMEONE FROM THE MAJOR STREET LEADING AWAY FROM THE AIRPORT!!!
Sorry again. I was forced to squeeze between a pair of traffic cones after giving another driver a curt preemptory wave that indicates, “I am thanking you in advance for letting me in because you will be letting me in.” One block to go! The car in front of my signals to turn onto my street, slows, slows more, goes…r e a l l y s l o w…then just coasts to a stop in the middle of the road. I feel a funny tickle in my temple and my eye twitches. I take a deep breath and decide to wait it out. Patience, Uncle F#*k-Up, patience…OHMYGOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!! DID YOU DIE BEHIND THE WHEEL OR ARE YOU JUST OUT OF GAS?!! MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!