Leaving the House with a Toddler in 4956 Easy Steps

There was a time when Dan and I would decide that we wanted to go to the lake, and we would get in the car and drive there.

Those days are farther gone than Bruce Jenner’s man card.

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Leaving the house now, with a toddler in tow, is more like packing for a weeklong camping trip – in the middle of a tornado.


Last Saturday morning Dan left for work at 530am, at which time Mia and I started getting ready to leave for a day at the lake. The goal departure time was 930am. Actual: 10:08.

It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that we started getting ready at 530 – here’s what the morning looked like in real time:

450am: Mia starts intermittently crying in her crib.

5am: I shut off the monitor.

515am: Mia cries loudly enough that I can hear her without the monitor.

520am: Mia starts yelling “up! up! up!”


530am: I get up, pick Mia up out of her crib.

531am: Mia puts her head on my shoulder and pretends to go back to sleep.

532am: I sit down in the glider and attempt to rock Mia back to sleep.

533am: Mia asks to get down. Mia asks to get up. Mia asks to get down. Mia throws iphone on the floor.

534am: I change into workout clothes while Mia empties the entire jewelry box onto the floor. I pick up the jewelry while Mia empties the Q-tip carton into the trash.

545am: I give Mia a sippy cup of milk and begin the Jillian Michaels workout video. Instead of jogging in place, I jog around the living room picking up toys and letting the dog out.

550am: I begin the sit-up sequence while Mia crawls onto my stomach and tries to touch my teeth.

630-9am: I complete the workout video, feed the dog, feed Mia, clean Mia’s entire breakfast out of her hair, sing ABCs, sing Row Row Row Your Boat, play All About That Bass 71 times, put toys away, put toys away again, throw a toy at the wall, put toys away AGAIN, step on a Nylabone, cry like a baby, etc. etc.

Side note: For those of you that think it hurts to step on a lego, that is a FOOT MASSAGE compared to stepping on a partially chewed Nylabone. I’m pretty sure you need a concealed carry permit to take one of these things out of the house. Dog owners – am I right?!

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901am: I start packing the diaper bag with diapers, wipes, hand wipes, extra clothes, extra shoes, high value treats (no we are not going to puppy school, that’s way easier to pack for), crackers, puffs, yogurt, water, milk…etc.

905am: I remove Mia from the dog toy bin, run around the living room collecting all the errant dog toys, and remove my belt, and two pairs of underwear from around Mia’s neck.


915am: I start running bathwater while I collect the bath toys which have been hidden in random bedrooms and closets to put into the tub.

920am: I chase Mia down and attempt to put her in the bathtub.


925am: I repeatedly caution Mia not to stand up in the tub or else she might fall down. While sending a text to my sister-in-law advising her that we’re going to be late, Mia’s manages to stand up in the tub, slip, and fall down. Crying ensues.

930am: I remove Mia from the tub and place her on the bath mat to be dried off.

931am: Mia pees on the bath mat, then runs into her bedroom; pees some more. I consider allowing myself to cry.

932am: I wipe up the rest of the pee with the already peed-on bathmat and toss it down the stairs toward the laundry room. Then, wrestle Mia into a diaper.

(Side note: If you have not recently attempted diapering a toddler, let me give you a quick analogy. It’s like attempting to sew a wedding dress onto a whirling dervish. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what a whirling dervish actually is – but when I was in elementary school playing rec league basketball, one of my teammates got the nickname “whirling dervish” because she was only about 4ft tall but she would jump up and down on defense and spin her arms around like a windmill in such a crazy, intense fashion, that if the actual move didn’t stop you – the uncontrollable laughter resulting from it would. So imagine trying to put a diaper on that.)

940am: I finish diapering and dressing Mia (can’t put her hair bow in until we get in the car and she’s restrained in a car seat) and lock her in the bathroom with me so I can shower.


941am: I look out of the shower to check on Mia and she is pulling dental floss out of the trash. I get out of the shower, sopping wet, and place the trashcan on top of the vanity – out of reach.

942am: Another check-in on Mia. She is inside the vanity, shaking GoldBond foot powder all over the floor.

945am: Mia’s pulls open the shower curtain and demands “UP!” Water sprays all over the floor. I don’t pick her up, obviously. Crying ensues.

950am: I ignore the disaster zone that is the bathroom, get dressed and put my makeup mascara on.

10am: I grab my shoes and a sweatshirt and release the kraken, I mean, baby from the bathroom. I bring her downstairs and attempt to pour milk from a full carton into a sippy cup with one hand. I don’t think I need to elaborate on the result.

1002am: I bring Mia out to the car, strap her into the carseat, put her hair in a bow (she immediately pulls it out), and leave her in the car with the door open while I gather our belongings and re-pour milk into her sippy cup.

1004am: Hope and pray that the neighbors don’t call the cops based on the intensity of the screaming emanating from the vehicle in our driveway.

1006am: I deliver the sippy cup of milk to Mia in the car, get into the drivers seat, and take two minutes to figure out where I am, what day it is, and where I’m going.

1008am: Depart.

330pm – I realize I did not pack a sippy cup of milk for Mia’s afternoon snack. Crying ensues.


So the next time anyone asks me why I’m always late these days…. this. Just, this.



2 thoughts on “Leaving the House with a Toddler in 4956 Easy Steps

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