We are thrilled to have Gilroy, California writer Laurie Sontag, who blogs about family/life/teens at Manic Motherhood, http://lauriesontag.com chatting with us about The Story Behind: Departure Desperation Ratio!
Jessica: Why is it that kids wait until the days that you are impossibly late to decide they MUST try out a new hairstyle or begin a project of brushing their teeth with every variety of toothpaste you’ve collected over the past three years?
Norine: Oy! Please! In our house, it’s the daydreaming. I hope my child grows up to discover something cool and useful like gravity because he certainly spends enough time lost in thought. I’ll find him laying in bed on school days, sock in hand, his shirt half on, staring off into space. And the later we are, the slower he moves. I swear the only things he ever hears me say in the morning are Put your clothes on! Eat your breakfast!! We should be at school by now! Do you know what time it is? And of course he doesn’t because he can’t tell time yet.
Laurie: Omigod, it does not get better. I don’t mean for you to lose all hope…but, yeah. You should lose all hope. I think it was easier to get my son someplace when he was little, because little kids are kind of portable. I mean, if they are still playing LEGOs when it’s time to leave for Grandma’s, you can pick them up and put them in the car. When they are teenagers and a good 7 or 8 inches taller than you, it’s a little more difficult to pick them up and put them in the car. Over the holidays, we were flying to visit family in another state. I got a shuttle, because parking sucks at the airports. Fifteen minutes before the shuttle arrives, we are downstairs, surrounded by luggage, ready to go. The minute the doorbell rings, my son remembers he forgot to pack underwear and socks. Then he needs to use the restroom. Then he can’t find his car charger for his phone. Then he can’t find his phone because he left it in the bathroom. Then he needs his wallet. Seriously. It never ends.
Jessica: Well, that sounds just like my husband. It REALLY never ends.
Laurie: Yikes, now I’m the one losing hope. But you know what the truly awful thing about this is? Last Saturday, we were going out dinner and I ran upstairs to grab my coat. Do you know what my teenager said to me? He said “Mom, what takes you so long? We are always waiting for you.” Facepalm. Just facepalm.
Norine: Now, to be fair, it often takes me a while to get out of the house. But that’s because I make three trillion trips to the bathroom before I get in the car. Nothing makes you feel like you gotta go, gotta go like the thought of being on the turnpike with 50 miles to the next rest area. So I think some of my kid’s slow-pokiness is often him not really believing that I’m ready to walk out the door, so why not play another round of Beyblades on the floor. Though I gotta say, the thing that always kills me is him standing around waiting for me to finish my umpteenth bathroom trip and as I’m FINALLY ready to actually set the house alarm and get in the car, THEN he suddenly realizes that he wants to take his Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology in the car … the one that’s gone missing for a few weeks. And that’s the exact moment he wants to turn the house upside down looking for it. Because clearly if he doesn’t find like right this very minute, HE WILL NOT SURIVE. And I’m all, you had the whole morning to find the book. Now get in the damn car!