I'm considering whether it would be a) crazy or b) not crazy to create a master schedule for Life in the Fall.
You see, Life in the Fall scares me. It's when the shit hits the fan, in terms of busy, and I'm not such a coper that when the shit hits the fan I calm everyone down. Rather, it's more like when the shit hits the fan, I leap up onto the table, grab hold of the fan, and hang on for dear life, screaming at everyone to "hurry up! for god's sake, I said could you HURRY UP!"
So since one of my talents (I'm calling all my old jobs that now, since we've been reading so many fairy books where whatever the fairy is good at is called his or her talent, and I kind of like that better than boring old skills) is event planning, I thought perhaps I could consider my life, and the life of my brood, one big Event with many smaller events occurring throughout, sometimes simultaneously. Not simultaneously like I'm reading the paper, drinking coffee, and pretending to listen to two people and pretending not to hear the third and smallest. More simultaneous like one person has to be at French preschool and another needs to be eating lunch in the car while being driven to what seemed like a terrific idea at the time, lunchtime piano lessons. (I wasn't certifiably crazy at the time, meaning, I wasn't pregnant, so I'm not sure how that slid by the working side of my brain...ah, lunchtime piano? you mean, pick her up early from school, with the baby in the van instead of at home napping, and get her to eat her lunch without spilling all over, and convince her it's going to be "super fun" to go to piano, and then SIT and WAIT outside for half an hour, and then drive her back to school LATE).
Seriously. What the fuck was I thinking?
Anyways, back to my new master plan. See, this summer the kids were driving me batshit crazy with their "what are we doing today?" questioning, which sounds very innocent but in reality was like a volley of gunshots fired at me first thing every morning. Listen closely. "Whatarewedoingtoday,mommy?Isaid,whatarewedoingtodaymommywhatarewedoingtoday?canIhaveafriendover?whydoesshegettohaveafriendoverthat'snotfairshealwaysgetsafriendoverhuhthat'snotfairwhatdoIgettodo?" Like gunshots, I swear.
Nothing more extravagant than a white piece of paper with things like Gym and Camp and Have a friend over on it, but it worked.
And when I say it worked, it worked for them, and for me. Seems I thrive on having a little structure, a little game plan. Probably from years as a freelancer, where if I didn't have a plan I was set adrift in my own ability to get absolutely nothing done, something I unfortunately perfected until I started scheduling my own life in Outlook.
Here's how I see it. A strategy session (or two), where we sit down and put it all on the table. How do each of us ladies see our fall mapping out? What's important to us? What will make it all more than bearable (dare I say it - pleasant?). For one it might be lasagna after every swim lesson. Another, perhaps a snack in the car, waiting, after dance. Organizing what meals need to be prepared in advance and what bags need to be packed and with what will save me from the frantic pace I set last year, where it didn't just feel like I was two steps behind, I really was.
Maybe this is what moms on mat leave do. We use the ...talents...we honed in our workplaces to create bearable, livable lives, where colour-coded spreadsheets make everyone breathe easy.
We'll see. I'll let you know how it goes.