I like to think I am a fairly tolerant person. Whether I am or not, is probably better described by my husband and children, but I do try.
There are, however, a few things that really make me cranky at the drop of a hat. Things like blankets lying on floors (drives me nuts), butter being left in the Promite (I don’t like butter) or one thousand cups (slight exaggeration) on the kitchen bench.
But one thing I really hate, is being late.
Can’t stand it.
I’ve always been like this. I come from a family of people who were always crazy early. Both mum and dad can be relied on to show up at least 20 minutes earlier than the time you give them. As such, I grew up believing if I was only 10 minutes early, I was actually late.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to be more relaxed about it, and I think, in many ways I am. For instance, I now understand that sometimes arriving 10 minutes after a BBQ officially starts, can actually be a good thing. And being half an hour early for anything, especially if you arrive with 4 kids, is not
ever always helpful.
Having said that, my moral compass is firmly set on punctuality. I whole heartedly believe that being on time is a sign or respect and honour for whoever it is that has organised the event.
Or, in the case of our everyday happenings, school.
I don’t know why we are running later these days. We have twice the distance to cover to get to school than we used to in Darwin, (which just means a 10 minute drive as opposed to 5), but school starts 20 minutes later, so we should be fine. Somehow though, we seem to be constantly arriving just on or after the bell. Which perhaps isn’t a total sin, except that BJ’s teacher is a drill master in punctuality, and she submits the electronic roll not long after the bell goes. As such even a 2 minute late arrival ends up with a long walk to the front office at the other end of the school.
Which is exactly what happened yesterday.
Now being late, I’m sure, is not my fault. I’m perfectly convinced if it was just me, I would be at school an hour early every day. (Though it would be weird because I don’t go to school.)
No, it’s the little people and the most random of reasons that hold us back.
Like Taylah this morning, trying to evaluate the psychology of the cat, when she should have been making lunch.
Or Bridie, suddenly losing her reader diary, even though she assures me it’s always in her reader folder. (Which it often isn’t.)
Or BJ, deciding that he needed to take another drink bottle to school, because the one he had there was empty, and the idea of filling it up at the bubbler is too complicated to comprehend. Instead he should just debate with me the many merits of taking a full one, and then just using cups at home.
You can imagine how much I loved that idea.
And then there was the argument with Miss Ava, who after debating with her brother over whether she or Taylah owned a ball, and Taylah not caring about it, was told to ‘just let it go,’ (the debate, not the ball), when she had absolutely no desire to let it go at all. So instead of screaming at BJ, she screamed at her mother (who does not take kindly to being screamed at), that it was her ball, and he needed to know, and she ‘would not let it go!!!’
But despite that, we managed to make it out of the house, and onto the roads.
And then there was the traffic.
I swear, the roads are full of people who are completely inept at using them. And in turn I become a driver completely ept (as opposed to inept-totes a word) at using sarcasm to its fullest extent. “Oh great indicating there!”
“Please, drive slower.”
“Thanks for cutting in front of me! You have made my day.”
Eventually, despite the arguments and the missing reader, and the cat that would not be understood, we arrived at school, I trekked all the way up to the office to do the sign in, handed in the late slips to three different teachers, and then bidding BJ farewell, and needing cash out, (and coffee) I headed to MacDonald’s. Ava had Kindergym, and I was $3 short, and Maccas was the easiest, quickest option.
Of course then it took forever.
Apparently all those slow people on the roads were also visiting Maccas, because I think I could have gone home and made a coffee in the amount of time it took to finally get mine. Instead though, I was standing in that store, almost bouncing on the balls of my feet in frustration because it was Kindergym day, and we were going to be 2 minutes late.
I don’t like to be 2 minutes late. Ever.
Turned out it was 4.
By the time we pulled up in the car park, it was 9:34.
Do you know what happens when you’re four minutes late for Kindergym?
Nothing at all.
The line is a little longer, because of all the other late comers, but it doesn’t stop your child running in, and (bonus points) it actually gives you time to finish your coffee, and 8 minutes less of following an exuberant three-year old around an indoor obstacle course.
The world did not implode.
I did not fall apart.
And Ava had no idea that she had missed out on a whole 240 seconds of play.
So I am a person who hates being late, and I probably always will be. But I’m also a person whose learning that if you are late occasionally, it’s actually ok.
And it’s even better if you’ve got coffee.
Are you a frustrated time follower too?
Or are you always a late comer?