Before I had kids, getting out of the car and walking into the house was a fairly straight forward process. Now it is anything but.
For example, this is how a typical exit maneuver from our minivan occurs:
– Minivan is mostly into driveway and slowing to a stop
– Doors fly open.
– Older children race to front door of house
– Minivan stops completely
– Toddler screams hysterically because siblings left her strapped into car.
– 4-year-old attempts to yell over screaming toddler to tell parent that toddler is screaming
– Parent attempts to pick up all of the items that need to go into house (including older children’s book bags)
– Parent begins dropping items
– Parent yells at children to come back to help
– Fighting children at locked front door do not hear parent
– Parent notices neighbor watching the scene play out
– Parent attempts to unbuckle 4-year-old who refuses to get out of the car
– Parent gives up on 4-year-old and goes around and lets the toddler out of her seat
– Parent returns to 4-year-old and has a 3 minute argument about why she should get out of car
– 4-year-old finally agrees to exit vehicle after securing a worthy bribe
– 4-year-old wants to do it all by herself
– Parent returns to toddler’s side of car who is nowhere to be found
– Parent calls to older children on porch including 4-year-old who haven’t seen her
– Parent drops all of the items being held and begins to panic
– Parent runs up and down road calling toddler’s name
– Neighbor pretends not to be watching
– Parent returns to minivan where toddler is found in driver’s seat
– Parent is overcome with relief and anger all at the same time
– Parent carries toddler to front door
– Older children take keys from parent and attempt to unlock door for 2 minutes
– Door bursts open and children pile into entryway each claiming they won.
– Exhausted parent walks toward couch to sit down but realizes it is covered in toys
– Children demand food be made immediately
– 2 hours later parent returns to minivan and closes the doors, picks up the book bags, and waves hello to the neighbor.