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When My Family of Five Leaves the House (It Takes 60 Simple Steps)

Getting ready to go anywhere is a big job for my family. With three kids under four, including an infant, there is a long list of things we need to do before we go, and things we need to bring with us – no matter where we’re going. This is a little glimpse into the process of getting the family ready to go somewhere. Maybe you can relate!

1. Announce that it’s time to get ready to go. 

2. Ask threenager to get her clothes on. 

3. Snatch toddler up from running away, and take him to get his clothes on. 

4. As I’m walking away, ask Hubby to change baby’s diaper. 

5. Remind threenager to get dressed. 

6. Get toddler into clean diaper and clothes, amid shouts of protest and attempts to jump off the changing table. 

7. Suggest to threenager that she should dress appropriately for the weather (aka it’s cold, so no, she may not wear that sundress and sandals).

8. Ask threenager to stop wailing and please put on socks and shoes. 

9. Catch an escaping toddler, and cram his pudgy feet into socks and shoes. 

10. Succumb to toddlers request for boots instead. 

11. Let him put his boots on by himself. 

12. Calm him down when he gets frustrated at not being able to do it himself. 

13. Help him get his boots on. 

14. Ask threenager to please wear a jacket. 

15. Check to see if Hubby changed the baby’s diaper. 

16. Usher threenager and toddler of the door. 

17. Put threenager into car seat, because it’s better to have her locked in somewhere. 

18. Retrieve toddler from neighbor’s yard. 

19. Put toddler into car. 

20. Retrieve threenager’s doll she dropped in the floorboard. 

21. Retrieve toddler from driver’s seat. (He is fast.)

22. Put toddler into car seat, finally securing that he isn’t running away. 

23. Close the car door. 

24. Breathe. 

25. Listen for screaming inside the car. 

26. No screaming? Go inside and check on the status of Hubby and baby. 

27. Change baby from his brother’s pants to his own that fit him. 

28. Put baby into car seat. 

29. Take car-approved snacks to toddler and threenager, who are now screaming. 

30. Go back inside and fill sippy cups.

31. Make a bottle for the baby. 

32. Put in your own shoes. 

33. Grab your tube of mascara for when you’re stopped at a red light. 

34. Locate a bag (any bag) to put diapers, cups, and a bottle in. 

35. Go outside. 

36. Remember the wipes. 

37. Go inside to grab wipes.  

38. See your coffee cup, and grab it. 

39. Go outside. 

40. Remember you were grabbing wipes, not coffee. 

41. Go inside to grab wipes. 

42. See your baby’s favorite chew toy, and grab it. 

43. Put your hand on the doorknob, and remember the wipes. 

44. Grab wipes. 

45. Go outside. 

46. Realize that you haven’t seen Hubby in a while.

47. Go back inside to find Hubby in the bathroom. 

48. Go outside to wait on Hubby. 

49. Threenager has finished her snack and wants more. 

50. Since Hubby isn’t outside yet, go get more snack. 

51. See your purse by the door, and thank the Lord you had to go back to get it.

52. Grab the purse and the snack, and go back outside. 

53. Give the threenager more snack. 

54. Give the toddler more snack, because he is now angry that the threenager got more snack and he didn’t. 

55. See Hubby walk out the door. 

56. Praise Jesus that everyone is outside the house. 

57. Get in the car. 

58. Crank it up, and turn on some preemptive Taylor Swift. 

59. Pull out of the driveway. 

60. Hope for the best. 

So if you’re ever wondering why didn’t attend your event, or why I said we couldn’t go to a play date that was only for an hour… now you know why. I love you, but this is why. 

Whitney Hsu

Whitney is wife to wonderful Ryan, and mama of bold and hilarious Ella Kate, Joseph and Davis. She leads worship at a new campus of an old church, and writes about life, parenting, and the Gospel. When she isn't writing, she's reading, running, making music, and being a foodie. Follow her journey here: Twitter & Instagram @onlyhsuman

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