I live a two-minute walk from my son's school. It lets out at 3:15ish.
At 2:30, I get my daughter dressed. Regardless of whether I dressed her in the morning, by 2:30 she is without pants. This involves chasing her around the house waving a pair of pants and a pair socks and yelling "Come here Jadzia!" She does not come when called. The dog does though and he will always attempt to eat the socks.
Jadzia poos around the same time and I'm trying to toilet train her so that means rinsing out a pair of undies. She will not poo on the potty. Ever. A lot of the time she defecates immediately after I've dressed her and I have to dress her again.
Today she wants to wear her new one-piece snowsuit. Once I start dressing Jadzia, our 50-pound puppy gets wind that we are going and runs up, wags his entire body, knocks my daughter over at least twice, and attempts to eat our hats/mitts/boots. I leash him up in a harness that he hates but theoretically discourages him from pulling.
The alarm on my watch is set to 3 pm, just in case I forget the time. It goes off just as we were heading out the door.
After five steps, Jadzia stops to play with the rocks in my neighbour's driveway. This patch of gravel is unremarkable to me, but she will not leave the area voluntarily. At this point I have to carry her. Have you ever tried to carry a three-year-old that doesn't want to be carried? How about one wearing a one-piece snowsuit? How about one-handed while holding the leash of a 50-pound puppy?
I somehow manage to carry Jadzia to the corner. I put her down as soon as we cross the road. Immediately she runs to examine something so close to the street that my heart does a somersault. This time it was a branch.
The rest of the way I "hold Jadzia's hand", which in this case is code for holding her by her forearm to keep her from running into traffic. She falls to her knees like a rag doll forcing me to drag her. Of course I can't really drag her, so I have to pick her up again.
Meanwhile, Worf, the 50-pound puppy, jumps on every person that passes by. Children, parents, whoever. I chant "Sorry. Worf! Leave it! Hey! Sit! He won't bite. He's friendly. Sorry. Sorry" all the way to school.
I put Jadzia down once we reach the kindergarten door. She does not stay near me, but we're not near the road so whatever. She watches William get ready through the window, but when he comes out she runs into the fenced off area for kindergarten recess, or hides behind the fir trees next to the door.
By the time I gather her up, William is way ahead of me. He either doesn't pay attention to where I am or doesn't care. He wants to walk with his friend whose mother is much more efficient at wrangling children. In fact, all the mothers are better at wrangling their children, and their kids stay near them and listen to them. Even their dogs behave.
I tell William to wait and Jadzia to hurry up. I'm yelling into the wind and no one hears me. I concentrate on Jadzia because I know William will not run into the road or do anything crazy. Jadzia stops to lick a metal signpost (seriously). Luckily, it is not cold enough for her tongue to stick. I worry that it will be soon.
I'm so visibly frustrated at this point that a random woman stops to ask me if I'm okay. I mumble that I am. Worf jumps on her daughter. I feel like the worst mother in the schoolyard.
When we finally get home the children dawdle at the end of the driveway. They can tell I'm stressed and this makes them less obedient. I have to count to five to get them to come in the door. Once inside, they do not give me space.