1. Pack nappy bag/backpack the night before.
2. Begin preparation to leave ninety minutes before you need to walk out the door.
3. Look outside and see ominous grey clouds. Check weather site and see that there is rain on the way but decide it shouldn’t hit for a while.
4. Dress yourself.
5. Change baby’s nappy and put fresh clothes on. Make mental note to self to find where you’ve hidden the next size of clothes – you can’t stretch these ones much more.
6. Observe out the window that the ominous clouds look even more threatening. Add extra layer of clothes to baby.
7. Lay out toddler’s clothes and fresh nappy. Inform toddler it is time to get dressed.
8. Realise today’s negotiations are going to be hostile. Tell toddler he can bring Toy Of The Day in to keep him company while he gets changed.
9. Lift toddler and dump truck onto change table (note to self: do more push-ups). Feel immense gratitude that the adjoining unit is empty as toddler yells his mispronounced appreciation for his dump truck (I’ll give you a hint – there’s an F involved).
10. Start undressing toddler.
11. Consider various travel configuration options for the day – toddler in pram, baby in Ergo; baby in pram, toddler walking; or both in pram. Feel uncertain of which option to choose – all three have their pluses and minuses.
12. Focus attention on job at hand and retrieve rejected fresh clothes from the ground.
13. In a rare flash of parenting genius, tell toddler the Toy Of The Hour needs to ‘fix’ his clothes. Drive oversized dump truck over today’s outfit in desperate hope it will be deemed acceptable.
14. Lower dressed toddler to the ground and herd into bathroom.
15. Prise open toddler’s mouth and attempt to brush teeth.
16. Inform toddler he isn’t allowed to go on a train with unbrushed teeth. Grudgingly accept this is too much to believe when toddler eyes you skeptically.
17. Return to living room to get shoes on toddler. Source socks and shoes and apply liberally to toddler. Look at clock and realise you need to leave in two minutes and the baby is now asleep.
18. Begin to notice an offensive odour emanating from toddler’s nappy. Return toddler to change table with latest Toy Of The Half-Hour (airplane). Change soiled nappy of
stinky octopus toddler.
19. Return to living room, and realise it is now pouring outside. Remind yourself that meteorology is not a part of a Bachelor of Nursing.
20. Change toddler’s shoes for gumboots and tell toddler it is time to go and jump in muddy puddles. Put raincoats on yourself and toddler and pick up small umbrella.
21. Pick up sleeping baby and backpack and leave house with toddler and new Toy Of The Quarter-Hour (T-Rex). Place no-longer-sleeping baby in pram.
22. Wrestle rain cover onto pram. Exit into rain holding toddler’s hand and pram hand. Put umbrella away due to biological failing (no third hand).
23. Realise you’ve been using the rain cover the wrong way for seven months. Fix cover so entire pram now stays dry.
24. Point out muddy puddles to toddler and encourage him to jump in them. Ignore raindrops slowly making their way down your back.
25. Tell toddler his boots are supposed to get muddy when he jumps in puddles and he needs to continue wearing his boots.
26. Feed bare-foot toddler into bottom of pram under rain cover in pouring rain. Post gumboots into front basket. Tell yourself umbrellas are for the weak and many-handed.
27. Move quicker than before now both kids are contained and arrive at destination 15 minutes late rocking the drowned rodent look.