Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Buddy System Begins

Systems are good. They work for McDonald's, large families and human digestion. The more planned-out and  prayed-over  the system, the greater the benefit from using it. The more variables involved in any given process, the more necessary a system becomes.  If even folks like the Duggars, who have crafted for themselves a life apparently void of many variables, need the Buddy System, then perhaps I do as well.

Case in point, the children and I went on our very first outing alone since Babydoll's arrival to run a few errands this week. Mr. Visionary had put me on restriction during my last trimester, as going into labor in public with six children in tow did not meet his standard for prudence. It had been ages since the last time I was out alone with the children, hence, we were not only out-of-practice, but in our former outings, everyone could walk, and the whole process involved one less carseat. Variables, you know.

Throughout our preparations to leave home (a full-hour process from the time I said, "OK, I think we're ready-let's get our shoes on".), as I was, I realized that we were sorely lacking in the system department. The old "system" (Mom standing fully ready, chanting, "You-go get a sippy cup",  "You-make sure there are wipes in the bag", etc.) would no longer work. Not that it was a well-oiled machine before, but with fewer variables, we could wing it.

These days, with diapers that flood on the way out the door, the weather changes necessitating a whole new arsenal of excursion paraphernalia, and a new van-seating arrangement to get used to, the Buddy System has become a requirement for sanity smooth exiting strategy. The Buddy System involves an older child being paired up with a younger child to help them with miscellaneous tasks. In a pre-departure moment, this would involve Literary Lady double-checking Babydoll's  diaper bag for 14 diapers, 12 changes of clothes, burp towels, etc., The Flower Child packing a snack for Doodle and making sure her shoes and socks stay on the entire 50 feet from the mudroom door to the van, the Engineer helping Little Napoleon tie his shoes, and The Dreamer making sure Mom has her keys, glasses, purse, directions, grocery list, etc.

I'm making lists for the Buddies to post by the back door, packing emergency backups in the van, and planning in an extra hour to get out the door.

If that doesn't work, I'm going back to never leaving home with the children without Mr. Visionary. Somehow emergencies always seem like adventures with him around.

1 comment:

  1. I had to smile at your mention of "the Duggars". I simply adore what they have done for the perception by the public of a large family. They too made me think - wish my faith had not been so weak when we decided to take permanent birth control measures. Keep up the good work. I have only two but your are definitely an encouragement in the way you relate to your kids. Take Care,


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