Silly me. I thought finding a time for me and my three daughters to take simultaneous tennis lessons was complicated. No. Not compared to getting all of us to said lessons.
Getting all of us to the gym, which meant leaving the house before 9 a.m., required not only the gear for the lesson, but also the gear to go straight to school afterward. I realized the night before I might have bitten off more than I could chew, so I set off to pack up everyone's "gym bag."
I got to thinking of the days before children when I was a perpetual triathlete in training. Packing up the night before was required to make getting to and from workouts and my job as smoothly as possible. There was the swim bag ready to go for the 5:30 a.m. masters swim class that also contained everything necessary to dress for work. I'm not sure if it was the collapse of "big hair" or my triathlete training that made me do away with any and all hair appliances except for a hair dryer. I only forgot to pack shoes once or twice.
But I also had to pack a bag for the after-work workout, either the run kit or bike kit, which would also require getting bike, bike shoes and helmet in the trunk. Then I had my heart rate monitor, water bottles, hydration of choice, and a snack if I wanted to survive it all. My trunk became a traveling transition area.
So I thought back fondly to this challenge of trying to remember it all as I packed a bag for each of my three daughters, making sure they each had underpants and a pair of shoes. In my diligence I almost forgot the diaper bag, but managed to make sure The Boy had everything he needed for the morning too.
Even though I had prepared the night before, getting all four kids in the car on time proved to be a challenge (i.e. everyone had a meltdown before backing out of the driveway over some petty issue) and I got to my court a few minutes late.
Without my own damn gym bag.
I managed. I borrowed a racquet. I did not have dry clothes to change in afterward. I smelled all the way home. But my kids had everything they needed.
Well, almost everything. Their tennis coach said to me as I picked up the girls after their lesson.
"Don't forget to bring their water bottles next time."
Addendum 1/12/10: We made it to our tennis lessons this morning without any fits (bribed with cookies) and I got to my court with 5 minutes to spare and with my gym bag and extra water bottles. I did not, however, book an appointment for The Boy, so I had to beg him into the childcare center. I'm convinced I will never be able to pull it all together, ever.