On your marks, get set…

Some days when you get out of bed you might as well have someone fire a starter’s pistol over your head. At least that way you’d know that the race was officially on for the day.

Yesterday was one of those. I woke up after admittedly staying up a tad too late the night before (but for a good reason this time!) to the Puddinette saying, “We have to get going, we’re late.”

“BAM” went the starter’s pistol.

At that moment, I had 25 minutes to be ready to walk out the door to put the kids on the bus before leaving for work. Luckily, all the school age kids have their own alarm clocks, which apparently work better than my own. They were already largely dressed and ready for final Puddinette inspection before she fed them breakfast. Even more luckily, given my time constraints, I was raised a student of the PuddinPa school of Getting Ready Like a Jack Rabbit.

When I was kid and my parents were getting ready to go out somewhere, I’d always marvel at how my mom would start “getting ready” sometimes two hours in advance of their stated departure time while my dad would be completely unprepared with only 30 minutes to go. When I’d ask him about it, he’d always reply that “I’ll get ready quick as a jack rabbit.” Inevitably, he’d be decked out and exuding suave and English Leather with 10 minutes to spare. Then he’d do the obligatory waiting for her to finish..

A man will be ready when it’s time to go; a woman will be ready when she’s ready. It’s the natural order of things.

At any rate, 15 minutes after lurching out of bed, I was showered, shaved, dressed, and ready for bus stop duty, quick as a jack rabbit. After seeing the kids off, I made the daily commute, which was, as usual, full of, well, other commuters. I managed to avoid any 8:20 road rage and got to work on time, so I figured it a success.

When it comes to work though, I had one of those days. For reason beyond mortal understanding, there appears to be a direct proportion to the amount of things one needs to accomplish in a day and the number of high-priority interruptions one’s going to have to deal with. Yesterday I had a bunch of stuff that needed doing, so, of course, I little chance to do any of it. I guess it’s Fate’s way of keeping me from feeling all accomplished and getting too pleased with myself.

After a hectic day at the office, I got home just in time to depart again, this time with the wife and puddinlings in tow. It was Fat Tuesday, after all, which can only mean one thing: yes, our church’s annual Fat Tuesday Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner. What? You were expecting hurricanes and beads, perhaps? I’m afraid I’m a little removed from that lifestyle. I might have considered offering the wife a string of beads, but that would have resulted in the “are you kidding me?” look and the suggestion that I could help the kids make bracelet crafts if I was so interested in bead-work.

I’m not really a “craft” kind of guy. Exhibit A: stick figure “drawings”.

Silliness aside, the spaghetti dinner was very good, the kids all got to make edible necklaces of pretzels, candy, and cereal bits, and my very own Princess Puddin won an art contest. Not a bad dinner at all.

Of course, good dinner or not, it did throw a wrench in the standard evening schedule, which was even more jacked up by a rare Tuesday night hockey game. So we raced home from the Fat Tuesday festivities just in time to get the kids all bathed and half of them bedded before I left, again.

Now, as a rule, my hockey games aren’t all that important. But last night was a playoff game. Obviously, the playoffs in a recreational beer league Are Very Important, Indeed. I’d say it was at least as important as making sure I have matching socks each morning. Yeah, well, it’s not like our league has a championship cup where the winner’s names are individually inscribed for all time. At any rate, we lost a game we shouldn’t have lost, and there was a decided lack of rejoicing, but then we got over it.

Finally, nearing midnight, I returned home for a much needed shower and a few precious moments of relaxation. Not surprisingly, I promptly fell asleep in my chair. For once, I was perfectly okay with that.

I stumbled to bed around 4:30 AM.

My alarm went off this morning at 6:30. With sleepy eyes and sore muscles, I sat on the edge of the bed for a moment and collected myself.

Busy day ahead, I thought, and then lurched to the shower contemplating my need for coffee.

And “BAM” went the starter’s pistol.