Kids make you late. Everyone knows this but not everyone understands this. I had a good friend once tell me that you should get a fifteen minute grace period per kid. I wholeheartedly agree with her. No matter how much of an on time person you are, a toddler will make you late at least seventy-five percent of the time.

For those of you who don’t have kids and wonder why those of us with kids can’t be on time, please read the following. This truly is what it is like most of the time to get out of the house with a toddler.


Step One

You tell the toddler you need to leave in 5 minutes to be on time. Naturally, the toddler doesn’t necessarily understand you or pretends not to hear you and continues in whatever activity they were engaged in.

Step Two

You wrangle the toddler to the floor to force shoes upon him. No matter what, these will not be the shoes he wanted to wear even if he was asking to wear them earlier when you had nowhere to go. After several minutes of struggling, you finally get both feet covered with socks and shoes.

Step Three

You attempt to get all of your stuff ready to go and the diaper bag ready. Your toddler has probably hidden at least one thing you need so you now have to go on a treasure hunt for it. During this process, the toddler takes something else out of the diaper bag and hides it while you find the other hidden thing.

Step Four

As your devious toddler is hiding the new object, he runs past you and you get a whiff of poop. It is toddler law that you must poop right before you head out the door and after the shoes have been wrangled onto your feet.

Step Five

You take off the shoes that you worked so hard to get on, to take the pants off, to change the poopy diaper. Meanwhile the toddler has decided this would be an opportune time to test his gymnastic skills mixed with interpretive floor dancing all while screaming loudly. You finally manage to get the new diaper on, the pants back on, and somehow get those darn shoes back on.

Step Six

You double check that you have everything in the diaper bag and discover the most recently taken-to-hide object is missing. You go on another treasure hunt. But this time you remember to put the diaper bag out of the toddler’s reach.

Step Seven

You are now at least ten minutes late leaving. You scoop up the toddler that doesn’t want to go, even though they desperately wanted to “go, go, go!” earlier. You struggle your way all the way to the car with diaper bag, toddler, and your sanity in tow.

Step Eight

Your aspiring gymnast/dancer shows off his moves again while you try to buckle him into the car seat. This time the beautiful dance routine involves a series of intricate kicks, arched back maneuvers, and a shrill but moving vocal solo. Snacks are offered as compensation for this emotion evoking performance.

Step Nine

You are finally in the driver’s seat and ready to leave for the place that you needed to be at half an hour ago. You realize you made yourself coffee but it is still sitting in your untouched mug under the Keurig. You decide to just microwave it when you get home (and maybe just run through the Starbucks drive through on your way. I mean, you’re already late, you might as well be late and caffeinated).

The next time your friend shows up half an hour late, holding Starbucks, and looking overly frazzled, top off her coffee, take the crazy tiny person, and forgive her for being late. She’s been through a lot this morning.


How does going anywhere with a toddler go for you? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Love, love, LOVE this! Everything is SO true…getting out the door with a toddler really should be an Olympic sport! From a fellow mom who is perpetual hot mess with Starbucks in her hand…Thank you for writing this!

  2. All u can say us I can use all the advice in this department, my first is almost one and already walking, let’s just say Christmas shopping was a marathon lol. thanks for sharing.

  3. I can so relate. I try to bribe with sweets or I try to be goofy or sing anything! Sometimes one of those help lol

  4. This sounds pretty much correct! My 3 year old finally decided to be completely potty trained, so if I switch “change poopy diaper” to “claiming he has to go number 2” then this is my life! He uses this trick now at rest time, any eating time and especially when we need to get out the door like 15 minutes ago!

  5. This is so true! My baby is only 5 weeks old and cannot do most of that, but I still somehow end up running late (and that is totally not me, I am always the early one!) I cannot imagine how hard it will be when she is up moving around!

  6. This is so funny and so true! I was always late before I had a kid, but now it’s even worse! Getting her into the car seat after all that is the WORST, especially when she throws a fit!

  7. Haha!! This is great! I definitely have to plan more time when getting ready to go anywhere with the toddler. Especially now that he is potty trained…it take a bit to convince him he needs to go to the bathroom before we go anywhere. And yes, it always seems that when he decides to go it is pooping.

  8. Love this! I have a 5 year old and it takes Forever to get him out the house and somehow he still manages to get in the van with no shoes! Lol

  9. This is so true haha it’s stressful trying to get out of the house! Glad I’m not the only one!

  10. Oh my goodness, this takes me back to my daughter’s toddler days… but then again, come to think of it, now that she’s 6, going anywhere with her STILL seems to take forever! Ha! – Corey

  11. This post bought back memories. These days my only issue is kids telling me they are ready when they still don’t have shoes on. it get’s easier

  12. Haha gotta love the honesty!

  13. Haha this is hilarious and so true. Thanks for the comic relief 🙂


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