For the Love of Lists


7:30 am – make sure the kids are out of bed

8:00 am – drive the kids to school – MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THEIR LUNCHES!

3:30 pm – kids come home from school


9:30 am – drop B off at soccer game (NOT PRACTICE FIELD!!!)

10:30 am – drop R off at bus

11:30 am – soccer team meeting and lunch

1:45 pm – pick up T. Drive to improv class. DON’T BE LATE!

No, this is not a couple of pages ripped from my calendar, it’s part of a list I am creating for my husband so I can leave for the weekend for the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop and know that my husband will NOT FORGET TO PICK UP OUR SON FROM HIS SOCCER GAME. I should be packing or practicing my wittiest lines or at the very least reviewing the weekend schedule but, no, I’m making lists…in bold and mostly in caps.

I like lists. Lists make me happy; they keep me organized and I love the feeling of running a line through a finished task. I don’t, however, like making lists for others.

It makes me cranky.

Even though the list I am currently drafting is more for my benefit then my husband’s, every time I need to make him one I get a little annoyed.

Shouldn’t my husband of 21 years, the man who has lived in this house for the entire length of our children’s lives, know WHAT TIME THE KIDS GO TO SCHOOL?!

(A couple of years ago he tried to drop our then middle-schooler off at the elementary school.  I don’t note which their schools on my list even though I am tempted…)

I know I’m not alone. I know that I am not the only mother who takes these steps before she leaves her children in the care of their significant others. Perhaps not with the intensity that I do though…

I have one friend who claims that she can just leave and her husband will figure it out. That might be true but she will never really know. Before she leaves, she arranges the carpools and the sitters and makes sure her kids have somewhere to go after school just in case their dad forgets when the kids were going to be home or that they needed a ride to baseball practice.

She orchestrates her kids’ schedules just like I do, the only difference is she skips the list and gets other moms and/or neighbors involved as backup.

I guess I could stop whining about the lists and just skip them all together. Really, what’s the worst thing that could happen: the kids would be late for school or my youngest would get stranded at a soccer game?

That won’t happen.

My kids know what time they are supposed to be at school.  They will remind my husband (or hound him depending on how late they are running) and my husband will drive them—or they will walk or get another ride. And my youngest will not be left on the soccer field because there will be other mothers there who will notice him sitting alone on the field and will make sure that he has a ride…that is if he doesn’t call his dad first.

No, the worst thing that could happen is that they will call me.

Yes, it makes me feel better that someone knows where my kids are and where they are supposed to be but it also makes me feel better that I can ignore the frantic texts asking me where the soccer game is or what time track practice ends?

It’s on the list and I, will be out.


13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stuart Lissner on April 10, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Funny and true! Hope I get it right the next time.



  2. Posted by james on April 10, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Boy, your husband must be in the dog house. It’s a wonder there are no other things on the list.

    7:00 pm S to watch Bulls game.
    9:00 pm S to watch Game of Thrones.
    10:30 S to brush his teeth.
    10:45 S to text his wife and let her know that he (mostly) finished the day’s list.

    To be fair to S – and husbands everywhere – there are some things we do that do not require reminding. Important things.

    Who sets the DVR to record the right shows? Who changes the clocks twice a year and replaces the smoke detector batteries? Who is there to be the butt of family jokes and blog posts? Who is there to explain sports penalties? Who is there to make poker game plans with old friends they have not seen in a while? Who reminds his wife about the things she forgot to do that were on her list?

    It is all about division of labor. I am sure S is doing his fair share. Right S?



  3. Posted by The Simple White Rabbit on April 10, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I love lists too. I’m trying to get my son to make himself to-do lists but he’s 14, so I’m always wrong.



  4. Posted by Mary Kakavas on April 12, 2014 at 12:39 am

    I loved it. Great writing Connie.



  5. Posted by Lori Ruskin on April 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I loved this posts and feel that you’re writing directly to me as I can completely relate to it in every aspect. You’re a great writer and Amen on the list writing…can’t live without them!



  6. Its like we are soul mates.
    I don’t even think my husband knows my youngest plays soccer.



  7. I can so relate– I had a similar list and I even typed it out so my husband couldn’t blame any mistakes he might make on my sloppy handwriting. Great to see you at EBWW!



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