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39 minutes until I need to leave for yoga. I want coffee.

“Dylan, do you want to come to the coffee shop with me?” She does. “Ok,” I say, “But we’ve got to hustle.” She nods her head yes. She has committed to the hustling. Then, she immediately wanders off to our computer, climbs up onto the desk chair and begins randomly pecking on the computer board and doodling on birthday invitations. I’ve known a lot of hustle in my day and that is definitely not it.

37 minutes until I need to leave for class. I still want coffee.

To me, “hustle” means, “to hurry, to move rapidly, to take action energetically, to get your groove on.” Dylan has a more avant-garde interpretation. To a 3-year-old like herself, the word appears to have several meanings: (1) Promise to get dressed and then start investigating and dismantling my parent’s stuff until one of them notices (2) Run in circles around the kitchen island until I slip, cry, search for mommy to give kisses to my severe yet invisible, nonexistent injury, then repeat circles (3) Find baby sister, make her laugh, hug her tightly, maybe just pinch her neck a bit, she likes that, oh wait, she’s crying, maybe she doesn’t, I’ll pinch her one more time to see if she likes it now.

None of these definitions is getting me any closer to a large skim cafe mocha.

36 minutes to yoga. “Dylan, get dressed. Come on. Or else I’m leaving without you.” My threat and my full focus has finally got Dylan moving at a rate of thick, heavy syrup. I’ll take it.

Toddlers don’t just move slowly. They move in reverse. You get one sock on and they’ve removed their shirt to wear a different one. You finally get their coat on, turn your back for point 3 seconds to get your own jacket and the coat is off so he or she can put it on themselves.

32 minutes left. Dylan is dressed. We’ve got some real momentum now. We are out the door. Caffeine is within my reach. Just a few blocks.

“We’re walking too fast,” she insists. This immediately jolts me back to walking in the city with my mom years ago. We are late for a broadway show. She’s walking briskly. Cold air is slapping me in the face. With every block, I am trailing farther and farther behind. She’s getting impatient. She wants to use the ladies room before the play starts. We must hurry. I’m trying. Why is she walking so fast?

Fast forward. 24 minutes until yoga. I scoop Dylan up and lug her the last block. We have made it. We make it back. There’s no time to finish my coffee. I’m off to yoga class. I leave Rick and the two girls, all of whom, thankfully, have no where to be.

mama bird notes


I’ve become a real juice lover these days. I’m talking about the juicy website Vital Juice Daily. No Paris and Britney gossip here – just fabulous tips on living a healthier, more organic, greener life. The juice girls will send you a free, daily email with trends and tidbits on nutrition, fitness, healing, beauty, green living and social responsibility. It’s a much more refreshing and inspirational way to start your morning than a glass of OJ. Plus, they are launching a mommies-only weekly edition soon. What could be sweeter than that? You’ll be a juice addict in no time.

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7 Responses to the slow hustle

  • Alex says:

    I was trying to get Noa out of the house yesterday to run some errands with me. I gave her breakfast after which she needed to play. After some play time I changed her diaper and put her in a nice, clean outfit. Then she puked on the outfit – too much rolling around after breakfast. So I changed her into another clean outfit. Then she walked over to the cat's water bowl and submerged both hands into it, soaking her shirt sleeves. Then came the third outfit and a struggle to get the socks and shoes on… I think it took about an hour and a half to get out the door.

  • Erin says:

    Well getting out of the house with a 4 mo old is no picnic either. Trying to coordinate anytime we go anywhere so I can nurse her and immediately put her in the car so she will hopefully sleep and not scream the whole way to our destination. This means packing the diaper bag and loading the car ahead of time, then diaper changing and praying she doesn't poop between the feeding and getting in the car seat, feeding her and hoping she gets drowsy but not to the point where she falls asleep and then I have to try to get her in the car seat without waking her or making her mad…then its the dash to the car, buckle us up and take off like I am in Nascar to put her to sleep….whew….so not very encouraged that it doesn't get easier but there are just a whole other type of challenges getting out of the house as she gets older.
    Oh the Vital Juice Daily website has some good chicken recipes…tell Rick!! :-}

  • Nona says:

    I almost spit MY coffee out reading this. I am constantly amazed at how slowly my three year old can move. Thank goodness it's not just her… Love you blog!!

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kelcey kintner