Apparently, the school, the coaches, my kids and bill collectors expect me to have this calendar completed overnight, memorized and clearly visible so all can refer to it in an emergency — which notoriously is always immediately before leaving the house! Is there a vein bulging on my forehead?
In my wild and crazy single days, before I added my fabulous husband and my 2.34 children into the mix, there was no need for color-coding my schedule. Unless you counted birthdays, which were highlighted and circled in red (only mine, of course. I was young and hadn’t learned the life skill of thinking of others yet.) and “Rockin’ Parties,” which were equally emphasized and eagerly attended.
If my current calendar preparation were in the pre-computer/smartphone days, I would be arm wrestling my kids for pretty pastel highlighters, which I might add are permanent and do not come out of children’s clothing, wallpaper or microfiber furniture.
But with today’s technology, I can open up the computer and leisurely take the 642 emails bestowed from the school district and the rest of the metro-wide population, and enter each child’s activity, making sure to use a different color for each child. Easy breezy!
For example, there are fantastic field trips, fun early school dismissals, teacher professional development days (aka no school!), school holiday parties, unknown holiday school closings, known holiday school closings, practices for stuff, games for that stuff, rehearsals for other stuff, and recitals in other cities.
Now don’t roll your eyes at me, for I am not one of those parents who has to have her kids in every activity. I’m old. You think I have energy to create those calendars? But what about parents who have four, five, or a litter of kids? How does the Duggar family with kids a-plenty figure out where their children are? Just ring the bell for dinner and hope, fingers-crossed, you get all 19 home?
So if you are planning on having a gaggle of children, my best advice to you is to name them the designated color ahead of time. That way you will associate them with said color from birth. Go ahead and dress them accordingly as well because let’s face it, you won’t have any brain cells left to remember all those names.
“Tan, Jade, Lilac! Get in the double-decker bus so we can pick up a cart of groceries for tonight’s dinner. And tell your brothers, Yeller and Puce, to set the table!”
See? Easy breezy! You looked at your straightforward family calendar and those colors jumped out and presented your speaking lines in your real life play.
By the time Thanksgiving rolls around this year, I should be up to mid-October on my family’s calendar. Easy…breezy…
Is there a vein bulging on my forehead?
Stacey Hatton is a pediatric registered nurse, writer and public speaker. Her humor blog can be found at http://nursemommylaughs.com.