With Five Minutes To Go…

Today’s post is inspired by this clip from ‘Finding Nemo.’

For the benefit of the people who are reading this on smartphones in dark rooms as they pray for their small children to fall asleep, here’s a synopsis. This is the scene where Nemo’s dad is trying to ditch Dory. She’s the ditsy, forgetful blue fish (and my favourite, I have to say). In it, he describes her as a ‘delay fish.’ In other words, she is slowing him down.

My kids are delay fish.


It doesn’t matter where we’re going. It could be an exciting trip out, or yet another run up to school. I am the kind of person who hates to be late, so I plan and rush to make sure that we are all dressed and packed with five minutes to go.

All that needs to happen in those five minutes is for everyone to put their shoes and coats on, and grab whatever bags they need the day. In theory this means that we stroll out of the door bang on time, with no stress or flapping.

This does not usually occur in reality. Because apparently, five minutes is enough time to cause a lot of shit.

Now, I’m not talking about the ubiquitous phrase, “I need a wee wee!” This has happened so frequently that it has become boringly predictable. In fact, I’ve started factoring it into our routine. They can’t get one over on me that easily.

Finding themselves beaten, the children have spent time thinking of ever more creative ways to delay our exit from the house. And I’m not going to lie. They’re pretty good at it.

Yesterday morning was a prime example.

We were about to leave. I handed the girls their coats and ran to check through the bags ensuring that they had homework, P.E. bags, etc. Suddenly I heard a scream from the living room.


Big Girl had really excelled herself. On entering the room, I discovered that she had been playing with a witch ring from Hallowe’en. It was much too small for her, but she is not one to be foiled by such trivial things as sizing. Which is a bit of an error.

It was stuck.

Completely wedged on her finger, which was turning a rather unpleasant shade of maroon.

I remember doing such things as a child. A memory of the panic I had felt came back to me as it was mirrored in Big Girl’s eyes. Not a nice feeling.

I gave it a wiggle. Nothing. I pulled a bit harder. The only result was a yelp from Big Girl. Oops!


The time was ticking away. An emergency toilet trip would have been less irritating than this! Thankfully, I managed to get it off in the end with the help of copious amount of olive oil and an unexpected yank while she wasn’t looking.


That left us approximately 3 seconds to get out of the door. And I’m not sure how, but we still got to school on time.

And that’s not exactly an isolated incident. There was also the time Little Girl decided to hide her shoes. That was a funny one.

I am known in this house as The Finder. The fact that only I call myself this is, in my opinion, wholly irrelevant. All that matters is that I am shit hot at finding stuff.

So I was feeling pretty smug. The hidden shoes were merely a small blip. In seconds I would locate the ridiculous place they had been concealed in and we’d be back on track.

I searched the hall. That’s where she took them off, so a logical starting point. Nope! Nothing. I searched the living room, the kitchen, her bedroom. Even behind the toilet. Still nothing.


Not so smug now!

After looking in all the places I had already been I admitted defeat and threw on her tattered play shoes. Still on time, but she did look like a bit of an urchin.

I never found out where the shoes had been hidden. The only thing I can say is that they reappeared in the middle of the hall the very next morning. Is there a poltergeist about?

No. Not unless Little Girl has a new nickname.



And that’s only the start of it. Other delay tactics deployed include:

1. “I’m in a gang at school and we have to wear our uniforms backwards!” Yes. Really.

2. “I caaaaan’t.” Little Girl’s favourite.

3. “I need my sunglasses!” In December.

4. “My tights are falling down!” Actually, I’ve got to cut Little Girl some slack on that one. I dismissed her and rushed up the street, only for her to start waddling as the slid down to her ankles. My bad.

5. And of course, Squeak’s devastating skill at filling a nappy 10 seconds after getting dressed.

Frankly, it’s amazing that I ever get anywhere on time.


Hint: we travel at this speed.

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