I asked the child to do a simple thing. That right there was my first mistake.
“Mgazi, please get your shoes on. We don’t want to be late for school.”
Mgazi spends the next two minutes dawdling outside her bedroom door playing what she thinks is music on a hot pink harmonica.
“Honey, go get your shoes. Put them on.”
Another two minutes go by. I find Mgazi hunched over the cat bowl, sorting the food into pyramid shaped piles on the floor.
“Mgazi! Put on your shoes!”
Two freakin’ minutes… during which she decides to change from a perfectly sensible dress to a bikini top and pink tutu skirt with a cowboy hat garnish.
“Child, you better put those shoes on! Wait, what the heck are you wearing?”
I start muttering under my breath, realizing that if I don’t leave the house in exactly three minutes I’ll have missed the traffic window. You know the one. If you leave during a 10 minute window of time, you’ll get to your destination right on time, no hassle, no traffic. If, however, you leave a mere 30 seconds after that window of time, you’ll arrive at your destination 45 minutes late and the entire ride will have sucked because you spent it sitting in traffic, giving stinkeye through the rearview mirror to your kid who is still, miraculously, not wearing any shoes.
“MGAZI!! SHOES!!! SHOES!!! SHOES!!!”
She blinks at me. Unclear as to what it is exactly that I’m asking her to do.
“Fine!” She stomps off in her socks, “All you had to do was say so!”