Since Pete's new job is a zillion miles away, I'm responsible for preschool pickup/dropoff and well, let's just say adding that to my daily responsibilities has been uh, challenging. I'm getting my ass handed me to daily. Although, I feel like I got a little bit ahead of it today and have come to some conclusions.
Before this, I'd get up with Lucia at 7, feed her, pick out her outfit, sometimes pack her lunch (sometimes not), listen to NPR, make coffee, pack my lunch and gym bag, and walk a block to the bus stop and be at work by 8:30 at the latest. I'm incredibly lucky to have a boss who doesn't care where or when I work, as long as I'm responsive and get stuff done, but I get totally stressed about not being in by 9 and getting started on my day. I go to the gym around 2 p.m. just about every day, and since starting LE decided that if I need to make up work hours, I'll take my computer home rather than trying to go back downtown to the gym at night. One, because I'm too damn tired at night to get it done and two, it's pretty dangerous after dark where I work (gym is located across the street). It's fine at the actual gym, and there's covered parking, but getting off the highway on the local streets I have to hit about four stoplights and the rare times I've done this, I pray the whole time I won't get carjacked. It's Oakland, after all people.
My point: I like to be in my chair working by 9 at the latest, so that I can leave at a reasonable time and do the whole damn dinner/bedtime thing.
Lucia's preschool is about 5 miles away from home, and the other day it dawned on me, hey! I'm near a BART station. My office is on top another BART station. Therefore, I can take BART to work. This will be great! Mind you, it's the station where Oscar Grant was killed, and it's not the greatest neighborhood. AND carrying my laptop is unnerving in those places, along with my purse and gym bag. But I soldiered on anyway. About 90 minutes later, I posted this on Facebook:
Today at the 11th hour I decided to take BART to work from Lucia's school, albeit a foreign station. After discovering you can't pay for parking with a Clipper card, I bought a ticket, then got yelled at by some BIKERS HAVE RIGHTS dude for going in the wrong entrance (give me a break, dude), went up the wrong platform, scurried to the right platform but got on the wrong train, only to remember that I forgot to pay for parking with the ticket I bought. Got off the train at the next stop, went back to the foreign station, drove in and parked. Today's lesson is DO NOT DEVIATE FROM THE PLAN.
(Also note, that bikers entrance wasn't bikers only, pedestrians can totally use it but bikers are REQUIRED to use it, and he got all pissy that he had to wait for me while I went through it. He even yelled at me and said GET IT TOGETHER LADY. I told him: Look dude, I don't have time for your attitude.)
Last week, the one day I was in the office, I utilized my new parking hangtag and found parking, got on the BART and got to work. It seemed pretty straightforward. Yesterday, the plan all went to hell when Lucia and I overslept. She's my alarm clock, I admit -- or was until yesterday. We scrambled to get out the door despite having lunches and my gym bag packed the night before. By the time I got to the parking lot, there were no spaces. I drove in. Now the cost differential isn't huge: $4.50 to take the BART and park vs. $10 to park 2 blocks from my office. But, Pete's contract job pay (for the length of the contract) will be just enough to cover what we borrowed from the retirement account, so we were hoping to pay that back rather than be all SQUEEEEE LOOOK AT ALL DA MONEY!
So last night, I prepared for today like I was going into war: I got Lucia home and had dinner in the oven in 10 minutes (impressive because it included washing/peeling/chopping vegetables!). While that cooked, I cleaned the kitchen, cleaned out her lunchbox, packed her lunch, and re-packed my gym bag. I found an app that enables me to wake up to NPR versus BEEP BEEP BEEP and set it for 6:30 so I could get a head start on things. I had her breakfast on the table, was dressed and had makeup on by 7 and started on my breakfast. And it all worked. IT WORKED! We were out the door and in the car by 7:32. I was at the BART station by 7:55, only to find no parking spaces. I called Pete and said look, here is the deal. On the days you work from home, you take her in. On the days I take her, I'm driving. It's worth my time to park 2 blocks away and pay the extra $5.50.
And also, it's hard when delegating this kind of stuff between Pete and I and determining ways for us to not feel completely overwhelmed. We are both at capacity; I think I took for granted how easy things were when I could just walk down the street and be on my way to work. But nothing is forever, I keep telling myself. Until then, I've got the basic game plan to get us into a groove so it doesn't feel so mind-blowingly stressful day-in, day-out.