Creative Problem Solving

work-life-balanceEvery Sunday night, I look at the calendar to compare kids’ schedules and find that magical balance again between career and family. Currently, my life feels like one giant and sadistic word problem which I am required to solve on a daily basis.

Here is today’s word problem:

Child A and Child B had the 4 pm slot reserved at the dentist to get their teeth cleaned. Last week, Child B’s appointment had to be rescheduled until June due to an entire month’s worth of play rehearsals. Child A’s appointment was cancelled first thing this morning once I realized she had a track meet this afternoon. In the meantime, Child B is supposed to report to his baseball game exactly 15 minutes after play practice is over–leaving me less than 10 minutes to prepare dinner and commute to the game in rush hour traffic. Oh by the way, Child A & B have two parents who work outside of the home and have limited time to do the important things like making sure baseball uniforms and track suits are clean.

Here are some questions to solve:

  • How is Child A getting home from her track meet which ends at the precise time that Child B is being dismissed from play practice?
  • What can Child B possibly eat that is healthy and nutritious on the car ride from school to the baseball field? Sub-question – What is Child A having for dinner while both parents are at the baseball game?
  • What is the probability that I will be able to get simultaneous dentist appointments for Child A & B before the school year ends?
  • How long before my head explodes?

I must “kvell” for a minute as I tell you I received high marks in creative problem solving today. If you haven’t figured out the answers yet, times up!

Here is your answer key:

  • A newly minted driver in our neighborhood was more than willing and extremely kind enough to pick up Child A from track practice and bring her home. I trust her completely and in my time of need she became my saving grace. I’ll be calling her again soon.
  • Child B ate chicken nuggets from a Ziploc bag on the way to the baseball game. The orange peels on the floor of my car prove he polished off something nutritious as well. EXTRA CREDIT POINTS!: Child A found a Lean Cuisine in the freezer. Good enough!
  • Child A & B are miraculously scheduled for dentist appointments in early June at the same time. I’ll have to pick them both up from school early, but they aren’t learning much at school in June anyway. (Just say a prayer there isn’t an 8th grade picnic that day…)
  • I felt pretty good about the outcome of this crazy Monday. I kept my cool and felt I had everything under control….until I turned the page to Tuesday. Cue the head explosion!

Is it Friday yet?

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