Because this is what happened:
My mother and step-father drove down to Connecticut from Assachusetts to babysit the kids so I could go into work. They left Assachusetts at 6:30 a.m. (God bless them) so I could leave Mulletville Lite at 9 a.m. and get to New Haven by 10 a.m. (Chuck and I both have hour-long commutes, though mine is only a few days a week.)
Because my step-father had a doctor's appointment in New Haven—with a specialist—he stepped out of his car, said good-bye to my mother, and got into my car so we could drive to New Haven together. Before we left, my mother assured me she would remember to get Everett at pre-school at noon, one town over.
We drove to New Haven. (My step-father and I. Not my mother and Everett. Stay with me!)
When we got to my office, I got out and my step-father got into the driver's seat and drove to his appointment, leaving me without a car.
After my step-father's appointment, he drove to my uncle's house two towns over, to spend the day with him. I kept on working. Falalalala. My mother, still in Mulletville Lite, picked up Everett at pre-school and was home to get Junior off the bus when it came at 4 p.m. Falalalla. And Chuck, who also works two towns over from New Haven but in the opposite direction of my uncle, kept on working. Faalalalla.
Finally, it was 6 o'clock, quitting time. Chuck left his office, drove 30 minutes and picked me up outside my office. From there we drove to my uncle's house to pick up my car. We went inside to say hello, crammed a few slices of pizza in our mouths, said good-bye and made the hour-long drive back to Mulletville Lite, where my mother was waiting.
She said hello, gave me the run down on the day—"Homework's done, dinner is eaten, baths are done, dog pooped, kids pooped and are waiting for kisses"—said good-bye and got back into her car to drive an hour to my uncle's house, where everyone (my aunt, uncle and step-father) was waiting with pizza—and where she and my step-father were spending the night.
Every week we do this.
Every week someone gets dropped off or picked up. Every week my mother and I start with Plan A and end up on Plan L. We joke that one day, by accident, we'll drop off my step-father at pre-school or take Junior to work or put the dog on the bus or, because we're so damn tired and confused, one of us will end up in the Bronx muttering about the plan and how we forgot which plan was the plan.
Could we just hire a local babysitter? Yes, but then I couldn't work part-time and hello, all this driving and picking people up and dropping them off shit is fun. It keeps us mentally agile—and when you have parents in their 70s who babysit you need to keep those suckers on their feet.
Could we buy a mobile home and homeschool the kids on it and just transport everyone to and from New Haven all day? Yes, but Route 2 is so boring, I'd never subject the kids to that.
It's like they say: It takes a village. It just so happens that in our case it takes a few cars too. And a plan. A. Really. Foolproof. Plan.
About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.