8 Reasons You’re Late Leaving The House... Again

Matt Brown
Feb 29, 2024 By Matt Brown
Originally Published on Nov 16, 2020
Always find that you're late leaving the house? We've noted some of the most common reasons why.
Age: 0-99
Read time: 2.6 Min

“Come on, we’re late!”. Anyone with small children will have uttered those words on more than 100 occasions. Getting out the house is a perennial challenge for all of us. Delays can happen for many reasons, but here are the most common.

1. “But it could be anywhere!”. Child decides that NOW is the time to go looking for a tiny, impossible-to-spot toy. You try to fob them off with promises to “look for it when you get back” but it has to be found NOW (even though they haven’t mentioned this particular toy for weeks).

2. “Argghhh. My sleeves!” Layering up always comes with problems. No matter how careful you both are, putting a coat over a jumper always leads to unwanted sleeve migration. Cue, mild panic and demands for a different coat.

3. “Oh, hang on, I forgot…”. You can’t leave the house without forgetting something. Car keys, water, snacks, toiletries, mask, reading material, toy, spare toy, toy for the toy to play with… Usually, you’ll remember just as you’re locking the door. After returning to pick up the item, it’ll happen again with another item. You do the hokey cokey and you turn around…

4. Your youngest child soils their nappy at the precise moment you put your jacket on. Every time. It’s like Pavlov’s dog. The sound of a zipper makes them poop. 

5. You say: “Come on, we’re late!” Child hears: “Would you like to play a random, time-consuming game of hide and seek?”. 

6. “I don’t WANT to go!”. We’ve all experienced the going-out meltdown. Usually, kids love the adventure of heading out somewhere. But every so often they just want to stay put -- especially if it was their idea to go out in the first place. “Fine, well, I’ll go on my own and leave you here, then” just won’t cut it as a tactic. Even the youngest kids know you’d never do that.

7. “Can I just watch to the end of this?”. Sometimes you give in, and let them see the final few minutes of She-Ra, or Paw Patrol, or whatever it might be. But then it ALWAYS turns out to be the feature-length pancake day special or something, and the show doesn’t end for another half an hour. Too late. You said they could watch it.

8. “But I left them there yesterday!” This is the missing shoe problem. Children’s footwear does not behave like adult footwear. Not for them the shackles of the shoe rack or hallway cupboard. A child’s shoes behave like horseshoe crabs, sequestering themselves beneath boxes, nestling under random heaps of clothing, or gamely adventuring behind the back of the sofa. They do not mate for life, and are frequently found at opposite ends of the home.

Anything to add? Tweet us on @KidadlOfficial with suggestions… unless that would delay you getting out.

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Written by Matt Brown

Bachelor of Science specializing in Chemistry, Master of Research specializing in Biomolecular Sciences

Matt Brown picture

Matt BrownBachelor of Science specializing in Chemistry, Master of Research specializing in Biomolecular Sciences

With a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and a Master's in Residency specializing in Biomolecular Sciences and roots in the Midlands, Matt has developed a passion for writing about London. As a former editor and prolific contributor to Londonist.com, he has authored several books exploring the city's hidden gems. In addition to his work, Matt enjoys spending time with his two preschool-aged children.

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