Last night, Sig Other announced that he no longer wished to receive emails about schedule or plans. Those emails, he explained, create too much clutter in his inbox and those things were better discussed in an end-of-day meeting. Good point, I thought. But I also knew that mere discussion was not enough. So I set about creating a system whereby Sig Other’s assistant, my assistant, our beloved Jake (part time house assistant and manny) and Ex-Wife all received information in one email that could then be disseminated into our various calendars. I created a Movement Order. A Movement Order originated as a military term. It’s also commonly used in production and is generally a memo with instructions for moving large groups from one place to another. My first Movement Order was not, however, about moving a large group. It was meant to move one small boy.
I should point out that Child Two is not actually small. He’s rather large for his age, taking after his father who stands around 6’4”. None of us will be surprised if Child Two overtakes his papa before high school graduation rolls around. But he is only ten and so in spite of the fact that he can easily physically overpower me and his mother, he’s just a little boy. And a sweet, sweet little boy at that. So the fact that it takes a movement order and four adults to manage the to-ing and fro-ing of one ten year old boy over a four day period is a little mind blowing.
It begins like this. Ex-Wife has the children one weekend a month so that she can enjoy them sleeping in, partaking in weekend activities and hanging out rather than the hustle and bustle of weekday life. So one week a month we have them during the week. This is always a little in flux, particularly now that Child One drives and wants a more flexible schedule. But that is basically the arrangement during the school year and we try to stick to it (work travel schedules notwithstanding). Child Two, like me, loves a schedule.
But this week is slightly different in that Ex-Wife has a volunteer commitment on Saturday. And as a big supporter of volunteerism as well as a supporter of Ex-Wife’s extracurricular life, I told her I would be happy to help out with transportation of Child Two that day. Even as I made the offer, I realized I had already scheduled all of my personal maintenance for that Saturday – cut, color and facial were already booked and if rescheduled would have to wait another month. But not to worry, as self-appointed General of the UPCO and UPCT (United Parents of Child One and Child Two), I would figure it out.
An email was immediately sent out to Sig Other’s assistant, my assistant, Jake and Ex-Wife. It went like this:
MOVEMENT ORDER FOR CHILD TWO
Ex-wife - pick boy up from school, take him to doctor and drop him at our house.
Sig Other - leave work early to come home to boy.
Me - cancel pilates, drop boy off at school (stopping first to drop half-breed dog at vet). Race to Santa Monica from school for morning mtg.
Sig Other – following lunch mtg in BH pick up boy at school
Me – leave work early to come home to boy so Sig Other can attend Back To School night at Child One’s school
Me – drop boy at school
Ex-Wife – pick up boy and take to soccer
Me – pick boy up from Ex-Wife’s house and drop at Hebrew school (boy should already be dressed in soccer gear) – race to hair appt.
Jake – pick up child early from Hebrew school, feed and take to soccer
Sig Other – return from Saturday morning bike ride and go to child’s soccer game. Return home until Ex-Wife retrieves child.
This gave me enormous satisfaction. I wondered aloud what we did before Child One could drive, what people with only two parents do and (God forbid) how a single parent household managed. It takes a village. Or in this case, a Movement Order.