I've had a couple of discussions with friends in the last week about getting someplace on time. Punctuality does seem to be a dying art. However, since I am, as my beloved husband has dubbed me, "compulsive punctual," we have developed a system to get the crew out of the house and to our destination on time. Well, most of the time!
The key is to stop determining when to leave solely based on how long it takes to get someplace. That is only one factor in the equation. The real question is: How long does it take everyone concerned to find matching shoes, put on those shoes, go to the bathroom, go out to the van, come back in for a book, go back out to the van, come back in from the van to go to the bathroom again, only to go back out and get buckled in? Also, remember that the toddler waits to fill her diaper until just two minutes before departure.
Once you've calculated the time it takes for this Departure Routine, add that to the travel time. Subtract the total time from what time you need to be at your destination and you now have what we Stumpfs call "Shoes On Time."
For example: Church starts at 10am. We would like to be there by 9:50. It takes 25 minutes to drive there. Our Departure Routine takes 15 minutes in the summer (more in winter - coats and mittens!) for a total time of 40 minutes. Therefore the Shoes On Time is 9:10.
That is the only time we will mention all morning. That is what we aim for. When that time rolls around, Bryan or I yell out "Shoes On Time," and the flurry of activity begins. I'm not always (ok, never) even ready myself by this point. But I can continue to brush my teeth during the bathroom runs and shoe hunts.
Bottom line, don't think in terms of "What time do we need to leave?" Decide what time you need to put your shoes on!