Step One: Start at t-minus 10 minutes till you have to leave the house (preferably to pick up your child from school).
Step Two: Put away all the groceries you just purchased in your small window of kid-free-dom – even the dry goods that can wait until your child safely arrives home. Run up and down the basement stairs to the pantry in a frantic exercise routine (it’s all you get anyway).
Step Three: Stash the candy canes you bought at deep discount in a spot where they won’t be found till next Christmas (you hope) – there’s so much sugar in them they’ll taste the same a year from now anyway.
Step Four: Forgo carrying a purse in favor of a fistful of keys – car and house on two separate rings. Better yet, at least one with no ring.
Step Five: Cram as many cardboard recyclables (empty now from all the granola bars you oh-so-efficiently placed in their tins) as you can into your other fist so as to deposit them in the bin in the garage on your way to the car. This is so much easier and convenient than making a separate trip.
Step Six: Use both hands to crush said cardboard into the overflowing recycling bin.
Step Seven: Dance around all the junk in the garage to locate the stockpile of reusable grocery bags that would’ve been useful about an hour ago. Pick things up, move them around, especially with the hand holding the mess of keys.
Step Eight: Throw reusable bags into trunk with great aplomb and slam the lid.
Step Nine: Run to the driver’s side door in a panic to hit the trunk release because you think you just shut your keys in there.
Step Ten: Pull apart every reusable bag, snapping one of those infernal plastic liners meant to stabilize the bottom of the bag because it’s so friggin’ cold out.
Step Eleven: Don’t find your keys.
Step Twelve: Avoid looking at your watch because you know your 10 minutes is close to elapsing.
Step Thirteen: Begin to fling toilet paper rolls and the mangled remains of Monster High boxes out of the recycling bin imagining your state-of-the-art, extremely expensive electronic key fob in a heap at the dump.
Step Fourteen: Remember the slight echo of that rubberized plastic fob hitting cement, somewhere.
Step Fifteen: Dance around all the junk in the garage again, lay nearly on your belly, and find key under red wagon.
Step Sixteen: Arrive at child’s school directly behind the mom who called ahead saying she’d be late and yet still stands on the steps in a sweaty panic. Act as if nothing happened and you meant to arrive at this time, key in hand.