I’m trying to help Ruthie develop some much needed independence. If she could have her way, we would do everything for her–including walking and chewing her food. She’s curious, but not adventurous. It doesn’t help that she is, well, really weak. She doesn’t have the strength that you typically associate with a growing toddler. On the contrary, she has this super flexible, low-muscle tone body that can twist itself into pretzels but struggles to get up a flight of stairs.

When she does express interest in doing something on her own, the last thing I want to do is stifle that.

And that’s why I tend to be late to things these days.

Because it takes approximately and hour and a half for her to climb into the car. Okay, fine, about six minutes, but STILL. It’s a long freaking process.

If you have ever parented, cared for, or hung out with a toddler, perhaps this will seem familiar.

I now present: Ruthie Tries to Get in the Car: A Photo Essay.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next time you have a friend with a kid who is late, just assume that they forgot–once again–to budget in time for the process of getting into the car.