On my former blog (you can see the archives here) I once wrote about having three kids. At the time I said something like, "it's easy in some ways - like the baby stage - and difficult in other ways - like parenting my older kids." Now that I'm 7.5 months into the whole thing, I have a rather different perspective. This is what parenting three kids really looks like on a daily basis.
Scene I: Nap Time
All three kids are screaming for various reasons: the 4 year-old wants a different lunch; the 3 year-old wants to watch a fire truck show; the baby wants to be picked up and probably nursed. I grab the baby and attempt to reason with the 4 year-old regarding her lunch only to have her scream at me, throw various items, and run to her room. The 3 year-old, in the meantime, is so tired he starts making random messes - pouring orange juice all over the table and floor, dumping cereal out into the pantry, emptying out the toy boxes - so I gently lead him into his room and put him on his bed. I try to nurse the baby while reading a story to the 3 year-old only to have the 4 year-old, a little happier now, run in and start demanding different stories. The 4 and 3 year-old soon start jumping on and off the bed, on and off me, and running around the room. As I'm still nursing the baby I can only parent from afar and, by this point, I'm a bit beyond patient parenting. After several attempts to convince all the kids to just lay down and sing songs with me, I huddle in the corner with a dazed look on my face pretending I'm on a shady beach, book in hand, soaking up the sun rays.
Scene II: Post Nap Time Debacle
Since nap time probably didn't happen, thanks to the shenanigans mentioned above, I try a new method.
"Okay kids, go play in the back yard (weather permitting) or down stairs with your toys."
If I'm lucky, the baby is asleep and I fool myself into thinking I can get some homework done. But, before being able to start on homework, I must take care of all the random liquids and foods spilling from various places in the kitchen (so I can work in the kitchen and keep tabs on all the kids). Fifteen minutes in, the 3 year-old has tried to escape down the street multiple times, the 4 year-old has come in demanding a snack 79 times, and the baby has decided she's not tired anymore. So, with a semi-messy kitchen and a pile of homework still to complete, I sit on the floor and contemplate the possibility of cloning another me.
Three kids means more of everything - more crying, more messes, more battles, more hugs, more kisses, MORE.
Excuse me while I hide in a closet.