Hey sweet Eyeliners and Erasers readers! My name is Leighann and I blog over at Living with Four Hobbits and a Giant. I hope you’ll check me out.
Y’all, this four thing is hard. Hard I tell you. I thought I didn’t have time to sit down before. Now I don’t have time to eat. I’m either making lunches or breakfast for the three older ones or feeding the 4 month old. By the time I realize I haven’t had breakfast, it’s time for lunch. And what’s with my school-aged children forgetting their lunches lately? Three trips to school in the last two weeks and they’ve only had school for six of those days. Hmmm, seems like an epidemic to me. When I was in school if we forgot our lunch it was tough tushies for us. With a GF child (“gluten-free” for those of you lucky enough not to have allergies in your family!), it’s not as easy as assuming she’ll be able to order from the cafeteria. Besides, it seems like saying, “Oops, you forgot your lunch, I guess you’ll have to order” is a reward not a punishment. At least the school is only five minutes away.
You’d think that one more little person wouldn’t add that much, but bwahahahaha, my time has been zapped more than just a little. By the time she suckles my breasts and I change her die-die, it’s been at least a half hour. Times that out by four times a day and I’ve just lost two hours that I already don’t have. I’ve come up with solutions though. Ones that first time moms might cringe at, but don’t be all like “I’ll never do that!” because you wait…. YOU JUST WAIT!… unless you don’t want to wait. Or you’re sane and only have two children. (I could’ve done two so well. Why didn’t I stop? Waaaaa!)
For starters, when I had one I was soooo excited to change her little Pampers that I’d see the littlest bit of sogginess and whip out a fresh one. With four, I wait until that diaper is almost dripping before I dare change it. . One, mommy doesn’t have time to sit and wait for a baby to pee, and two, have you seen how much diapers cost these days?
I used to see one of my children gnawing on a 2-pound hunk of cheddar. “Hey,” I’d yell. “Don’t eat on the communal cheese block! That’s just gross!” Now I throw her a pack of crackers and call it lunch. Seriously. Checking it off the list now.
Speaking of lists… you know how you cringed the first time you saw your toddler playing in the toilet? With the first, you run in, grab them, rush them to the sink where you scrub their tiny little hands. Now, with a gaggle of children, when I see the preschooler going for the toilet I remind him, “Honey, see that little brush in the corner? Swish it around a few times in the bowl for mommy, k?”
And vacations… Oh the bliss of when we’d sight-see all day and go a tiny bit out of our way to hit up a park or petting zoo…. I almost forget what it’s like to lounge in the sun and read a book…. an entire book… while out of town. In fact, I remember once I took seven books on a seven-day beach vacation and read every single one of them. Now I’m lucky to get through a TIME magazine in a week! What is it about vacations that means more work for mommy? Most our vacations are filled with activities planned around the 9 and under crowd, which means more petting zoos and parks than you can imagine.
Running a few quick errands? Ha! Kids don’t know the meaning of quick. I could get to the post office and back before my 5 yr old can find his shoes and socks and get them on. LITERALLY. The boy walked around the house the other day for 10 whole freakin’ minutes muttering about not having socks. For the love, for the love, for the love… they are in the basket in your room where we’ve kept them for the past 2.5 years!
When I had one baby, I switched off babysitting with a friend every week so we could have “me” time… I usually spent it getting a project done or running all the errands I could without lugging a child in a carrier. “I can’t get anything done!” we bemoaned. Now, I feel like I’m flying faster than the speed of light if I only have one measly child who sits contentedly in her carrier and doesn’t have to find her own socks and shoes. The speed of light. I can get so much done with only one child in tow. With four? Forgetaboutit.
Teenagers these days think “shut the front door” is a cool saying. What they don’t know is it was coined by a mother of four who said it 50 times a day – the number of times three children go in and out of the house while they’re playing in the yard after school. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. I say it everyday and let me tell you, my kids don’t think I’m cool.
Most evenings by the time my husband walks in the door to eat his dinner, I’ve laughed, cried, and perspired my way through the day. I’ve held children’s hands, heads, and bodies since apparently the only chair available in the house is the one I’m sitting in nursing. No lie. Everyone piles up on mommy when the baby eats because it is the only time I’m unable to fight back. Even the cat joins in the party. I sit in my chair with four little bodies crammed in every square inch of my personal space and wonder what in the world is wrong with the other chair and couch positioned less than five feet from where we’re sitting.
He looks at me, smiles, and asks how my day went. I look at him with eyes half glazed over like a crazy woman and fire-breathe “Is it bedtime yet?” And I mean for me, not the kids.
Listen, ladies. If you’re thinking about adding to your brood I want you to lean in really close… be afraid, be very afraid. They smell weakness. They know you’re tired and outnumbered. They figure out you don’t have eyes in the back of your head and you’re stretched thin…. they will take advantage of you. I hear it gets better. One can only hope.
*This post, while true, is an attempt at humor. I love my kids… all four of them, and wouldn’t trade them for the world. For a slice of pie, maybe, but not the world.