Katie honey, you need to clean up your room.
Awwwwwwww! But why? I was just getting ready to play. Oh my GOD. Why can't I do it later? Why do I have to do EVERYTHING around here? It's like I'm your SLAVE! I just cleaned it! But why? WHY? You don't understand my life!
Julia sweetie, let's pick up your room.
I don't need your help! I can do it! I know how to do it! I know evvvverything about cleaning my room!
Henry bubby, let's clean up! Clean up! Everybody! Everywhere!
AAAAACCCKKKK! *Throws toys and hits me with a golf club. A plastic one, but still.*
It is probably the most difficult aspect of parenting for me right now - dealing with three children in such different stages of development. What works with one rarely works with another, thanks to their ages and personalities. And they keep doing new shit, so I'm constantly caught off guard. Just when I think I have this parenting gig figured out, one of them does something completely random. It's like they're conspiring with each other.
Katie: OK, you guys. This week, I am going to freak out about bras. Julia, develop a fascination with your butthole. Henry, bite some kids.
It's hard sometimes to remember that you can't reason with a one year old, nor can you trust a four year old, or expect a ten year old not to be a hormonal lunatic. As if to illustrate this very point, I just now glanced up to see the baby has used a kitchen chair to reach his high chair, and is standing on the tray. Instead of jumping up and running to get him down, I say, "You better think about what you're doing, boy!" Then, remembering that one year old boys are not known for their reasoning skills, I jumped up and ran to get him down.
Last night we all went out to dinner. It was freakishly awesome - no one screamed or threw food or vomited on the table. We left the restaurant in the sanctimonious glow of people with well behaved children. As we walked to the car, I said "Honey, this is the best time of our life. One day, the babies will be grown and gone and we'll be lonely. We'll remember this, and miss it."
I believe it. You know why? Because right now, it's easy. As hard as I think it is, it's a relative breeze. Right now, they're still little. They've yet to experience loss, or have their hearts broken, or realize that sometimes people just plain suck. The worst problem I've dealt with today is the fact that Henry thinks every piece of furniture is a gee-dee jungle gym. I'll take that any day over sitting with my child after their first breakup.
It's something I try to remember on those days when switching gears between the three of them seems impossible. This is a very brief window in our lives, when all three of them are small, and so are their problems.
And so are mine.
2 weeks ago