I wonder sometimes when the chaos will end! Or at least simmer down to manageable levels. There is so much I’m behind on writing about – Clare and Laurel’s 2nd Birthday, our trip to Disney World, Taran completing Pre-K, Laurel’s transition to a big girl bed, Clare’s broken foot :(…I can blame much of it on our internet connection – as soon as I begin a blog and start uploading photos (which usually happens at night, when the kids are in bed), the internet connection goes wacky and I get nowhere, particularly when adding photos.
I think I should put a surveillance camera on the wall and have it record randomly throughout the week. Meal time will look something like this: calling the kids for dinner, and they happily run to the table. Girls are in high chairs, Taran at the table. The girls begin eating well, but Laurel decides something looks funny and scowls at me, handing back her favorite food. Then gets mad when I take it. Taran, bless his heart, is trying his best to sit nicely, but for some reason teeters at the edge of the chair, dropping crumbs onto the floor with every bite. Then proceeds to have a conversation, and I have to remind him to keep eating. “Oh! I forgot!” About 7 minutes in, he remembers a dance he wants to show me, and somehow winds up in the living room. “Umm, Taran? What about dinner?” “Oh yeah! Sorry, Mommy!” In the meantime, Clare has polished off two servings and Laurel has decided she wants to eat after all, and they repeatedly ask for “more!” of whatever they are eating.
Fast forward to bedtime. Oh, bedtime – I had such high hopes for you. I envisioned snuggling in bed with all my kids, who had more than happily dressed in pajamas and allowed me to brush their teeth. Instead, it looks something like this. “Okay, kids, bedtime – let’s go upstairs!” I open the gate and the babies giddily run through and begin climbing the stairs, as if they’ve been released from a prison. Taran asks for a minute more to finish whatever he’s doing, which I usually oblige. When the girls get upstairs, they run anywhere except their bedroom. I try to corral them into their room (not an easy task) to begin changing diapers and clothes. As I lay one child down for changing, she often begins screaming and flailing at my attempts to restrain their newfound freedom. After much struggle and making an overly-big deal about which pajamas they get to wear (“WOW! You ge a Dora shirt!! YAY!!!”, I finish with one child, only to realize the other is in Taran’s room, wrecking the train set. I get second child in changing position (cue more screams) while the first proceeds to takeover the job of destroying aforementioned train set. Luckily, Taran is happily oblivious, bounding around his bed, playing a made-up game with sticks or stuffed animals or other random object he has found. (He’s a creative child!) However, this also means he is totally oblivious to the ten times I’ve asked him to please pick out his pajamas and put some on. Something I would help him to do if I at all could. Next comes teeth brushing. Both girls sprint to the bathroom to see who gets first dibs, both standing precariously on a stool, with no surface area to spare. As I turn the water on to wet the brush, rather than opening their mouths agreeably, they recognize this as time to play in the water. They repeatedly reach out to turn on the water, and I repeatedly turn it off, lest they wet the pajamas that were oh-so-hard to get on. This goes on for about 15 seconds – and in this time, no one has gotten their teeth brushed. After a bit more struggle and desperate attempts at cheery distraction (I’m worn out by now), teeth get brushed. If I have the energy, it’s story time. If not, it’s straight to bed for little girls. Taran asks me to read him a story, and I keep telling him after they are in bed, much to his annoyance. (He’s not great at waiting.) I won’t even go into the bedtime ritual – if things go well, they lay down the first time and maybe only cry out once before they fall asleep. Then I breathe a huge sigh of relief (exhaling an exhausted spirit as well), and go to Taran’s room for storytime. If I’m lucky, he’s still awake and I get to cuddle with him and read. Usually more than one book, as he begs for more, which I am great with (unless I am too tired to see straight). If I’m not lucky, I open the door to find him sprawled across the bed, already having fallen asleep. And that makes me very, very sad, because that means the girls took so long to go to bed that Mommy broke her promise to read him his story, and I missed my special time with him.
By the way, this makes it sound like Ari hasn’t done anything…but he is behind the scenes, providing support along the way (finally feeding Taran himself so our distractable boy will get a decent meal; making me something to eat after I’ve exhausted all energy feeding the kids; finding the only pacifier that Laurel will sleep with after it’s been flung somewhere in the playroom; bringing milk upstairs; pulling clothes off an exhausted Taran who’s decided at bedtime, he’s too tired to change into pajamas himself).
I think I am writing this more for catharsis than anything…and hope I can read this years from now and laugh at our crazy family. So, no pictures of the precious kids tonight, as I actually wanted to blog for once. I’m hoping someone can reassure me that I am not alone in our chaos. If you have the perfect, peaceful meal times, bedtime, and every other times, feel free to share your success…but, really, I’d rather not hear from you at all! (J/K :))