Welcome to the Circus
Parenting three four-year-olds is like trying to ringlead a very disorganized circus. And, by the way, Dear Reader, if you have any tips on how to cope with or manage (or not strangle) kids with oppositional behavior, we welcome them to the circus too.
It’s been hot. How hot? So hot that my coconut oil liquified in the kitchen cabinet. We have spent a lot of time hunkered in the basement. I may actually be part vampire.
Welcome to our home. We still have three potty seats in various locations in case the nearest of our three actual toilets is in use. Every time I turn around, one of the little potties needs to be cleaned out. Like they belong to the same category of container as Strega Nona’s magic pasta pot, which keeps filling itself. Last month, our Ooma and Oompa arrived. As I brought sheets into the guest room where they had already deposited their suitcases, I walked by a potty. Full of poop. Because that’s the kind of classy hosts we are.
Is that a pair of underwear in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? I find kids’ socks, underwear, toys, “special pebbles,” and other random things in my pockets. At least I’m usually the one who put it there.
High fashion around here: last summer we had to get rid of a small wasp nest in the kids’ play house outside. I geared up with rain boots over sweatpants, a sweatshirt with hood pulled around my face so only my eyes showed, and gardening gloves. Last month, after a late-night kid puking session, I was in the laundry room at midnight, scarf wrapped around my nose and mouth to shake off and scrub out all the chunks.
I’m channeling Yosemite Sam. Can’t complete a sentence–sometimes due to the desire to let loose a string of obscenities, and sometimes because I honestly can’t remember what the heck I started to say.
Needs? What needs? This past Monday when I got up with the kids so Alan could rest after his crazy-hellish weekend, I got a minor nosebleed. As I was sitting in the bathroom to stop it, one kid after another came in: “Will you read a book?” “Will you play this game with me?” “I’m hungry. Can you make me some breakfast?” The “Hi. I’m bleeding” response did not alter the frequency or insistence of their requests. Which is kind of like a parable for parenting in general. The parent could have lost a limb, and the preschooler would still be like, “Why aren’t you getting my cereal?”
I have micromanaged a peanut butter bar. Making sure everyone is taking turns and eating the same amount. Taking turns is a big repeated topic of discussion around here. Which is probably what led to…
Women’s World Cup commentary, 7 min. into the first half: Me: Wow, the U.S. is up 4-0. Theresa: Zero? Uh-oh, Mommy. Why don’t they let the other team have a turn at winning?
Sweet lullaby time…with commentary. This was how my bedtime song went the other night (and I honestly don’t remember which kid was which now):
“Who said that every wish would be heard and answered, when wished on the morning star?”
Kid: We don’t have morning stars!
“Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it; look what it’s done so far.
What’s so amazing that keeps us star-gazing, and what do we think we might see?”
Kid: What do we see?
“Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection: the lovers, the dreamers, and me.
All of us under its spell. We know that it’s probably magic.
Have you been half-asleep? And have you heard voices? I’ve heard them calling my name.”
Kid: We have names!
“Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailor? The voice might be one and the same.”
Kid: What voice, Mama?
Other stuff: and then, you know, there’s been Father’s Day, their birthday party, a week of AP training, two triplet families dining on our back deck (two parents and six kids, woo!), the kids’ first swim class, Grandma Beth’s move to Seattle…just a normal relaxing summer.
Play the calliope and bring out the clown car!