Did I remember to put pants on? Seriously. Please tell me I'm wearing pants right now.
Yes, my friends, this thought actually went through my head as I was driving the minivan full of rascals into town this past week. Amongst the chaos of sippy cups, car seats, school uniforms, backpacks, snacks, feedings, diapers, wipes, cell phones, lists, checks to deposit at the bank, and milk jars set for delivery – I actually had to ask myself if I'd remembered to put on pants.
You know how we all hear stories about parents forgetting their kids in the shopping cart at the grocery store? Or driving away from home, only to remember a block later that their toddler is waiting for them back in their driveway?
I used to judge these people. Now, I totally get it.
Because the first thought that went through my head after questioning my pants was “Do I even have all the children in the car?”
They say the third child is the one that breaks the camels back – the one that reallly pushes you over the edge as a parent. Thankfully, I haven't found this to be the case as far as pushing me over the edge. Now, as far as testing my mental capacity to handle small tasks and details – that's another story. Brain = Maximum Detail Overload.
These past two weeks with Will have been wonderful – he's sleeping well, eating well, napping well, and overall a huge joy to have around (especially when he sneaks me those cute little smiles while he's nursing – ahhh, I love those!). And thus far, he's been a pretty passive addition to the family – nurse, wake, sleep, nurse, wake, sleep, nurse, wake, sleep. It's all pretty straight forward at this point. But with Stu going back to teaching this past week, as well as Georgia starting KinderPrep at his school, I guess you could say my Momma brain is being stretched a bit.
Here's what my brain looks like trying to leave the house:
Which car do I have? Does it have all the car seats? Does it have gas? Crap. I forget to get gas in it again. I'll need to coast to town.
When I go to town, I should take those jars of pickles to the shop on the way to get them off the washing machine.
(Loads pickle jars into car with no gas.)
All of the kids will be hungry. I better feed Will before the other's are ready to go.
(Sits down to feed Will).
45 minutes later…
Change Will's diaper. Change his clothes after realizing there's poop on them too. Bribe Georgia into bringing me an extra diaper and set of clothes from the boys' room.
Change Owen's diaper. Eek. Toddler poop is much grosser than baby poop. Make mental note to start Owen on potty training.
Get clothes on Owen that make him not look like a homeless child who has spent the last three days eating and sleeping in a dumpster. Scrape the chicken turd from the bottom of his foot.
Pack up wipes, diapers, extra clothes, and a blanket into my purse. Make mental note to clean out my purse so that it doesn't weight 74 pounds. Plus, the dirty diaper in there is really starting to smell…
Brush Georgia's teeth. Wipe off her face. Yes, I know she wants to do it herself. Fight her for 5 minutes explaining why Mommy needs to do it too. Rip out the rubberband from her tangled hair and attempt to brush (who are we kidding, we're finger combing it at this point). Might as well just lick the palm of my hand and wipe her bangs out of her face while I'm at it.
Scavenge her bedroom for her school uniform. Realize, after ten minutes, that she's put it on her giant stuffed cow and remove. Get her dressed, hope the teacher doesn't notice the milk stain on her sleeve, and gather up her books to take back to her classroom.
Sit Georgia in front of some Kipper and pray she doesn't get up, go outside, spill her drink, or cause a ruckus before it's time to leave.
Meanwhile, find the hobbit and get his teeth brushed too. Realize, for the 1,591,492 time, that he hates having his teeth brushed. Body pin him down on the floor and brush away while he screams anyway. Dental health is important, man.
Make mental note to get Owen a haircut. Even with clean clothes, he still looks slightly homeless. I should message my stylist, Carlee. I wonder how Carlee is. I miss getting to see her. Maybe she's free for coffee this week. Am I free for coffee this week? Could I be? I wonder if I could make that work. I should text her.
Set Owen in front of Kipper. Plead with him to not get up, go outside, spill his drink, or cause a ruckus before it's time to leave.
Get Will in carseat. Transfer carseat to car.
Come back inside. Pour final cup of coffee. Grab some vitamins and shove them in my pocket. Nutrition on the go, baby.
Grab Owen. Transfer to car.
Pull Georgia away from Kipper. Transfer to car.
Everyone needs fresh sippy cups of milk at this point, because they've already drank their other ones. Oh great… now they're hungry again too.
Go inside. Pour fresh milk. Grab 74 pound purse with poopy diaper in it. Do I have diapers for both boys? Do I have wipes? Where are the car keys? Did Georgia remember her snack? I better shut the oven off – I bet the tomatoes are done roasting. I should probably move the water in the garden too.
Shut off oven and move water in garden.
Coast to town because car is out of gas.
Get to gas station. Open door – ask self: Self, DID YOU REMEMBER TO PUT ON PANTS?
Life with babies, toddlers, and children is hard. There are days when it feels as if the world is caving in, starting with our home. And somedays, I swear, there are extra little elves that come in to help my children destroy the house more than I thought humanly possible. And somedays, I see pictures of young couples in love and long for the times when Stuart and I could have quiet conversations for as long we'd like, hang out at coffee shops, ride our horses as often as we wished, and make out all day uninterrupted.
But then there are other days.
There are days when I spend a good amount of time exploring our property with Georgia, amazed at her curiosity and wonder about the world and how it works. There are days when Owen will come beside me as I'm weeping in frustration and gently rub my back as if to say, “You've got this, Mama.”. There are days when I set aside all obligations to stare into the face of my newborn baby – soaking up that sweet delicious smell and sleepy grin.
Life with three children under four has been maddening. And it's been beautiful.
I can't imagine life without any of the little monsters.
This Mama is grateful.