Mack was crying. Moxie chimed in, bellowing full force. Mikey turned to me, raised his eyebrow (just one, which is impossible for me to do) and wryly asked if we should somehow get Micah to cry too, so you know, we’d have all 3 going at the same time.
It’s all the truth.
3 kids means someone is always crying.
Or someone’s nose is running. Or someone is hungry/thirsty/tired. There is always a need that simply *must* be met and it *must* be met at that instant.
On good days, I think a little of my (former) office where I once worked, remember its SILENT confines and kind of wish I could sit down for a day and just write reports or talk to people – REAL LIVE GROWN UP PEOPLE – that only want me to help them find a job.
On bad days, I can’t even think.
My brain gets tied in knots and I end up unable to form a sentence.
I was enjoying the light with my precious smallest people when Micah was at preschool.
Moxie had drawn all over her legs and wanted to wash Mack’s face with a hand towel she had found.
It was a tender moment. It captivated me completely.
Then Mack decided he had enough, he was hungry or something, he started screaming. He was hungry. Hungry. Okay, I lifted up, started nursing.
Not long after, Moxie did something (I don’t know what), Mack turned his head with my nipple still in his mouth and while the pain shot through my entire body, I saw Moxie dip her fingers into the diaper, I yelled out, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO – but it was too late, she had brought those (now brown) fingers up and smeared them all over the wicker chair. WICKER. While I was trying to put the baby down, she went on repeat mode, dip, smear! Dip, smear! Oooh, this is FUN!
Mack down – and screaming – I wisked Moxie off for a full body cleanse, finished that and tried to put a fresh diaper and clothes on her and then she started screaming because she wants to do EVERYTHING herself. I let her do it. Went back to soothe Mack, saw all the poop on the wicker chair – WICKER – and started cleaning. Mack still screaming. Moxie stopped. Finished cleaning, got Mack, checked on Moxie, OH NO, I forgot to close the bathroom door and she just unwrapped the whole toilet paper roll into the toilet and flushed and now the toilet is flooded.
I take her, move her to the living room, she’s screaming now because I moved her, I go back and plunge the toilet, wipe the floor down, wash my hands, CLOSE THE DOOR.
Mack is still screaming. So is Moxie. And Moxie is still naked, with only a shirt around her neck.
I dress her. She’s screaming. I don’t care, I don’t want more poop smeared.
I pick up Mack, take him to change his diaper. TV is on, Moxie’s turned it on, she’s going through Netflix trying to find Dora. She’s sitting in my chair. I ask her to move so I can feed Mack, She refuses. I lift her up and out. She screams, walks over to the TV and pumps the volume to max, knowing I’ll need to walk over and turn it down (the TV remote is never working), I go. While I am gone, she scampers back into my seat. I turn around and she’s sitting there with a big grin.
So I go and turn the volume down and TV off, knowing all of this simply buys a little time. Anything short of simply getting rid of the TV is moot – she can turn the power switch on now, find the cord, turn it on – you name it – if she has seen us do it, she knows how to do it, too.
I nurse Mack, Then top him off with the bottle. Moxie’s tearing the room apart looking for the right book. I guess. Or something. It’s nap time. I saw her rub an eye. I take Mack and signal to Moxie to come to her room, naptime. She trots along with fuss (!!!!), but the minute her door is shut, she starts screaming. Her screaming wakes up Mack, asleep in my arms. He starts screaming. I give him the bottle. Moxie wants to feed him, but is jabbing the bottle at him, making him scream. I say, no Moxie, please lie down! And she starts crying.
They are both crying and I get Mack back to sleep.
But Moxie isn’t having it. She’s exhausted. But she’s moving up, down, moving back and forth, up and down. Finally – finally! – she falls asleep. Right at the door. Blocking the door.
So my choice is to move her – and wake her, and by waking her, wake up Mack – after all that. Or stay in the room and feel my bladder slowly burst.
Choices, choices, man.
So many choices.
I’ve written more about Moxie in this particular post than the others, but that’s really more because she is now the craptastic age of 3, which is just 2 with intent.
The only way Down syndrome plays into this is
- my extreme fear of her bolting now and
- communication frustration.
I don’t even know why I’m saying this. Why am I saying this?
I don’t know. So, moving on.
None of my kids are easy people.
They all have special needs.
They are all challenging.
They all make me hit my head to the desk.
They all have strong personalities that continuously challenge my preconceptions of what having kids would be like, what being a “mother” is all about.
They are sure cute and yes, they perpetually enjoy shoving me to the toe-line with sanity.
One last note. I saw something on facebook the other day and it made me cry. I think it made me cry because I was just getting through a particularly bad day and feeling like shit rolled into human form. One big horrible excuse for a mother – trust me, someone always crying can have that effect on you after a while.
Well, I read this and cried and so I want to share it here:
To the mom who’s breastfeeding: Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage! You’re a good mom.
To the mom who’s formula feeding: Isn’t science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn’t produce enough would suffer, but now? Better living through chemistry! You’re a good mom.
To the cloth diapering mom: Fluffy bums are the cutest, and so friendly on the bank account. You’re a good mom.
To the disposable diapering mom: Damn those things hold a lot, and it’s excellent to not worry about leakage and laundry! You’re a good mom.
To the mom who stays home: I can imagine it isn’t easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. You’re a good mom.
To the mom who works: It’s wonderful that you’re sticking to your career, you’re a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it’s fantastic. You’re a good mom.
To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive thru all week because you’re too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping: You’re feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren’t complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a red box with a big yellow M on it. You’re a good mom.
To the mom who gave her kids a homecooked breakfast lunch and dinner for the past week: Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they’re learning to enjoy healthy foods at an early age, a boon for the rest of their lives. You’re a good mom.
To the mom with the kids who are sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant: Kudos, it takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can’t run around. You’re a good mom.
To the mom with the toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle: they always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds don’t they? We’ve all been through it. You’re a good mom.
To the moms who judge other moms for ANY of the above? Glass houses, friend. Glass houses.
Big love to you today, my friend.
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