Sunday, May 15, 2005
I have 15 children and my son has 27 legs.
And "Mommy of the Year" goes to...

...somebody else. Though I do think I should get an Honorable Mention for keeping both of my children alive today. Just a wet, yucky, rainy New Hampshire day, and I live in a small, remote town with no mall or McDonalds with a playground or friendly neighborhood sociopath with a merry-go-round in the backyard, so we were all cooped up and cranky. My daughter is 5, and she knows EVERYTHING. Seriously. If you want to know how to play a board game, how to read a book, where a missing sock is (and whose fault it is that it went missing in the first place), how you should sit at the dinner table, what the words are to your favorite song, what foods you like or don't like, anything at all - just ask Emily, she'll tell you. Loudly and forcibly. I knew it was a bad sign when I got to sleep in until 9 this morning and by 9:20 my husband had gone back to bed and Emily was in her first time-out of the day.

And then there's Jacob. He's cute and he's small but he's noisy and willful and hungry alllllllll the time. But only for about 47 seconds at a time, after which he wants to get down and play some more. So fun. My nipples are tired, my ears are tired, my back is tired, and I have run out of happy faces.

And, wait, I'm sorry, did I say "both" children? Because I meant all three. I know that the Husband Who Shall Remain Nameless means well... at least, I keep telling myself this... but UGGGGHHHHHH I need a time-out spot for him too. "Jacob's really miserable and whiny today," [in a nasal, dare-I-say whiny voice] "what should I do?" Well, have you fed him? Burped him? Changed his diaper? Given him new toys? Yes, yes, yes and yes? Then you've done everything that I would have done, too, I can't offer you anything different to try. Maybe take him on a walk? "I don't waaannnnnnaaaa, I'm tired, it's cold outside, I don't feel like it." Then DON'T ASK FOR MY HELP. (bad words, bad words, bad words, mutter mutter mutter)

Seriously, by mid-afternoon I felt like I was running a daycare for serial killers in training. There were, physically, only two small chidlren here (and one large one!), but I could swear there were at least 15 or 20 in spirit. All in the midst of a seriously manic, oppositional state.

At the end of the day, I tossed both kids (the small ones) in the tub, and yes, I did give them water, too. (Thought about just tossing them into an empty tub, but the water actually helps absorb some of the echoing whines.) Normally I can escape the room for a few minutes at a time, but tonight Jacob's happiness and my proximity were directly related, such that the closer I got to the door, the louder he got and the redder his little face got. So I asked Emily, "Will you please distract him so I can get a book?" Her method of distraction was to throw a medium-sized dump truck at him. Lovely. So instead of a moderately soothing bathtime experience, everyone screams and shouts and get shuttled out of there post-haste. I send Emily in to get her own pajamas on, and start work on Jacob, who had apparently, unbeknownst to me, metamorphosized into a squid while he was in the tub. He had dozens and dozens of appendages, flailing madly all over the changing table, and just as soon as I would get one inserted into a leg-hole he would whip it around and wrest himself free of the pajamas again. I came close to letting him sleep naked, but he sleeps very heavy and still, and he ends up with very cold baby toes and baby fingers. So we wrestled, and I'm happy to report that I won.

So, for the moment, all 3 of my kids are sleeping, thanks to a liberal combination of the Three V's of Parenting... Valium, Vicodin and Vodka.

Hee hee... no, no, no, not really. Yes, they're all asleep, but without chemical assistance. And I'll go to sleep soon, myself, just as soon as I'm done pounding my head on this wall...