Switching Gears

It is Tuesday night.  I have had only three children for just over 24 hours now...ONLY 24 hours.  Now, I know that must sound silly, because I've sort of indicated that it has been tough with only three children, and for goodness sake, that should be a piece of cake considering I routinely have seven of them running amuk.  Quite the contrary though.  I have been spoiled with seven children.  Sure there is more laundry and more dirty dishes and more messy rooms, but there is also more help.  There are four very capable older children to help me wipe someone or bathe someone or console someone while I am busy doing the same for another in a different room.  I am without my helpers, and I have been reintroduced to life by myself with three. 

Fortuneately my memory doesn't recall all the details of just how challenging it was to have three little boys in three years.  It had to have been harder than this...the three I have at home right now arrived 2 years apart from each other...so they're ages 1-5 instead of 1-3.  Maybe 2 years apart IS a harder gap than 18 months.  Maybe it is just Benjamin.  :)  (Not really, but I honestly wonder sometimes.)

I'm not one to let something go because I can't do it.  I will sit and stew until I figure out a way.  I'm talking about the mower.  It was really bothering me that the lawn was going to go unmowed for an entire week or longer, so I put the mower on ramps, took the bent blade off and tried to straighten it.  No luck.  Short of heating that metal blade up until it was glowing, I was not going to get it straight, and I don't have the tools to get it red hot.  So, I went to Sears and bought a new blade.  Geesh!  That was simple.  Glad I didn't wait until Thursday to think of that.  (Actually, my mom suggested it too--great minds think alike.)

The lawn is all mowed.  The flower beds weeded.  The firepit sprayed with weed killer--just so we can find the big hole in the ground again.  The trailer that has been sitting in the middle of the yard has been relocated.  The old mower that no longer runs, also no longer graces our back entrance...it has been relocated as well.  The sandbox only has half of the tall grass growing in it, because we all stayed out in the sand pulling it until after dark.  Somehow that was fun? 

After baths to get all the extra sand out, we popped some pop corn, added Flamin' Hot Cheetos (Thanks for the addiction Jules!) and sat down to watch some TV, only to discover that we couldn't find the remote, without which we can not turn the channel, much less even get a picture to start with. Oh well. Teeth were brushed and by the time little heads hit their pillows (in my bed), they were sleeping. It was 11:00! Oh, and we ate cereal for supper too!

(Yes, we ate it all!)

This morning, since it was a running morning, but I wouldn't be running with friends, I had every intention of getting up anyway and jumping on the treadmill.  That would have worked had I gotten out of bed at 5:00 instead of 8:00!  The morning was cool so we went outside to play, but eventually made our way back in doors.  While the boys were taking one of their many daily baths, Amelia and I cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer, which ultimatley led to a couple of cupboards too and some general decluttering of accumulated stuff laying in corners around the house. Why is there such gratification in purging?  We took TWO very full 33-gallon trash bags to the dumpster!  I think we'll be eating eggs for a few days...

By noon, we had taken the Suburban to the mechanic only to find out that our problem has a VERY pricey solution.  Fortuneately, I think it can wait until next week.  By 12:30, we had eaten breakfast burritos and laid Amelia down for a nap.  I suggested we all take one, because it was quite evident that Joe was up WAY too late last night.  (Note to self...while the extra sleep in the morning may have been nice, it is not a good trade off for an ultra-crabby child.)  The three of us laid down, and I began reading a few books.  What is it about children's books at nap time that make me sound as if I've been drinking more than coffee all morning??  As I slurred through the final pages of the last book, I insisted that it was time to close our eyes.  I never know just how much longer it takes them to do so than me!  It was a good nap...the kind where you wake up with a puddle of drool on your pillow.  I forced myself to get up and take advantage of the next hour of quiet to finish cleaning. 

I was reminded several times today that it is nonsense to think that a project can be started and completed if these littles aren't on board.  As I sit in my quiet, dim living room, I can't really tell that it or any part of my house was clean just hours ago.   I was really wishing we could have found the remote this afternoon!  My solution to ending the cycle of clean up/mess up was a spontaneous trip to Sonic in Lincoln tonight for ice cream, but then I decided that since I hadn't really fed them supper, we should have that first.  Three hot dogs...drive to the nearest park to eat and play... Ben has to poop within minutes of our arrival...leave to avoid an accident...firm reminder that we didn't get ice cream yet...pull through Sonic for Sundaes to take home...reminded that we didn't really play at the park to which came my reminder of "why".

(Note the #1 reason why you shouldn't give a baby something without a lid, especially in a car!)

There are little voices still coming from down the hall, so tomorrow morning may be a little later too, but maybe not quite so bitter since we had those good naps.  I'm exhausted.  I would be a wealthy woman if I could bottle up all that energy and sell it!  Tomorrow will be a good day.  We're going to go to the grocery store so that we can have more to eat than eggs.  It is hard to be still sometimes.  I was also reminded today of that feeling that I've forgotten of how tough it was to transition to being a stay-at-home mom.  It does take some time to figure out how to find constructive balance with your time when you switch gears.  This is no different...shifting from 7th to 3rd.  I'm sure I'll get it figured out by the time they're all back home.  :)