It’s 3:45pm and my oldest daughter just got off the bus. Once inside we go upstairs to get her crying, nap-deprived sister out of her crib as her brother groggily shuffles in from the garage where he was finishing his car nap. I hold my needy toddler, set my kindergartener up in front of the computer to do her math work that she loves so much and position her brother behind her so he can watch her work.
Ten minutes later I have all three kids seated at the kitchen counter (probably whining about being hungry/thirsty/bored/annoyed but after 3 kids I now have selective hearing) and as I am about to begin making dinner as well as a Thanksgiving art project I realize the need to distract my
in-house hurricane toddler from interfering with everything and everyone. Piece of cake.
Things are going well and as the rice simmers, Hurricane Baby is calm and building with Duplos and I am intructing her siblings on proper gluing techniques. I have a moment in which I now distinctly remember thinking Girl, you’re a pro! I was juggling dinner, crafting and toddler management without breaking a sweat.
By now you’re probably thinking: Dang! What a multi-tasker! She makes it look so easy!…
Then Hurricane Baby dumps all her Duplos off the counter. The CRASH makes us all jump.
(In hindsight, this was the beginning of the end of my stellar mother juggling though at the time I felt I could still be Supreme Mommy Juggler Extraordinaire. Foolish. I should have broken out the mini marshmallows…)
Instead, I decide Hurricane Baby needs to clean up her mess. Hurricane Baby decides that since she is now on the floor it’s a good time to rifle through the kitchen drawers as I turn my back to check the meal. As I navigate the kitchen, now booby-trapped with Duplos, tongs and spatulas, my oldest two can no longer agree on whose turn it is to wield the almighty glue stick but they do agree, based on smell and a quick sighting, that dinner sucks and they won’t under an circumstances eat it.
I sigh, steer Hurricane Baby away from the lower cabinets of dish soap and breakable dishes, twice, lock the darn child-locks, stub my toe on a plastic cup, snap at my lovelies now disguised as demon spawn and then stumble over all those theoretical balls I just dropped.
Then Hurricane Baby dumps the plastic bowl of uncooked rice (to be used later for exploring texture and such but at the moment it’s perfectly placed at the edge of the counter) over her head, into her mouth and all over the floor.
Hurrican Baby – 5
Mommy Juggler – 0
Well played, baby who is now crying because she does not enjoy the taste/texture of uncooked rice in her mouth.
What’s a mom to do when she falls so quickly from her juggling pedestal and finds herself with two whining demon children and a smaller one crying and clinging to her leg?
Laugh, of course, but only on the inside because demonic behavior shall not be encouraged. Then I grab some work out clothes, vacuum the dumped rice and usher Hurricane Baby and my still hungry demons into the car to sweat out my frustrations at the gym.
This scenario plays itself out over and over again in my household and I convince myself that this is normal.
It is normal, right?… Right?!?…
Either way, the kids keep me on my toes as I mediate what I expect myself to successfully facilitate for my family and what our reality allows. It’s fun and challenging and I am fully aware that less is often more but because I strive to give my kids all that I can I will inevitably find myself standing in a kitchen staring at wild children and imaginary dropped balls and loving every minute of it… at least in hindsight.
~Colleen ~ your loving, I-try-to-do-too-much-but-can’t-seem-to-help-it, stay-at-home-mom with a hyphen problem.
Also, I made a Fall wreath today! I’ll show you later though because now I must shower and sleep. XOXO