Monday, February 28, 2011

Just Another Day in Paradise

A quick little update.
This must be prefaced by saying that this post is more of a run-on thought with incomplete sentences. Grammar lovers beware.

The chaotic tone of this post is a reflection of my current day reality. So here is my unperfected post.

We have three children. This is one of my first thoughts every morning. This statement stirs my drowsy mind. The Lord has blessed us with three children. What a beautiful picture. At this point Jack and I are the only ones awake. He is drinking a bottle. Ellie Kate and Emmett are asleep and I am not the only one over four years of age in our home. Ross is still home. I know that in a little while he will get up with the older kids and make them breakfast in order that I may catch a few extra moments of sleep with Jack.

And so the day begins.

Fast forward...

Ross has left for work. I am out numbered 3 to 1. If I were a betting person, my money would be on the three little people. They know things. Oh yeah. Don't be fooled. They are all in this together.

Emmett doesn't acknowledge his little brother. I'll say,"Emmett, see the baby?" Without looking Jack's way, he shakes his head back and forth saying,"Nooo, nooo." Meanwhile, Bunny (our chihuahua) is curled up in the corner thinking,"I tried that same method with you, Kid, and it didn't work."

Ellie Kate, on the other hand, is THE big sister. I guess we've played up the role so much that now she feels that she needs to remind us of exactly who she is. After leaving the room for a quick moment and returning to find EK on the bed having scooped Jack up into her arms, nearly all her defensive statements after that began with,"But Mama, I'm the big sista." I follow this with, "And I'm the Mommy."

So where was I? Oh yes, Ross has left me... to go to work and carry on in our normal everyday life. And here is a quick glimpse of my new normal.

Jack cries. If not held, he cries. Sometimes I follow suit...with the crying.

There are 7 loads of laundry to be washed, dried, folded, and put away.

The dishwasher needs unloading.

I should at some point brush my teeth.

Something has set Emmett off. I put him in his room and close the door. He has developed superhuman strength. I hope his room can hold him.

Ellie Kate is using chairs from the kitchen table to make a "tent for 4 year olds". Apparently this tent should hold 137 toys from her room. I tell myself that we'll clean up later all the while knowing that I am lying to myself.

Meanwhile, the four year old is a tutu wearing pirate who has made herself a treasure map and thankfully has decided to allow her two year old brother into the tent made specifically for four year olds. I make a mental note to give her candy later. She makes a mental note to treat herself to hidden candy later.

I've decided that kitchen sinks are for holding dishes. I should not rush this process.

Dishwasher needs to be unloaded.

I should get out of my pajamas. No time to change and I don't want more clothes in the dirty pile.

Jack cries. He is little, but his newborn sensor lets him know when Mommy is trying to rest or do anything else for that matter. And so he cries.

I decide to just sit and hold him.

I observe my home.

Tent set up in living room. It contains a music box, a ball, chewing gum, shoe boxes, and anything else of utmost importance to a four year old.

Throughout the day one of two songs will play in my mind. The first is an old country song called Just Another Day in Paradise. The second is a silly song with Larry from Veggietales. The lyrics...If it doesn't have a tail it's not a monkey even if it has a monkey kind of shape. If it doesn't have a tale it's not a monkey, if it doesn't have a tail it's not a monkey, it's an ape.
I note that I don't have a tail.

Meanwhile, Ellie Kate lets me know that,"stupid isn't a bad word. You just don't say it at someone." It's never 'end of discussion' with her and she continues to discuss with herself.

Then Emmett makes his request time and time again for juice. He says,"Duice? Duice? Duice?"

He proceeds to say many other things and I pause to imagine a life with subtitles so that I can understand his little self.

I check the clock and wonder where the last 2 and a half hours have gone.

There are still 7 loads of laundry to wash, dry, fold and put away.

The dishwasher needs unloading.

How have I accomplished nothing?

I observe Emmett eating a piece of Bunny's food. I suddenly realize why his hair (or coat) has been so shiny lately.

I remember a thing called facebook and wonder what is going on in the outside world.

I log into my email for the first time in over a month and cringe to see that I need to sort through nearly 450 emails.

...If it doesn't have a tail it's not a monkey...

I'm back.

I check a friend's blog. She, too, has a newborn. She has had various photo shoots with him. Beautiful, peaceful photos.

I don't know if I've taken Jack's photo since he was a week old.

I walk down our hall and realize that it looks like a shrine to Ellie Kate, our firstborn. I make a mental note to schedule an appointment for Emmett and Jack to have their picture taken. I immediately wonder what file that note will end up in.

I walk into Emmett's room and wonder when the toy bomb blew up. Cars, blocks, balls, and the like are scattered about. And carefully hidden from my eyes are his various pacifiers. He even has a pink butterfly one carried over from Ellie Kate's baby days. At two and a half he has a full blown addiction and I am his enabler. That's right. I push aside thoughts of future visits to the orthodontist and instead resort to pacifier bribery when he needs his diaper changed or it's time to go to bed. I do so with no shame to speak of.

It's lunch time. Spaghetti.

I have a fork in one hand and Jack with a bottle, in the other. Ellie Kate sits across the table correcting my technique.

Strip Emmett down to his diaper. Cut the pasta. Give him a spoon. Watch as he occasionally finds his mouth. Call Bunny in to clean up the floor. Grateful for her service.


Put Ellie Kate and Emmett in tub. Have to fill tub up twice because Emmett's a splasher. Wipe down kitchen while kids play. Return to bathroom to wrestle Little Man out of tub. He once again develops superhuman strength. I hulk out and handle the situation. Both kids out of tub, clean, dressed, and ready for nap time.

Pick up crying Jack. Feed him. Get him down for a nap.

Emmett, pacifier in mouth and another in hand, is also down for a nap.

Retreat to my room with Ellie Kate. I decide that she can pick out a movie to watch while I get some rest.

Wake up and wonder if I ever really slept.

Call Ross to see when he'll be home. He notes desperation in my voice and makes plans to return home sooner than originally planned.

7 loads of laundry to be washed, dried, folded, and put away.

Dishwasher needs unloading.

Should get out of my pajamas.

Still hopeful of brushing my teeth at some point.

Call my mom to ask her how in the world she did this. I am the youngest of three. We were doorsteps, as well. Make note to apologize more often to my mom "just because". Receive encouragement and sympathy.

Ellie Kate tells me I have "pwecious teeth".

Emmett's diaper is approaching the 24 pound weight limit of what it will hold. I wrestle him to the ground and change him. He requests "duice".

The thought in my head,"WE HAVE THREE CHILDREN!" It's more of a screaming voice at this point.

Bunny peeks at me with her good eye, begging for her arthritis medicine.

We got the kids a dog for Christmas. His name was Baxter. Past tense because we let him out to go potty and he never came back. I lack the proper response of sadness. I'm sure he found a nice home and I don't have to feed, water, or clean up after him anymore. The kids weren't really upset. Emmett never acknowledged Baxter (I'm sensing a theme). Ellie Kate's prayer about the situation, "And dear Lorwd, we pway for Baxter that we can get a new dog."

Decide to attempt to fold laundry on guest bed. Wonder if anything is hiding in 5 foot mountain of clothes. Fold three items. Jack cries.

Note that the Elmo video is replaying for 6th time. Hear Emmett cry followed by Ellie Kate saying,"I didn't hit him", which lets me know that she did. I remind her that she is "the big sister" and she must be sweet to her brothers.

Impressed that Emmett can turn on breast pump.

Think of several mommies that I know who 'have it all together'. I'm not on this list.

Supper approaches. Three options tonight. Spaghetti, bowl of cereal, or a sandwich.

Ross returns home. Emmett says "Daaaaddy!" So precious. Ellie Kate and Emmett squeal with delight as "The Daddy" chases them throughout the house.

Ellie Kate takes her Daddy to our bedroom to show him what she and Emmett have done. They have dumped Applejack crumbs all over our bed. She tells him that,"We're kids...we don't know any better."

Supper then bedtime.

Whole family goes into Emmett's room. We sing songs and say his Bible verse. I note that his nails must be cut tomorrow and realize I made the same note the night before.

Ellie Kate gives Daddy hugs and kisses and tells him goodnight. I brush her teeth and remember that I forgot to do the same for Emmett. I sit on EK's bed with her and we say our prayers and her Bible verse. Then she picks a song or two. She often still decides on Silent Night and Away in a Manger. We sing. I tuck her in. She puts on a toboggan that she calls her bedtime hat. I explain to her that she doesn't need to talk anymore. She calls me back into her room 3 more times.

I feed Jack and hold my breath as I try to lay him down twice. Newborn buzzer goes off as he is automatically aware of the fact that he isn't being held. Third times a charm. At this point I will only allow Ross and myself to whisper and tip toe.

I brush my teeth. Yes. I brush my teeth. Ross breaks out into a "Hallelujah!" chorus.

I don't have to put on my pajamas because I never took them off anyway.

Ross and I lay down on the fine layer of crumbs that has settled on our bed. They itch. I make a note to wash the sheets the next day and then decide that I really should follow thru with this notation.

7 loads of laundry never got washed, dried, folded, or put away.

The dishwasher was never unloaded.

I decide that the next day will provide another chance to tackle each chore. I mentally pat myself on the back for getting the coffee maker ready to go for the next morning.

I think of my day. My new normal. I hit the ground running and feel as though I never accomplish anything. Then I think of the moments Emmett 'gave me lovin' or Ellie Kate sang to her new brother. I remember the times I wiped a tear...or a rear:) I think of tending to a fresh boo boo or rocking my newborn. I relish the laughter that filled our home when "The Daddy" tickled his little ones. I think of Emmett learning a new word and Ellie Kate sharing with her oldest brother. I think of my husband telling me that I was beautiful when I knew my outward appearance was much to the contrary. I think of the miracle of each child and the uniqueness of each soul. I'm reminded of the blessings in our home.

And ultimately I'm reminded of the verse at the top of this blog which says,"He gently leads those who have young." I ask Him to gently lead me. I drift off to sleep thinking, "The Lord has blessed us with three children" and it sounds melodious again.

Just another day in paradise, indeed.