Back in the day I spent more time than I was ever prepared to admit daydreaming about having a baby, or two, or twelve. I always wanted a big family. I come from a big family. Sure there was only mum and dad and my brother and I, but as a child I often lived with extended family and it often felt like I have a half a dozen siblings... It was grand!
So, here you are, you may already have one or two children yourself and be considering one or two more - or even something more than that. You already know about sleepless nights in the early years. You already know about the might toddler tantrum, not to mention poo-s'plosions. You're already somewhat of a veteran when it comes to babies and toddlers and you feel confident that once you get through 'the hardest years', it'll all be good...
Let me tell you about yesterday.
Yesterday was a fairly average day in our house, if fact, the Grumpy Old Man and I even said that to each other last night, 'Just another day at home with the kids.' and then we laughed and watched yet another rerun of 'Roseanne' and sighed in satisfaction knowing that it wasn't just us...
Yesterday, besides the normal squabbling and discarding of toys and sundry all over the floor (as if we have **magical cleaning fairies** who pop in at random to tidy stuff up), we also had one child going to a birthday party up the street.
|Evidence that our cleaning fairies are also on holidays...|
He set off on his own at about 11.15am and at about 11.40 the GOM did a follow-up call to make sure he got there in one piece - which he did. All good.
The ten and six year olds played on the Wii, but the batteries in the hand set ran down, so it got packed up. Then they played on their iPods until they needed recharging. After that they drew and read books. Things were running quite smoothly - as seems to happen when even just one child is taken out of the equation.
Well, relatively smoothly - when I told the 10 year old, 'No', to putting on a DVD, he went all pouty and carried on about how he never gets to do anything fun and it wasn't fair because Erik was at a party and he and Bryn had nothing to do™. I reminded him he was going to a party on Thursday and had already been to one a couple of weeks ago, not to mention a couple of play dates including one just the day before... Tantrums don't end when a child turns three or four, or ten, it seems.
The three year old was pottering around, amusing himself. He had lunch with the other two, then played with his trains.
I crocheted (Are you bored with all my crocheting, yet? Well, strap yourself in for the long haul because I'm still totally hooked!). The GOM was busy rendering a photo in photoshop, making it look like a painting, to what end, I'm still not sure.
And then we heard a scream.
Luey - the ten year old - followed the sound to the bathroom and then we heard 'Oh no!' Now considering the three year old threw himself through a glass pane on Christmas Eve, we immediately imagined the worst.
Ari started to make his way out to the lounge room and we expected to see blood streaming from somewhere. Instead we saw his face slathered in whitish goop. He was rubbing it into his eyes and this was causing the screaming.
We raced him off to the bathroom where we found a great puddle of shampoo on the floor. The shampoo bottle was up on the vanity. It's a pump variety and it seems he'd taken it from the shower, pumped it all over the floor - managed not to slip over in it, which is a minor miracle - and then decided he wanted to see the stuff coming out of the pump, so had put it on the vanity which is at head height for him, and proceeded to pump shampoo directly into his eyes.
There was so much shampoo on him that we imagine he must have pumped the bottle a couple of times before the pain registered. The GOM quickly turned on the shower and stripped down. Ari was just in a nappy, so I took it off him - and discovered a huge poo he'd been working on while in the bathroom as well (on the bright, yay for being in the bathroom doing poos - maybe's he getting the idea? I live in hope!).
We each grabbed a flannel and while the GOM washed Ari's rear, I took to his face and hands trying to get the shampoo off as quickly as possibly. I got soaked from the waist up as I leaned into the shower. Ari screamed. The GOM and I tried to soothe him while also forging ahead with cleaning him as quickly as possible. Ten minutes later, he was in the lounge room wrapped in a towel, still sobbing. Poor mite.
His eyes remained puffy and red for the rest of the day even though I'm sure we got every trace of shampoo out.
|Puffy, red eyes hours later - and you can still see the faint|
scar from the glass pane incident on Christmas Eve...
|Crashed out - nose pushed up against the arm|
of the couch, so cute. Poor bubba!
At dinner, he couldn't finish - yes, the foresight of twelve year olds isn't as good as they think it is. The boys had an early night after squabbling over who had to go to bed when. The GOM took Ari to bed and I watched some television and crocheted some more. I kept thinking I could hear someone in the hallway because didn't bother to get up. When the GOM emerged from putting Ari to bed an hour later (he often dozes off with Ari). I mentioned thinking I was hearing something in the hall, so he went to investigate.
He found Erik asleep in the hall, which at first he thought was because it was so warm in the house and the hall was slightly cooler, but when he escorted the lad back to his room, the GOM stepped in a big pool of vomit. YUCK!
It seems the twelve year old had eaten and, more particularly, drunk enough sugar that eventually his body couldn't take it any more.
Seriously? SERIOUSLY??? I mean, he's twelve! It's not like he's seven anymore (he did the same thing at a party then, as well) At no point did the child think, 'Hmm, I don't feel so well, I should maybe lay off...' We had had soft drink with dinner - a special treat - and he'd had two glasses and I'd stopped him having a third - that was only an hour before he threw up.
So, yesterday was about vomit, shampoo and poo. The thing is, it seems every day is about something. It just doesn't end. Our kids sleep soundly at night, we're almost done with all the baby stuff (once Master Three decides to use the toilet), I'm even about to sell the bugaboo bee [interested? let me know], but the excitement never stops.
The more kids you have, the more excitement there is. One week last year I was up at the GP with one child on a Tuesday after a school yard accident, and back up on the Thursday with another child. The following week it was the third school age child's turn (the school nurse was beside herself with my accident prone boys). Then there was the Christmas Eve debacle with three year old slicing his forehead open on a glass pane - he literally tripped over his own feet. I haven't even mentioned the two fingers in the door that happened in early January - on two separate occasions over the span of a week.
Last year we also had two trips to the ER with a suspected broken ankle on the twelve year old and a suspect broken wrist on the six year old.
No, it doesn't end with baby hood. The toddler years aren't necessarily the 'hard yards'. It just keeps on going - I suspect until the GOM and I shuffle off this mortal coil and no longer are responsible for the lads.
Of course, you know I wouldn't give the lads up for the world! No amount of poo or vomit or suspected broken bones would have me trade them in for lifetime of peace and quiet.
I just thought I'd let you know what you might be in for if you are determined to go down the path of parenthood. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking you just have to make it through the sleepless nights. I suspect the sleepless nights serve the purpose of toughening you up so you can cope with what lies beyond!
Good luck to you!