I need to fold the laundry. I fold it and put it in the basket, they take it out and scatter it around the house. I need to clean up the floor because contractors are coming any moment, to rip out and replace some of our hardwood. They are two steps behind me making twice as large of a mess as what I just cleaned up. I need to make a phone call. They run around screaming like banshees at the top of their lungs. I need to sit down and pay the bills. On the rare occasion I don't pay online, I reach for my checkbook and it has been hijacked and decorated with PWINCESS stickers. I want to go to sleep. They don't. I need to go from Point A to Point B. They take off their shoes, often times - all of their clothes - and run in the opposite direction.
They pick up and chew used gum from the sidewalk, lick the receiver on a public pay phone and cause sheer chaos at every turn. Just because.
When they were infants, it was definitely easier. I could secure them behind a gate and there they would stay while I did what I needed to do.
Today, when I was cleaning up from lunch and I thought the kids were napping, I looked outside to see Elizabeth sitting naked in the sandbox playing with random parts of Charlie's new BBQ that have not yet been assembled because my husband is incapacitated.
Then there's Carolyn and her refusal to poop in the potty. She's not constipated. She is perfectly able to go, she just won't until she is in a diaper. A diaper that she must wear at night because otherwise she will wet the bed that she shares with her sister. The one time I tried to use a waterproof pad at night, she wound up sleeping on top of the blankets and drenching her quilt and down comforter. This is quite unlike William, who also wasn't constipated, but declared an all-out poop strike and wouldn't go at all and would stress and strain and grunt and groan just to keep it in.
Good times, people.
I'll never forget my mother telling me, when the triplets were babies, that I always need to be kind to them. That sounded simple enough when I was looking at my helpless premature infants. Of course I would always be kind to them, why would I not?!
Now I know.
I am trying to get something, anything done, and they make the completion of even the simplest task infinitely more difficult. I'll tell them "Children! Children!! I want to spend every waking moment focused on you and only you. But I must have a few moments to myself so that I can complete this one thing. I must prepare food for us to eat or we will all perish. Believe me, if we would all thrive eating Doritos, meal time would never be an issue, again!!"
So I lose my patience on a colossal scale, because when I turned around to take out ingredients from the refrigerator, someone knocked the baby down and he hit his head on the floor. And somebody else is bending the curtain rod because they are using our drapes to swing like Tarzan. And somebody else just pulled an entire dozen of eggs off the counter and they splattered all over the floor. And that empty paper towel roll that I had moments earlier, lovingly handed to them to use as a telescope is now something that I snatch back and smack them over the heads with.
Oh, they try to run. But their little legs are not NEARLY as fast as mine.
As I'm doing this, I'm beating myself up for being a terrible mother, yet find myself unable to get a grip. Then, there is the verbal barrage that is now being directed at my invalid husband who gives me a look that says "You might be overreacting just a bit" and although I know I am overreacting, I am tired because I haven't had more than four hours of sleep in at least a year and I am frustrated that he tried to lift a five-burner grill ALL BY HIMSELF on to our wagon for transport to the back yard, while I was at the park with his
He knows not to do this kind of lifting on his own, because he has a bad back. But does he ever listen?? The correct answer is NO, instead of waiting for me to come home and help, he tried to do it all by himself so he could surprise me with a nice dinner.
I'm absolutely certain he told me that so I wouldn’t kill him on the spot.
Add to that, we have our neighborhood yard sale tomorrow morning and although this was something Charlie was excited to handle, it’s now something I must handle. And at this point, watching the kids while also trying to manage a yard sale sounds more painful than trying to run two-miles in under 30 minutes.
All of these topics, and then some, come in to our conversation.
The $350.00 glasses that he lost at the swimming pool, the bunny that Elizabeth lost at the museum, the giraffe that Carolyn lost at the park, the one shoe that William lost when he kicked it out of the back of the car before I closed the sliding door - from the front.
The mind that I have lost, long ago.
I was talking with a co-worker about this absolutely insane period of my life and why it is that things seem so chaotic. Then it dawned on me.
I told her "You know what I need?"
She nodded her head and said "A nanny."
And I said, "No. An exorcist."