I'm a three-mile runner.
(Sometimes, two miles less.)
Of course I'm still planning to get out there and do the marathon. But I'll be perfectly honest that I am in no way - shape - or form - planning to kill myself in the process. Instead, I'm thinking that I'll run when I feel like running, walk when I feel like walking and wear a pair of Heelys to make up time on the downhill.
I am a little disappointed that I haven't trained more aggressively than I have, especially since Margaret is now running 12 miles at a pop. But I've got a few legitimate reasons that my training has been so lax. Those reasons go by the name of William, Carolyn, Elizabeth and Henry.
And then there's the whole 'enjoyment of sleeping past 6:00 AM whenever possible' thing.
This morning my Aunt Grace (Margaret's mother) called to tell me that she was excited to be coming out to California with my Uncle Bill (Margaret's father), next month. She told me that unfortunately, Margaret hurt her hip training and she hasn't been able to run at all for the past few days. I tried to voice concern but all that came out was, "Gee! Really?! She's hurt and she can't run?! Oh. Wow. That's ... um ... awful. Tee Hee!"
So there you have it.
My cousin who can run more than me gets hurt and I'm giddy.
This conclusion is further supported by the day I had, today, with my children.
It happens very infrequently that I will make a concerted effort to spend a day putting away every last thing that litters our counters, sifting through clothes and toys for items to donate, and scrubbing the house 'til it shines.
I am not a perfectionist - not by a long shot.
I know that it is unrealistic to expect that I can live in an immaculately clean house with four children under the age of five.
Today, I wanted to have a little bit of order.
Today, I wanted to enjoy the house clean, even if for 10 minutes.
Today, instead of going to the zoo - or the park - or the beach - or the museum - or the aquarium, which is something I almost always do with our children ... today, I determined that I really needed to stick around the house and get it somewhat organized. Since I'm due to start work full time in less than two weeks, I really want to have a certain "order" in place before my weekly work schedule increases by 30%.
Now, in my four and a half years as a mother, I have learned a fair number of truths. One of those truths is that it is damn near impossible to straighten up a house with children underfoot. Especially when three of those four children are triplets that are like a wrecking crew moving from one thing to the next.
When my sister called to tell me that my brother and his wife seem to be handling things just GREAT with their (almost) four-year-old twin boys and twenty-two-month old singleton, my response was that twins are not as difficult as triplets. There are no two ways about it. You add that third
Today, I would take one step forward and the kids would set me back by two.
I'd go through their drawers and remove clothes for Goodwill, they'd take off the clothes that they were wearing and throw them in the pile and then pull clothes out of the pile and put those on. And then they'd go roll in the dirt.
Whatever it was that I was trying to do, they would derail my efforts. Or, they would meddle with something I had just completed such that I'd have to do it over again. While I was trying to go through their closet, the kids were playing on the opposite end of the closet and knocked the door off the runners.
For those anonymous commenters of the world that are laying in wait to pounce on this post with their advice, save your energy. I know that my children's behavior today was preventable. I know that I should have distracted the children with positive activities. I know that I should have done this work when Charlie was home and could entertain the kids. I know that I could have called in reinforcements. I know that they are only young once and a clean house isn't all that important. I know it. But sometimes, just because you know something, doesn't stop you from doing something stupid.
I put everyone outside to play and while I set about tackling cabinets in the kitchen, a mere 10 feet away, in less than three minutes, they flipped over all of their toys and completely disassembled the seven piece toddler slide.
What caught my attention is when they grabbed my broom and were smacking it against the wind chimes on the side of the house so hard that they were slamming into the window of the nursery. Where ... you guessed it ... there had been a blissfully napping baby.
The long and short of it is that I went nuts.
I told the children that I was going to send them someplace else to live.
They needed to go PACK THEIR BAGS because I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take them not listening and destroying everything in their path and fighting and whining and I WANT I WANT I WANT and HE, SHE, IT IS LOOKING AT ME and the SASSY ATTITUDE that has hit our house, times three, full force.
And then for added measure, I picked up the phone and called my mother and since she wasn't home, I left a message that I needed the bus to come pick up the naughty children. While I was leaving this message, the girls were crying hysterically. William however, didn't say anything. He ran off in to his room and returned a few minutes later carrying a bag. He had packed him pajamas, a few toys and his toothbrush.
He was ready to go.
"Bye, bye Mommy! Thanks for incubating me in your womb. I'm leaving now!"
He then convinced his sisters that they needed to leave with him.
A few minutes later, my three four-year-olds were packed and ready to leave.
Here's a picture of them sitting by the front window waiting for the bus to take them away.
And here's a small segment of the 20-minute video clip I filmed three hours later when William still wanted to go to my mother's house (Noni), despite my apologies and begging that he please stay.
Apparently, I give him a headache. Now, that's novel.
I'm hard pressed to understand why a child that I threatened to drop in another country and then, told that a bus for the naughty children was coming to take away, would ever want to leave?
I think he senses my overwhelming weakness in certain situations and I think he's calling my bluff. Because I can't imagine it had anything to do with looking at a face like this all day.
No silly. Of course that's not me!
That's just some psycho I downloaded from the internet. Which I imagine might have resembled me ... a tiny little bit ... at some point today.