There is a level of chaos that was upped for us after having three children. Going from one to two was nuts because they were born pretty close together. I was chasing after a curious toddler while holding a newborn in a snugglie. But after a few years they began to play together and, even though it was still a bit crazy, they were entertained because they had one another to play with. Then came number three….
She is two and a half years old already and she gets into everything!!! She’s a climber so I often find her on top of the arm of the couch reaching for the top of the bookshelf, preparing to pull down something or other. She always finds my phone and hides under the table to push buttons. So far I’ve called AT&T three times in the last two weeks to cancel applications she somehow purchased. I don’t have an IPhone, let alone data, and for some reason she is able to push buttons until she downloads something, costing us money every time. Even if I hide my phone she will somehow find it.
Chaos always comes in repetitive segments. Life is calm and there are no worries, just the usual busy-ness. Then chaos comes like a domino effect and it just keeps coming, usually when you’re in a hurry and the place you’re trying to get to is actually important. This morning I had a meeting at 9am. This is the exact time that school starts for my kids and I had forgotten about the meeting starting in twenty minutes so I rushed to get properly dressed and teeth brushed as well as the toddler looking presentable (brushed hair and no more stains on her shirt). Just as I was getting ready she pooped in her portable potty so I had to take care of that. Then, after I got her dressed, she pulled off her shoes, socks and pants so I had to get her dressed again. Then we get to the van and the doors were frozen shut and as I was trying to nudge them open with my toddler in hand, a school bus came blazing down our narrow street so I moved aside and saw the bad mood in the bus driver’s face. Dang! I moved so she could get by!!! What the??? Then I had to scrape the ice off the windshield and off we went.
I dropped the kids off and sped to my meeting. This was our morning. Rushed and filled with chaos that doesn’t normally come unless, of course, we are in a hurry. Maybe it’s just that we notice it more when we’re in a hurry. I don’t know.
Then there was this evening. We finished dinner and Matt was starting to help Olivier to figure out what he would do for his school science fair project. I was cleaning up after dinner and taking thing after thing away from Sylvie as she kept grabbing spoons, cups, pens, carrots….anything she could get her hands on, and running off as I tried to chase her down and get the item back from her. At some point I hear Matt say, “No, Sylvie. That’s going to break if you do that. NO!!!! (loud crash)….Trace!!!!” I go to the living room and see she knocked over our five gallon jug of water for our dispenser. Yes, the lid was on. She dropped it and cracked it open. Water was gushing, like a river, all over our living room. Thankfully we have hardwood floors but it was dribbling down the heater vent, soaking the area rug and sending its river flow over the entire living room.
We grabbed about eight beach towels and kept soaking up water, wringing it outside, soaking it up again and again. It was nuts! Two of our kids helped as much as they could. One of them kept bitching about how his feet were getting wet so he wasn’t helping whatsoever! It was total chaos for about twenty minutes or more. I’m calm now and it’s even sort of funny to think about. It was NOT FUNNY in the moment and I couldn’t quite believe how crazy it was. I seriously don’t know what I would have done if Matt wasn’t here to help me clean up. He often isn’t in the evenings. This is life with three kids. Sometimes the chaos blindsides me and it’s enough to make me want to sit down in a corner and suck my thumb while weeping. I think I’ve done that minus the thumb sucking. But here we are today, with three amazing kids who have brought so much craziness into our lives and I’m thankful. I’m thankful now because I’m not sopping up five gallons of water from our hard wood floor.
Here’s to raising little humans!