‘So, third kid….good decision…bad decision?’ Jason asked last Friday while we were out on an actual date at an actual restaurant without any actual kids. I was too busy inhaling The Farm’s BLT salad to answer the question, plus, who’s really going to say ‘worst decision we ever made!’ on day 8 of the kid’s life?
When you have your first baby, people everywhere ask you ‘so, how do you like being a mom’, or the even more presumptuous, ‘so, do you just love being a mom?’
It’s the equivalent of the hallway ‘how are you’; extended to an individual as you’re walking past them with no expectation of a response other than ‘fine, thanks, and you?’
So it’s no surprise I’ve been asked the question ‘how’s it going with three’ a fair amount of times. But how to respond, really?
If Jason only works ten hours a week, and we have a grandparent or two on hand to help keep the older two entertained, and someone besides me is cooking dinner and the baby only wakes up every three to four hours in the night…then it’s remarkably easy. But that’s an awful lot of qualifiers.
But if Jason works six hours a day and there is no grandparent slash entertainment around…..it’s a little tough….even if someone else is cooking dinner. It’s not tough all the time, of course. There are times when the baby is actually sort of sleeping and I can read a book to someone, or bake muffins, or write poorly constructed sentences for the ol’ blog. You know, the important things. But there are also times when the boys are running around the house chasing each other and the baby’s screaming and I need to plug my ears, but I can’t because I have to feed a hungry newborn while simultaneously preparing the snack my oldest has asked for five times in one minute.
‘Can I have a snack? I thought you were making me a snack? Where’s my snack? I’m not getting a snack!’
Which typically coincides with the Hen hugging or touching his brother’s head for the thousandth time that day, and I say ridiculous sounding things like ‘stop hugging your brother’ but, really, the little guy should be entitled to one affection-free nap a day. Someone deserves a little uninterrupted sleep!
We were at church on Sunday. It was iffy. We almost didn’t make it because right before we left everyone started screaming and I wondered if it was a good idea to take our emotionally volatile bunch out in public. It probably wasn’t, in retrospect, but we did anyway.
I’d dressed B3 in a cute little outfit. And by ‘cute little outfit’ I mean it was a little blue wrap shirt and brown pants with matching socks. Nothing fancy, it was just clean…and sort of matched. But his brother decided to turn on the vibrating button on his bouncy seat, and he tossed his proverbial cookies all over himself, his shirt, his blanket, I think even the adjacent chair was affected.
So I changed him and he no longer looked as cute, but we had to go.
Aside from the Hen ripping off a chunk of my toenail as we walked in to church, things started out well enough. Until another baby in the church got baptized and my kid started screaming bloody murder. And I couldn’t get the door to the ‘quiet room’ open fast enough. I changed his little diaper while his screams bounced off the quiet room’s walls; while another pregnant woman who was sitting there serenely tried not to look alarmed at what her future held.
After a while I saw another woman who’d had her baby girl just three days after our little man was born. The baby girl looked like something out of a Gap ad; clad in a pink crocheted sweater, sweet little leggings and a lace collared shirt. She was probably on her way to be fed or changed, but there was not a sound emerging from her mouth. And I looked over at my boy wonder, who was no longer wearing any pants – just diaper and shirt, barely covered by a too-small blanket and a mismatched hat that was falling over his eyes.
Unlike a Gap ad.
But that’s life with three kids, I suppose.