The professor came home one night a few weeks ago and I said to him: ‘would you rather I run off to Maine and leave you with three children, or would you rather I run away to California and leave you with three children?’

He looked a little perplexed. It wasn’t the typical ‘would you rather‘ question, since I’d basically presented him with two identical scenarios.

He was silent for a moment before saying, ‘on the really rough days I like to imagine I’m on a plane that’s being held hostage. Because no one can be mad at a guy who’s being held hostage on a plane. And then I’d (faux-heroically) say to the hostage-takers: let everyone else go….just keep me.’

Note to self: keep Mr. Johnson away from airplanes.

For the first six months of our beloved B3’s existence, ‘life with three’ (children) felt fairly easy. Because he was ‘easy’. And slept a lot. And when he was awake, I could stick him in a bouncy seat and tend to the blondies. Or get stuff done.

But then it, or he, changed. He got sick, thanks to his snotting croupy brother. And he pretended he was getting a couple of teeth. And the bouncy seat was replaced by my arms.

And the older boys entered a new phase of their relationship: constant fighting and torturing one another. The laundry piled up. Dinner happened increasingly later each day. I had to get up three and four times a night. I missed the Sandra Bullock-Jesse James relationship ‘development’. And the Kate Winslet-Sam Mendes split. And I couldn’t even find fifteen minutes in the day to put something on my blog.

And obviously life as I know it continued, but I  started thinking about going into the witness protection program.


I was at a party on Friday night where I met a couple who’d recently welcomed their second child. I think they asked me what it was like having three. I say ‘think’ because I find I’m not the best at tracking conversations these days.

‘I wouldn’t trade my baby for anything,’ I began by way of reply, and then I put my fist in my mouth.

A non-verbal reply.

‘So, do you think by the time he turns two things will get better?” another surprisingly astute party-goer asked me. I hadn’t given the matter much thought – I’d been thinking about running away instead. It dawned on me she was probably right.

Which means I’m looking at eighteen more months of fist-biting.

7 thoughts on “Behind

  1. hmmm…maybe on Sunday’s you need to stay away from nurseries of crying children…especially when none of them are your own and you are not on the schedule.

  2. I find it interesting that just because one has more than one child you are considered some sort of expert. You, therefore, get asked all sorts of interesting child rearing questions – including what it is like to have so many kids.

    Today some one commented on how brave I was with so many in a restaurant.

    Thanks I think.

  3. Had to comment on this one…hee hee. (And just as I am, my 3rd almost 2 year old is pouring my left over coconut milk onto the floor…) Sometimes I would love to get out my Peg Perego baby seat and strap him in there, leaving him immobile for just moments so I can get something done… ‘nough said!

  4. Erin, well it was only ten minutes and other people’s screaming children are much more bearable than my own! Andrea, will you let me know if ‘it’ does get better when the baby turns 2? Or, maybe I don’t want to know. Roberta, I’ll send you an application for the witness protection program 🙂


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