Thursday, October 6, 2011

Three's An Intestinal Parasite Waiting To Happen

So what's it like having three kids?

It's a question I've been fielding for about two months now. A question which for some reason is kind of hard to answer. I mean, I ramble a lot when I try to answer it. Although I've been rambling a lot when I answer any question lately. Yesterday at Publix it took my fifteen minutes to let the cashier know that I'd forgotten my coupons. I'm thinking of hiring someone to follow me around with a hooked cane and haul me offstage when my monologues get too long. Or I can download some Wrap It Up music on my phone to play in similar situations. I wonder what genre that would be under. Soundtracks? Classical? Maybe rap...get it?

ANYWAY, the main talking points I touch on when answering the aforementioned question are as follows:

Having three kids is really not that different from having two kids. Honestly. With two kids, you're used to chaos. Messes. Stumbling around the house bleary-eyed and borderline nauseated due to lack of sleep. You're used to laundry that multiplies when you're not looking. You're used to feeling at times like you've lost your mind, and you scream more loudly than a gaggle of fifth grade girls at a Justin Beiber concert. I guess the only difference here is that on top of all this, your clothes will often smell like spit-up.  And you have bigger boobs. 

And for me, I think the main different pre- and post-three kids is that instead of my children getting into trouble because I was ignoring them to write/clean up/talk on the phone/go to the bathroom, my children get into trouble because I'm changing/nursing/trying to interact with Finn. Which is why I'm struggling to keep up with my blog. And why the house is an eternal state of Holy Crap We've Been Ransacked. 

Case in point...the other day I had the kids outside in the driveway, engaging in typical afternoon activities that are my attempt to keep them from trashing the house anymore than it already is. Sidewalk chalk, riding toys, bubbles, the kind of stuff we keep on and around the workbench Jeff bought because he thought he'd actually be tinkering in the garage after work and on weekends instead of passing out on the couch with a half-drunk beer in his hand and taking the kids to Target, respectively.

So Finn decided to christen me with his very first blow-out. I leaped up from the camping chair where I'd been watching them blow bubbles and quickly alerted the other kids that I had to run inside to contain the Monster Deuce Finn had just dropped. You guys stay right there, I told them, pointing to the garage floor. I'll be right back.

(Side Note: There's a reason the phrase I'll Be Right Back is always the death knell for minor characters in horror movies. As soon as you utter those four words, something more terrible than Jennifer Love Hewitt's acting is about to happen.)

I left the door to the house open, so as I quickly changed Finn's diaper, outfit, socks (yes, even his socks had poop on them) and went through roughly eighty thousand wipes, I listened to the cheery sounds of my children giggling and jabbering to each other. What good kids, I thought. They are staying right where I told them. They are actually heeding my instructions. Maybe I should surprise them by reemerging with a couple of popsicles for them as a reward for being such angels

When I returned to the garage, I discovered just why the kids were giggling, why they had stayed in the garage in the precise spot I'd instructed.

They had stripped down to their undies, had emptied the entire contents of their 500 fluid-ounce bottle of Super Duper Mega Magic Bubbles on the garage floor, and were having the grandest time slipping around in it like the garage was a big, concrete Wet Banana.

Me: You guys!!
Elsa: Look, Momma! It's fun!
Me: What did you guys do!? (Pretty obvious, I know, but sometimes it's hard to wrap my head around the shennanigans my kids have come up with, and their interpretation or what's going on is necessary for me to digest the magnitude of the mess.)
Rollie (as he skids across the floor on his belly like a blonde, wiry penguin): Whooo-hooo!
Me: Rollie! I cannot believe you dumped out all your bubbles!!!
Elsa: Rollie did it!
Rollie: No I didn't. They spilled.
Elsa: Look at me, Momma! Wheeeeeee! She does a barrel-roll in the bubbles, her body shining like a freshly greased pig.
Me: You guys. guys.

I couldn't emphasize enough to them that I truly couldn't believe what I was seeing, but then I realized, this was kinda my fault. I'm the one who decided to leave a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old to their own devices with a giant jug of bubbles and a completely bare garage floor. I don't know why I expected them to actually sit on the floor and blow bubbles like a couple of docile flower children.

Later that day...or maybe it was the next day...I was nursing Finn on the couch when Elsa trotted up to me with a cup of chocolate milk and announced that she had to use the potty. And since she's constantly vacillating between pleas for me to help her and insistence that she can do it (along with everything else on the planet) all by herself, I didn't bother getting up to help her. Oh foolish, foolish woman.

After an especially long bout of silence coming from down the hallway, I called out to her, asking if she was okay.

Elsa: ...Yeah....
Me: You sure? Do you need help?
Elsa: ....
Me: Elsaaaa?
Finally she emerged from around the corner, holding up her cup.
Me: You all done?
Elsa: Yep.
Me: Did you wash your hands?
Elsa: Yes.
Me: Did you finish your chocolate milk?
Elsa: I spilled it.
Me (sighing): Where?
Elsa: In the potty.
Me: What do you mean, you spilled it in the potty? You dumped it in the potty?
Elsa: I dropped my cup in the potty.
Me (eeeeewwwwwww): And then you fished it out??
Elsa: And then I drank it.
Me (finally unhooking Finn, realizing that my daughters possible e coli contamination took precedence over my infant son's afternoon snack): What?
Elsa: I drank water from the potty. She holds up her cup, which now contains water. From the toilet.

I hustled her back into the bathroom, trying to calculate when the last time was that I cleaned the toilet. And as I scrubbed her hands and face with water that just didn't seem hot enough to destroy all the germs I was sure were festering on her skin, I lectured her about why she should never ever ever drink water from the toilet. It was a new speech, once I don't remember giving to Rollie. Surprisingly. I think he ate dog food, and possibly drank from Ollie's water dish. But not the toilet. That I know of, anyway.

And so after having spent the last few days on dysentery watch, I can honestly say that having three kids truly isn't all that difficult. At least my garage floor is sparklingly clean. And now my toilet is, too...just in case.


  1. Hahaha thank you!!! It has been too long since I've enjoyed your post. And so happy you have 3 so I can continue to see that my life isn't all that different. It's cast and hectic and I've just accepted that the last of my marbles rolled out the door when Emma came in :).

  2. Look on the bright's HER bacteria anyway. Really loved the blog. Can you imagine your life with NO SENSE OF HUMOR???

  3. Lmao! Really enjoyable! By the way, its funny cause I grew up with 2 brothers, I was also the middle girl like Elsa and my younger brother was also a red-head so let me assure you when I say the good times are just beginning lol! Good luck! =]

  4. Reading your stuff makes me feel okay. Normal in fact. Thank you!

  5. Thanks everyone! Glad to know I'm not the only one with kids who drink from the toilet. At least they're staying hydrated...

  6. LOL!!! Nice post Bekah! It's so easy to laugh hard at what you write because the middle 3 of our six children are now teenagers. Looking back at the blowouts, gross-outs, and cute-outs they had when they were your children's ages allows me a full measure of laughter. This too shall pass, unfortunately. Thank goodness for Veronica, who is now 5. She keeps me sane when teenagers misplace my sanity... What an entertaining, hilarious trip down memory lane! Keep writing! I need the smiles!