One > Three

23 April 2013

Julia wasn't feeling well this morning ("I havin a tough time" ... "everything just hurts" ... "I have a fever in my tummy" .... )


and so after the 999th emotional meltdown because her blankets touched or Sebastian looked at her blankets or I walked down the stairs too fast I popped her in her crib and told her to please figure it out. Several minutes later I found Sebastian shaking her crib and shrieking in her ear to no avail because she had fallen asleep. This never happens. Please don't think that ever happens. She usually naps in the afternoon but never just falls asleep willy nilly in the morning. So, Theo had just gotten his wiggles out on the living room rug had been tucked into his bouncy seat to sleep and it was just me and Sebastian.

Let me just type that Sebastian is not a clingy kid. Julia is the clingy one and I guess Theo is clingy only because he relies on other humans to get him around these days but Sebastian is happy to sprint around the house, occasionally beg for food, bite Julia or Theo, dance on tables, and be on his jolly way. But today he turned into a clinger. You know that thing kids can do when you try to put them down and they hold their legs up around an imaginary person and refuse to stand or sit down? That. He kept doing that and he has never done that before. So I kept him on my hip as I made him some lunch ... we took some framers ....



and eventually he agreed to sit in his high chair and eat like a civilized toddler - if! and only if! I sat right next to him and made airplane noises and laughed when he did something "funny" (toddler funny is generally not funny in this house ... it is very confusing). If I dared to stray to the kitchen in selfish search of something for myself ... the grunts that can grate against God's ears began in full force.


in between jokes and grunts.

The memories of the summer before Sebastian was born came flooding back and I physically shuddered a little bit. We had just moved to St. Louis and the lonely realities of residency (you're working every single weekend night this month?!) were setting in and it was just me and Julia. I have the most vivid recollection of sitting on the kitchen floor with a just learned how to crawl 10ish month old while picking the yogurt covered Cheerios out of the box and debating going to the store to get another box just to break up the monotony but Julia HATED the car seat so what was the point?

I don't miss that summer.

I would never argue that having three relatively little kids is easy because if you walked into my house right now you would be prompted to remark, "weird, I didn't hear any tornado sirens last night?" before your tact could stop you. I'm fairly certain I saw Simon cower while he ate breakfast as I ogred about after getting up with sick Julia at 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and finally 7 this morning. And I just gave my appearance a once over for the first time all day and am thoroughly confused because I don't remember putting on an outfit that screams: invalid meets Mr. Rogers meets someone that isn't quite committed to a workout but is maybe thinking about it.

What's your point, oh wise veteran mother Grace?

Well! Three kids is much busier, much louder, much more overwhelming, and SO much messier but my little forced date with Sebastian was a good reminder for call weekends and night float months and random Tuesday mornings when I just want to throw my hands up and yell, "my life!! my life is harder than all the lifes!!" (oh .... my path to martyrdom is a rough one) that maybe I should first give a little nod and whisper, "RIP" to the kitchen floor and the cheerful memories of Cheerios past.

(I'm not saying all moms with one child and a husband that works a lot of hours are having a tough time ... maybe I'm a special breed of whine.)

(Also, I know Simcha already basically said this and so much more and she has nine kids)

(And I know a lot of moms cherish special one-on-one time with their kids so I should've put on my grateful spirit t-shirt and run with it but he tried to bite me 33 times over the course of 30 minutes and I can only laugh and gently reprimand that so many times before I'm so very over it.)


37 comments:

  1. I havin' a tough time.
    Sweet girl. <3

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  3. Have you tried biting him back? : )

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  4. I have recently discovered a love for the photobooth since our household is now the proud owner of an iPad mini. I may or may not have left John some photographic evidence of how lovely his wife is. Ha

    (I also may have watched pitch perfect 2 times this weekend but that is another embarassing aca-fession)

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  5. I was JUST thinking about this - one is SO much harder than 2 or 3 (or even 4, beyond that I can't say)! Maybe the worst time of my life was when John Paul was 10 months old and I was pregnant with Cecilia and Andrew was studying for the bar and so I had to wake up with my little 5AM wakeup call and try to teach him games like "let mom lie on the couch while you eat cheerios off the floor (do I sense a theme with our lives?)" while we waiting for Andrew to come home for dinner and leave again to study into the wee hours of the morning.

    That non-verbal stage is just NOT fun for me. But it's so much easier with the other kids around to distract each other and me, and it's easier to forgive one child his failings when you have another child being all kinds of awesome!

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  6. I love your blog. And the way you see life. I have three kids too (three two and 4 months). I can relate to everything you write about, it is so helpful to know I am not the only one with a crazy life :) And thanks for the link to the article. I loved it!

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  7. Absolutely agree... especially when that one child can't talk. It's lonely. Even fragmented, makes-no-sense sentences beat silence.

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  8. I'm currently right there. My hubs is off setting up a job and house in our new state for the next month until I can join him. Meanwhile I've got a two year old who makes incredible messes in 2.5 (seconds, that is) and I'm clocking in at 20 weeks pregnant.

    Rosie, it's good to know that one is the hardest, because I'm constantly on the verge of freaking out.

    Thanks for this Grace. It's good to know that "this, too, shall pass!"

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  9. At our house the failure to launch landing gear is fondlyish referred to as "broken legs" and only drives me a couple kinds of crazy which is a short drive so no big. Loved this. Glad you had your date with Bash and hope J feels mucho better soon!

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  10. Just had a conversation with my mother-in-law about this yesterday after we had a day full of other kids to play with Ryan and it was so nice x 1000. I told her that I cannot wait for Ryan to have this little brother or sister. And I hope I remember that when both are screaming at me.

    Glad I'm not the only one who sits on the floor for some fine baby dining.

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  11. The fact that the pics of Julia and Sebastian are SO cute make the post perfect. I so often look at Jake and think: "You are so adorable. Why is it only sometimes fun to hang out with you?"

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  12. That is one of my favorite Simcha posts EVER and I loved yours today too because SO MUCH CHANGES when you add a kid/your oldest gets old enough to converse! I made up lots of errands in those early months. Hubby in health care with long hours = bored crazy lonely momma!

    Lately I've been having little memories of my baby N (my oldest, turning 5 this summer - ACK!) as a little one - his face is evolving such that he looks strangely like his baby face again (in a more boyish way, hmm) and its bringing back all these memories. Sometimes motherhood is one big pendulum swing emotionally - but I wouldn't trade it for the world!

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  13. Here you go again... making me want AND fear children at the same time. ;)

    The Brayn of Chalayn

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  14. Oh my goodness...thank you so much for this post, Grace! It was just what I needed to hear. Just a few more months before our second is born, but I tell you that there are some days that having a husband in grad school and one toddler who I spend every day with makes me a little crazy!!! It's good to hear that I'm not actually crazy...just a weird kind of normal. It's good to know I'm not alone :-)

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  15. This is so encouraging, for realz. Thanks, Grace :)

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  16. Please write a book. In your spare time. PleasePleasePrettyPlease write a book.

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  17. P.S. I'll help you find a extrovert-pretend-grace to do the book tour and morning show circuit.

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  18. This doesn't compute for me but I still need to be your friend. And I still think you're hilarious/supermom. Duh. PS: Feel better soon Julia!!!!

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  19. This doesn't compute for me but I still need to be your friend. And I still think you're hilarious/supermom. Duh. PS: Feel better soon Julia!!!!

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  20. ...."the grunts that can grate against God's ears", I my goodness you're hilarious. I'm sorry that Julia is sick and that there is no sleep for the Momma of a sicko. Good luck, hopefully she'll feel better soon and nobody else will get it!

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  21. I seriously appreciate hearing a mom of three little ones saying that having just one is still a challenge. I feel like so often more experienced moms forgot just how lonely and boring days could get when you're taking care of one very young, very silent child who has no one else to regularly interact with. I can't say too much, being that I still only have one kiddo, but I've come to think that with each number of children come a unique set of love and challenges.
    Thanks for your awesome and totally relatable blog. Hope Julia feels better soon! Although the extra napping can't be all bad, right? ;)

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  22. Yes, yes, yes. My 5 mo is so cute, smiley, drooly and BORING! My firefighter husband does 24 hour shifts so I too have spent my fair share of evenings sprawled out, watching the clock, doing tummy time with the baby. (And hoping he doesn't notice me reading my kindle behind his back)

    I can relate to the annoying grunt. James does it too and I'm always thinking..if he grunts one more time I am going to lose my mind!

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  23. We were having similar thoughts today :) Yup, I always tell people that it gets easier with each one. Maybe not less demanding or tiring but definitely easier.

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  24. We have the same faucet. Yep, I know you were just dying to know that we share faucets, but we do!

    In all seriousness though, great post!

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  25. Love Julia's t-shirt, thought I caught a glimpse of it in the snake video. We love Honey Bee Tees at my house. She wears it well, even as a sickly. Feel better J!

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  26. I have a fever in my tummy too...I hope she felt better when she woke up...peace to you this day my friend...

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  27. Such a good point, and when pregnant friends ask me if two is harder than one, I say something along these lines, but you say it better. They have so much more energy to entertain each other, they find the same things funny... or just drive each other crazy. But I remember checking out library books and reading to a 3 month old. Or walking around our apartment complex in the cold when my husband was on day 11 of a 12 day shift, only for him to come home and work on projects all night and weekend (different residency... still terrible). Our daughter hated the car seat too, so it was torture for me and her. It was easier to stay home and count the seconds:)

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  28. Mine HATED the car seat, too. And I do believe that they come easier in plural. My best friend and I had our first within two weeks of each other, then she promptly had her second within the year. It sounds like she spends a lot less time being followed around and begged, "Hode me!!"

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  29. SO TRUE about "the grunts that can grate against God's ears." My clingy 13 month old makes this sound any time I walk 2 feet away from him and I could never quite find the right phrase for the noise only his vocal cords can make.

    Great post! So nice to read about someone who loves their children with all their soul but not necessarily all their little "quirks." :)I can totally relate!

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  30. Yeah, I remember unnecessary late trips to Kmart just me and my son b/c daddy was working late and we were in our own odd world, just the two of us. Time was weird with just one little toddler and a starting-his-career daddy concerned about providing and all...

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  31. I could not agree more. I think I could actually feel my soul being sucked from my body when I just had one. Somehow, 3 really is easier or at least not any harder. And, you're too busy and it's too noisy to even notice what might or might not be happening with your soul but I think I felt it come back the other day.

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  32. I need to know where you got that adorable fire fly jar t-shirt!! So cute

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  33. I am so with you on more kids being easier. Even with three in three years and one with health issues, I still keep wondering when number 4 will come along just to keep things interesting. One thing that isn't easier: laundry.

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  34. I've always said the transition from 0 to 1 was the hardest for many reasons. I ALWAYS felt tired, lonely, and a little bit bored. Now that I have 4, I'm always busy, never alone, and there's always someone to talk to. Even if it's kid conversation, at least I'm not stuck in my own head all day! There are definite challenges to all ages and stages, but I do prefer life with more than one child!

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  35. OMG that picture of Julia!! and aww at "i havin' a tough time"- hope she feels better!

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  36. I loved reading this.

    I think I am finally realizing (21 months into this gig), that having one is boring and slow. Things just take longer, and there is really no need to do anything if I don't want to. It kinda makes me feel like my life is a boring pile of boring boredness.

    This is right on the heels of #2, so I am hoping that instead of losing my ever-loving mind, I will find some sort of busyness in my life.

    This is my life. Holy crap.

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  37. Thanks for this. Having just one is CRAZY HARD sometimes.

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