the anatomy of expediency: child style

25 August 2014

Almost every morning I wake up to one or more child(ren) crying and immediately and groggily start making plans to do something with said roosters for the sole purpose of getting us out of the house. It's crazy! There's something about being inside with toys and food and each other that seems to encourage and foster a hostile environment littered with fighting and whining and tends to drive a certain child shepherdess insane. My/her plans are usually something simple along the lines of walking to a playground, going to the grocery store for one food item (tortillas and bananas, we always need more of those, it seems) and three free cookie "samples", or going to say hi to Simon if he's free for a few minutes at the hospital. God bless summer, even if it is hotter than a broiler some days. It still trumps the paralyzing cold. Always.

On Wednesday of last week the trip du jour was going to be the playground. The far away playground by the hospital because I was feeling generous and adventurous and there is ample shade and dirt for digging and nary a swing to fight over.

I started getting ready as soon as everyone was awake at 6:58am and made a firm resolve that we would be happily trotting out the door NO later than 9am.

NO LATER.


... but everyone is full from first breakfast, second breakfast, and a snack. So, there.

I wrestle the boys into outfits and spend too many minutes looking for matching shoes for Sebastian that don't send him into an emotional tailspin because they, "hurt me feeeeeet!!!!" ...


Julia is obsessed with drawing things or letters on this and then asking us, "is this ..... the letter e?!" or "is this Christmas balls?" (ornaments? yes) or "is this how you spell S for Bash?" etc.


She recently spent a LONG time coloring the ENTIRE screen in and was completely disgusted and exasperated that I couldn't figure out what it was (a baby wipe, duh).

After 99 rounds of toddler Pictionary I try to slip in a selfish little hygiene session by way of some teeth brushing, face washing, and (the vanity!) mascara swiping.

Theo joins and starts signing*, "please" because he is a lover of the forbidden lotions and potions in the bathroom.

*I made this sign up, I think it's actually the sign for "more" but I was tired of his grunting for everything all the time so for some reason I feel better that he does his begging via faux sign. I also made up a motion for, "sorry" but Simon says I can't teach him a fake language so we only do that one in secret. Don't tell.


fine. come join me.

Then we finish that up and I lock the bathroom door from the outside (see here) but Theo sweet-signs Sebastian into sneakily pulling a chair over and unlocking the door ....


wearing Julia's jegging shorts, MUCH to Simon's delight.

I drag him out, relock the door and start the process of deciding if I should go full-exercise-garb-minus-the-exercise mode or try a little bit. I go with a mix.

AND AGAIN.

Giddy with GLEE. Sebastian has wisely retreated to the basement.

Make a note to talk to Simon about how he feels about a chairless existence until the kids turn the age of logical (ever?), feed them a second snack and 89 sips of ice water, and eventually go to check on Grumpy ... who is oh so patiently waiting to get the show on the road ...


wearing her playground bow.

break up five consecutive fights between Julia and Sebastian, talk Julia off a ledge when she can't find the whisk she's taken to sleeping with under her pillow, and change Theo's bomb.

And she's still waiting ...


search high and low for the baby wipes, ANY pair of sunglasses (broken or not), my phone that is in my hand, and seriously, where are the wipes?!

In the mean time she's become mobile ...


And finally reaches the end of her long and virtuous rope.


Find the big kids using the rubber strip meant to go under the front door as a race track of some sort ...


And remember I was going to put those diapers away. So I do. And then feed them a third snack/small lunch to get us through our imminent sojourn and consider scrapping the whole trip because we have been working toward departure for well over five hours and I really like to get the kids all tucked in for naps right around one but I persevere ...


for a 20 minute drive, an 18 minute prize, and a 20 minute drive home where Theo enjoyed a four minute power nap that he assumed counted for his three hour soul-saving siesta (no, never).

I don't remember how I ever got Julia and Sebastian to preschool before noon but we still have two (WHAT) more weeks to practice because apparently their school enjoys eternal summers of parental torture (JK! if her wonderful teachers happen to be reading this - doubtful as that may be).

The end. 
Until tomorrow when it begins again.

:)


39 comments:

  1. Well, I'm excited for summer to be over, because then it's fall and then it's Christmas time. Bring on the Christmas Balls.

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  2. It makes me smile, even though you probably don't have the same reaction, that trouble-maker Bash has graduated to enabler.

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  3. Some mornings, it takes me 2 hours to get myself ready and out the door to work... so I would say you are doing pretty good! (2 hours x 5 peeps = 10 hours... and you did it in WAAAAY less than that!)

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  4. Fake sign language!!!!! So good.

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  5. I have a 9 year old, 2 year old and 11 week old and I still can't figure it out. I've just made close, personal friends with my own bad reputation. I even drop my daughter off at school in my pajamas.

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    1. HA. yes, I'm always careful to wear something relatively appropriate to bed the nights before the kids have school.

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    2. That's awesome! If I did not have to get dressed (like jeans dressed) for work I'd probably be in the same boat. I'm pondering some sort of hidden camera in the parking lot at preschool so I can see myself (and the kids) drag ourselves through the parking lot each and every day. Oh the memories…

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  6. I feel your pain. Nothing in life made me become a hermit like four kids did! But I made it through and now we actually go places! :)

    Check out the signing time dvd series. Totally worth the investment. My kids LOVE them! And we end up with a hybrid sign language particular to each baby. :)

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    1. I was more of a hermit with 1 and 2 kids .... I had it all backwards! I'm scared I'd confuse Theo after teaching him all the wrong signs ;)

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  7. Ha! My kids' bathroom mischief du jour is emptying the box of 3048230984 q-tips everywhere. Soph is also into shoes right now, so finding ones that fit when we're running late for Mass (of course) or wherever always takes some detective work. Phoebe has the cutest smile ever, but seriously, when is she going to start pulling her own weight??

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  8. I'm dying laughing, so funny! The pic of Theo pouring the bottle is so cute. Wilson's hobbies include unloading/loading/shutting/turning off mid-cycle -the dishwasher whenever I want to do - not those things. You are my hero for leaving your house with your kids. I hide out as often as I can!

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  9. I just have to add that my 2 year old is currently eating barbeque sauce for dinner at 8:25 pm. I am killing it.

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  10. HA! I love that you are making up signs for Theo. I am freaking out already about getting my eldest to school on time tomorrow (3 kids under six ready and out the door by 7:30. . . WHAT?)

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  11. Oh Phoebe! Just when you think you can't get a cuter Patton, bam! Is it weird that I want to reach into my phone to squeeze those cheeks! She's just delicious!

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  12. I really wonder how people who have to be presentable in public do it. I stay home so there's no pressing need to be too groomed and the hubs wears glorified pajamas (aka scrubs) to work and it still takes us far to long to get the girls out of the house.

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  13. The made up sign language?!?! Too much!! I love it!!

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  14. This is so funny and so real! I had 3 under 3 and then we took a break and are getting ready to attempt to get pregnant again with #4 (my littlest is 18 months). Your Bash reminds me so much of my Caleb size wise, just like baby hulks walking around. My oldest is 4.5 (Is Julia 4 yet?) and it really does get easier as they get older! Also, my oldest 2 (a girl and a boy like yours) fight allll the time! It seriously drives me crazy. When does that stop?! I gave them built in BFFs and they don't even appreciate it! ;)

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  15. I only have two, but it feels like it takes us hours to leave the house. Especially since all fourteen of her princess dolls must have breakfast before we leave and then of course their hair brushed and then a thorough inventory of every puzzle piece she owns. Just to go to Target. Sigh! :)

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  16. Glad I am not the only one that takes forever to get all 3 kids dressed and out of the house. The biggest problem is that if we hit that perfect moment where all the kids and I are mostly dressed I shoot out the door and leave the kitchen/ bedrooms / house a mess. So I come back at 12-1 for naps to a disaster zone and laundry dishes etc.

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  17. Ha! I love the fake sign language! I'm laughing so hard, it's awesome! My mornings are total disasters and I only have 2 kids! You are such a rock star mom!!!

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  18. Oh, I remember those days all too well. They stretch looooonnnnnnggggg. Now I find myself in the world of being able to leave one at home even! Cue song: A whole new world........

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  19. Oh my gosh. All of this. And I'm just wrangling one! I didn't understand how people forgot to brush their hair until I had my daughter. She just turned one and is on the go constantly. We are renovating our house (with a baby. i know, sadists) and her favorite thing is plucking off bits of drywall. Fun hobbies.

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  20. Really enjoy your blog! I'd like to hear how you manage your sanity on mornings like this. I love that your blog seems so real and details your challenges rather than just showcasing a perfect life. Blogs get tiring when they turn into tutorials of how to make your life more like the bloggers, but I'd actually like to hear some advice from you: with 4 kids and a desire to have more, you are obviously doing something right!

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    1. Thanks Liz!!! I don't feel qualified to give advice but I do have a post with some thoughts coming up!!! :)

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  21. THIS.

    "where Theo enjoyed a four minute power nap that he assumed counted for his three hour soul-saving siesta"

    why do kids think that counts!? if i had a four minute power nap, no way in hell would it count for a true nap. why do young people think they can get away with that shit?!?!

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  22. I have one child and I experience this. I am starting to think the clock needs to go out the window. Also, I believe God finds immense humor in watching us juggle these little bundles of havoc on a daily basis.

    And seriously, my two year old occasionally buys into that power nap scam. Ugh!

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  23. The only time my kids ever do anything fast is when they have to change to go to the pool, they are quick as lightning. Other than that, it seems we do take forever to get out of the house. Oh and someone always forgets something they so desperately needed to take. Oh and Theo is such a sneaky one with the power nap!!

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  24. you know i love this but i'll tell you anyways just so we are sure. you only need an additional six arms and i think you'd be golden. and since that isn't a natural possibility possibly dressing kids in their school clothes the night before may work? ;)

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  25. Love this description! I laughed aloud many times... especially since I live this, too (a just turned 3 year old, 20 month old and 8 week old - all boys!...but I'm always itching to LEAVE the house since it just gets crazier by the minute) My mom thinks it's so silly that I feed the kids so many snacks and meals between 7am and Noon...but it's true!! Not an exaggeration just like you documented. So enjoy reading your mom posts...I feel so normal afterwards! :) God Bless!

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  26. You guys crack me up. Thank you! If I wake up a little early to get myself together, that saves us about 2 hours so we can actually get out of the door.

    I find that we usually end up in this black hole time warp where we end up leaving during nap time and turn around because my daughter is tired. We're lame.

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  27. Hilarious. That's how it goes over here too and I am down two kiddos for the count (but up two dogs, and that counts!). Why should I have to pack a lunch THE NIGHT BEFORE if I want to picnic? Which we shall be doing if we end up parking it that late in the day. Then I might get one of them to sleep in the car. But, you know if I do pack that lunch, it's bound to rain.

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  28. When I was pregnant with our first son, I worked full time. My assistant was also pregnant and went out on maternity leave about 3 months before me. She would call me at work to check in and I remember her telling me that it "was a good day if she and the baby were clean and dressed before noon". And I remember thinking "what does she DO all morning? It's ONE baby for goodness sake". And then I had mine. And then I knew.

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  29. Oh Grace, the secret for being able to get them out the door early for school is the motivation that they will be at school all day!

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  30. I agree that the heat is better than the cold. Mostly because you don't have to put 50 layers on each kid.
    I'm with Liz! I love how real you blog is. And also, how do you stay somewhat sane?! I come from a family of 10 but just have two so far (Julia and Bash's ages) and really have a hard time talking myself into more :) I'm looking forward to that post you have coming up!

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  31. What's your secret for getting over the "terrified to leave the house with two" hump? I keep thinking I'll become less terrified as #2 gets older and more self-sufficient, but he's 10 months now and going out with the two of them alone makes me twitchy. All I can say is thank goodness for Amazon and Peapod.

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  32. You always make me laugh :) And your Phoebe is just too cute, she reminds me of my baby (biggest compliment ever!)
    The part where Julia drew a baby wipe just cracked me up, and Theo's grin when he's got the lotion....

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  33. I need to remember not to read your posts at night bc my constant snorting out loud really annoys my hubby, who has to get up at 4:30 for work. And thanks for leaving me trying to sleep with "To the left, to the left" in my head. I'll be doing wedding dances in my sleep all night long.

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  34. Cracking up at the photo timeline! I would've squashed the plan and some 3 year old dreams around 10:30. You go, fun mom!

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  35. Love this.
    My method is never to offer food at home, only once we've made it to our destination. And then counter offer with more food at home, in order to actually get home!

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