My head feels like it might explode and every time I bend down, my nose drips like a faucet. Baby girl loves dropping toys and making me pick them up. I play this game repeatedly while I attempt to wash dishes until I hear big sister scream. I put the baby down and run to the rescue.
My 3 year old has turned a wrapping paper tube into a lightsaber. Again. I have a whole collection of items he has used as a weapon piled on top the kitchen cabinet- stick ponies, brooms, wooden spoons, tongs and garden tools. It’s the only place I can find out his reach. I wish he weren’t so imaginative.
At the park this week, I was pushing baby girl on the swing. Out of the corner of my eye, I see my son whack a lady on her backside with a stick. I run, march him over grabbing the back of his shirt, and this lady is standing there jaw dropped.
“I saw you hit this lady with that stick,” I say.
Instead of muttering his usual apology, he scans the playground, points at a kid in a red t-shirt, and proudly declares, “And I hit that guy.”
Of course, out of the 50 rug-rats playing, it had to be this lady’s son. His saving grace is that every morning he gives me a kiss and tells me that I am “the most handsome little girl in the whole world.”
Today when I return from saving my daughter’s life from a cardboard sword, my baby girl, who cannot crawl, is sitting there chewing on an electrical cord (thankfully, the switch is off, but I’m still freaked out).
I cannot believe my irresponsibility, and this keeps happening- she has chewed on a Barbie shoe and a lego over the past few days. I feel even more guilty because I’ve been blaming my son for giving her the contraband. I told him that small pieces can choke and kill babies. Each time I suspect he has given her something dangerous, he inspects her carefully before announcing, “She not dead!” It seriously freaks me out.
But tonight, after several days of feeling totally crazy, I witnessed what baby girl is doing. She is butt surfing. Do other babies do this? She shakes what this mama gave her back and forth until she reaches her prize then shimmies back to her position. I’ll get a video of it. It is unreal.
So I feel exhausted, and everyone tells me it is life with three kids. But I can remember as a mom of two, I would drive home from work and see a police officer in the rearview mirror. I would fantasise about getting arrested and being put in solitary confinement for a few days. I was so tired, a thin mattress sounded like heaven, and I hadn’t peed in privacy for two years so that wasn’t a deterrent.
Today I was reminded of those pitiful thoughts when my son decided I was a baddie, and I had to go to jail. I couldn’t believe my luck! The door closed behind me, and I sat down in peace and quiet for the first time all day. But thirty seconds later, my prison sentence was up. My 3 foot parole officer offered probation in exchange for snacks every two minutes.
I’m not sure why he needs me for this job anymore. I was telling my mom over FaceTime yesterday that he keeps sneaking food, and I find him snacking on chocolate Easter eggs, sweets, biscuits and granola bars under his bed. Empty wrappers are littered behind the couch, too. I couldn’t figure out his supply chain because I moved the junk food up with the swords on top of the cabinet. That is- until he accidentally crashed his ride on car. A massive haul of food spilled out from under the driver’s seat storage compartment. Busted! Lord help me when he is older.
My son overheard our conversation and confessed, “I get grapes and apples and cucumbers!” We laughed at his interpretation of the story and I clarified his real snacks of choice. But as I climbed into my bed last night, I stepped on something very cold and very squishy. Turns out, my little mastermind is also dealing in fruits and vegetables. I scraped three half-chewed grapes from in-between my toes. The grapes of wrath!
Here he is caught
red-handed brown-faced the other night.
So at the store, I grabbed my own stash of chocolate. I’m hiding them in case of my own emergency. So if you find me under the bed or behind the couch, you will know what I’m doing. While I am paranoid about crossing my bedroom in the dark and I’m praying my kid will lock me up in jail tomorrow, I can’t help but think how damn lucky I am. Tired? You bet. But these are the days I will laugh about forever. I’ll tell my son when he becomes a dad that he made me wish I could go to prison some days- and then I’ll hide some candy around his house for my grandkids to find. I’ll teach them how to make swords out of every household item imaginable.
When he’s grown, I know I’ll pine for the days we collected sticks and dug in the dirt and played hide and go seek and giggled till our sides hurt. So for now, I will tolerate the lack of sleep and dodge swords and be the midnight snack, because after all, there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1.