People look at me with my 3 boys running circles around me or literally hanging out of my clothes and shake their heads saying “I don’t know how you do it”. I’m sure many of you have more than 3 to deal with and think I’m on easy street but it has been proved that 3 kids cause maximum stress as after 3 you let go a little. I’d imagine “let go” is a euphemism for smoke dope or drink lots. This “scientific fact” was gleaned from a friend of a friend on facebook so it’s irrefutable. That reminds me of those hearsay (not the band) stories passed around in school that happened to my cousin’s friend’s cousin. A particularly horrifying one was the girl on holidays in Spain who had a big lump on her head and when brushing her hair, ripped the top off the bump and thousands of ants scuttled down her face! The moral of the story was, I think, don’t visit foreign countries as strange and scary stuff can happen. Possibly it was a rumour started by Bord Fáilte? If this was indeed your cousin’s friend, please let me know.
I have yet to find an appropriate answer to the question “how do you do it?” . I can pretend to have everything under control “ Thanks, it’s all about structure, you know and discipline. I find it helps to schedule some me-time and date night with the hubby. A balanced diet and media restrictions keep my little Von Trapps toeing the line” and then I blow a whistle and they all line up in order of age and perform Edelweiss.
Sometimes I want to be honest and scream “ I’m not doing it!!! It’s doing me… What happened to my life? Look at me, look at me I’m in a jock and no one cares. I’ve watched every episode of Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly at least 1000 times. My hands could grate cheese from being washed constantly. I never have my phone and when I do it’s full of weird apps that the kids have downloaded”. It’s difficult to put day to day life into words. My cousin Jen called with her husband a few weeks back and said when they got in the car they felt like they’d been to Vietnam. (I’m presuming ‘Nam and not the idyllic holiday resort it probably is now).
Allow me to enlighten you with some snippets:
Morning time: I normally wake to the dulcet tone of my two year old screaming Mam, Mammmmm, MAMMMMMMM at approx 6am (if lucky). I have to sprint to his room so he doesn’t wake the other two. I lie beside him with the same unattainable dream I’ve had with all of them every morning “maybe he’ll go back to sleep”. He will give me a few occasions of false but beautiful hope before shattering it with a backwards headbutt to the nose. I’ll give him my phone… “what do you want to watch?” I’ll ask frantically.. “anything.. Scarface, Reservoir Dogs, I don’t care.. please let me sleep”. I’ll cajole, I’ll sing and then I’ll get mad. Then one hour later comes begrudged acceptance. At this point, my 3 year old joins the party and the shushing begins. My husband works nights so a lot of shushing goes on. We head for the stairs and an argument breaks out over who can go down first (shushhh, shussh). The trip down the stairs takes approx 5 minutes as they beat the shit out of each other. I make tea and number 3 appears and he’s not happy. He has inherited my hatred of mornings. It’s on my mother’s side; she’s very rarely seen before 1pm and that’s for the best. He glowers at me, channeling his inner Damien (The Omen, not my lovely Dad) “What day is it?” “Monday” “Noooo I hate school, I’m not going, I’m sick, I’ll throw myself in a bin of lava”.
I make a million breakfast concoctions, 75% of which will be binned. I go to take a sip of tea, it’s cold. A fight breaks out SHUSHHHH. I start dressing them as they work against me and I start to feel like I may morph into the hulk. The baby decides to poo as soon as his sleepsuit is on. I try to change him and he wiggles so much I end up with poo on my pajama bottoms and probably the much-maligned carpet. The other pair are wrestling over a hairband one of them found under the couch and it’s escalating quickly. I start shouting for my husband, repeatedly. He arrives down all bleary eyed and has a cup of hot tea as I get jackets and shoes on. “What’s all the drama? “ he says “You smell like shit”. I bite my lip and envision pummelling his washed face with my bare cheese-graters, I mean hands. School bag is packed. Bloody school is way too environmentally friendly. You can’t use tinfoil, clingfilm, tissue, wrappers of any kind. I can only imagine the unappetising state of his sandwich when he opens his lunch box. I’m sure everyone else chops carrots and fruit the night before but I nearly always throw an oul biscuit in as his five a day. There’s figs in fig rolls people!
Shite, sponsorship money is needed.
Himself straps them all in their car seats as I wave ecstatically from the door. I have one hour before the school run ends and he’s back with my tasmanian devil of a two year old. I should probably make beds etc. Screw it, I make tea and go to bed with my laptop. When I hear the car in the driveway I hop up and am poised with a j-cloth in my hand in the kitchen. Years of pretending to work in Pizza Hut have paid off.