The Bryan Kids 2014

The Bryan Kids 2014

Friday, April 13, 2012

Michelle Duggar...I salute you

   Wow, yesterday was a busy day.  I must admit, on many levels, I really didn't know what I was in for.  Yesterday, my friend Sandra was in a quite the bind with childcare.  Her husband had to fly out of town for a family funeral(unexpected occurrence, obviously), but she was scheduled to work.  Her sitter was unavailable until 8 pm, so I volunteered to help out until she could get there.  I can totally relate to childcare dilemmas and to being in a city without family nearby to help.  Mike and I are on our own when it comes to childcare.  We juggle our schedules so that one of us is available while the other is working, which is why I work Saturdays and Sundays almost exclusively.  Sandra and her husband play the same game.  Our kids play together all of the time, so no problems there.  I figured it would be one big playdate.  OK...I knew it would be challenging, but they wore me out :)  Don't get me wrong, I would do it again in a heart beat, but let's just say, I was relieved to only take two of them home with me.  Putting our families together gave me a 1y/o, a 2 y/o, a 3y/o, and a 4y/o.  I can't even imagine what it would be like to actually have four children that close in age.  I salute all of those mommies out there with several children back to back.  I thought I had my hands full with my two being 17 months apart.  Two more children added a whole new level of difficulty.  I have followed the Duggar family with a kind of fascination now for years.  Mike laughs at me and shakes his head whenever he sees me watching their reality show.  That woman is a so many ways.  I have no idea how they keep that house running, and maintain their sanity and complete faith.  Ok,ok...I know that the older kids help out with the chores, and the younger children, but there was a time when she was doing it by herself.  When there were no teenagers around to keep the household running smoothly.  I can only imagine what it was like around there when they only had 6 or 7 kids.
    So here is how my adventure played out.  I took Colin to tumbling, dropped him off, and joined a friend for a quick lunch with her three girls and Molly still in tow.  After a hectic, but enjoyable lunch, Molly and I head back to the school to pick up Colin.  I had packed the diaper backpack full of tricks to keep my kids entertained and clean.  We headed over to Sandra's place, and we are greeted with chicken parmesan and pasta, and two napping children.  Colin and Molly made themselves at home, and started playing with toys while Sandra showed me what I would need to do.  She sat down for a quick meal before heading out the door, and I sent her on her way with several statements of "we will be fine," "don't worry," and "I have done this before."  Jack decided he didn't need a nap, so I went upstairs to just get him from his room.  I could hear him singing and talking on the monitor, so I figured he could just come down and join the fun.  I apparently surprised the poor guy, and he screamed when I opened his door. I couldn't stop laughing while I was trying to comfort him.  Lila woke up about 30 minutes later, and I had all four kids awake and in action.  I took Colin, Molly, and Jack to the bathroom, and I changed Lila's diaper.  Everyone had a small snack, and I decided to get brave and take the kids outside.  After finding four pairs of shoes, putting them on, and getting them out the door, I started to doubt the sanity of this decision.  Molly was running off, Lila just looked overwhelmed, and the boys were hitting balls off of a t-ball set.  Within a few minutes, we had hit both balls over the fence, and I had no way to retrieve the balls without leaving all four children unattended.  I decided to switch gears, and get the girls involved.  There were bottles of bubbles sitting on the patio table.  I started blowing bubbles, and Molly manages to dump out an entire bottle of bubbles on the patio, and she and Lila are splashing around in the mess.  I decide to bring everyone back inside...After removing four pairs of shoes, I set the kids free in the living room again.  Colin proudly brings me a wad of play dough.  I have no idea where it came from, but now I need to find the rest of it.  After looking around, I gather up what should be most of the play dough.  I stick dinner in the oven, and I turn on Dora the Explorer.  For a few brief moments, all four kids are hypnotized by Nick Jr, but it quickly becomes old news.  Molly and Lila have decided to lock them selves on the wrong side of the baby gate for fun.  I retrieve them at least four times.  Colin and Jack are being typical boys. They are wrestling one minute, sharing toys, then not sharing toys, then bonking someone on the head for taking their toy...Both boys wind up in time out at least twice.  Molly still wants to go up stairs, so like a bull at the rodeo, she manages to take out their baby gate.  Fabulous.  It is a tension gate with a door that swings, and I can't get it back up without some help.  I put it in the coat closet, and spend the rest of the evening running interference at the stairs. The children continue to bring me things, a part to the vacuum cleaner and hair bows mainly, that I have no idea where they are coming from.  I put the items out of reach. I make everyone a plate of food, but no one wants anything I fix.  They finally all agree that they want bananas.  Bananas all the way around.   I did manage to talk them into some pasta and a little yogurt. I look down at my watch and realize it is only 5:30.  I am here until 8. At some point, I look over and see Lila leaning in for a kiss from my son.  We joke about them being boyfriend and girlfriend, so I thought "aww, how cute is that?"  The kiss lasted much longer than a peck, so then I moved to breaking it up. I thought I didn't have to worry about kissing on the couch until the teen years at least. I send Mike a quick text with promises of yummy italian food, and ask if he would head over after work.  I knew he could get the gate back up, and maybe I would have a few minutes to clean up if I had some back up.  Mike joined us around 7 pm.  He got the gate re installed and enjoyed a large plate of chicken parm.  The sitter arrived shortly thereafter.  I felt horrible leaving the house in that state, but picking up is pointless until they are all asleep.  Every mom knows that.  My family of four headed home, we tucked our kids in, and I poured myself a drink.  Mike looked surprised, and asked  "are you having a caffeinated beverage at this hour??"  Me "Yeah, but it is half vodka, so I think I will be fine.  I am going to bed to watch Grey's Anatomy."  I doubt that is the way Michelle Duggar handles a busy day with the kids, but it seemed to work well for me.  At least I waited until the kids were in bed to start drinking...we all survived, they were all fed, and there was no actual blood shed.  Property damage, lost toys, and minor concussions from wrestling and head bonks, perhaps.  Sandra still met me at the gym this morning, so I guess she hasn't disowned me.

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