And I promise, this post has nothing to do with the two children of a friend of mine that I watched all morning and part of the afternoon today, in addition to the wee ones.
I can only explain “Don’t slide down the snow mountain towards the driveway. Slide towards the grass. I’m trying to get the snow off the driveway right now” in a patient voice so many times. It’s possible that I reached my limit this morning.
I only have so many eyes. I can’t watch four kids playing in different parts of the basement and referee all disagreements fairly at the same time. I just don’t have it in me. And I don’t believe kids when they say that someone else started it. I don’t care who started it, what you did is not the appropriate reaction, and person X isn’t going to get in more trouble, so just tell me what happened to we can figure out how to avoid it next time.
I wouldn’t look good in a size zero. I know how much work it is chasing after two wee ones. Add in two more and it is geometrically more work. I’d never stop moving, and I’d never have time to eat. Besides, I wouldn’t want you all to hate me because I were thin. As a challenge today, once we moved inside, I spent all the time not refereeing arguments picking up toys and straightening. I was unable to ever get caught up.
Bad excuses don’t fly with me. And little ones (and big ones) come up with way too many. Today I made myself an iced chair latte and brought it downstairs while continuing my referee duties. Within five minutes, Little Miss had knocked it onto the light beige carpeting. Very light beige. Her excuse? “It was in my waaaaaayyyyyyyyy.” Right. Because the middle of the coffee table while you’re twirling around the room, arms akimbo, is justifiably in your way. Much like the tower one of the boys was building in the middle of the room with plenty of space on all sides was in your way when you wanted to walk by. I just don’t buy it.
I only have so many ears. I can only listen to so many stories or requests at one time. When children are talking to me, I really try to give them my best effort and engage them and encourage them. I lost so many threads of conversation today… and the poor kids were so excited to talk to me, too.
My health insurance only covers 30 days of inpatient mental health. When the babysitting children left and the wee ones went down for a “nap” (and I use that term loosely), I literally sat on the couch staring into space for a good twenty minutes. I think I was close to drooling and catatonia. I am not cut out to watch that many children, and I know I’d end up in the loony bin.
DCFS would be called on me. It would probably be partly my fault, too. Let’s just say that I’m not one hundred percent caught up on laundry right now. Mister Man wore his last clean pair of pants today (I did the wee one’s darks and lights today so he has more clean clothes now, don’t worry). I can just see it now when I get the call from his teacher, “Hello, I just wanted to make sure that everything is ok at home. We’ve noticed that your children have been coming to school in clothes with Nutella stains on them. Sometimes the clothes have little holes in them, and we’re just concerned that there may be something wrong.” We haven’t gotten there yet, but if I’m down to the last pair of pants with two wee ones, imagine what would happen with four.
Along those same lines, it’s possible that we don’t have enough time for the wee ones to get a shower every single day. Now double the children. I know there’s the saying about getting a bath on Saturday whether you need one or not, but I really don’t want to start putting that into practice.
God gave me two arms for a reason. When I need to referee, sometimes the wee ones are in a bit of a tussle. I can separate them and hold them apart while talking to them, if necessary. I’m just not good enough at yoga to try to keep four kids from getting into it.
I can’t drive a minivan. It’s a mental thing. I know a lot of people have them and love them, but I just can’t do it. I’ve given in somewhat with my Pilot with the three rows, but it’s still not quite the same. In my head, I mean. With two wee ones, I can periodically get into the third row to fasten Mister Man’s booster seat. Having two wee ones in the way back and two in the middle in child safety seats of some sort would require contortions that I’m not capable of. To do this on a regular basis, I’d need an aisleway, which means a minivan. Nope. Can’t do it.
And the number one reason I don’t have four children is that I would lose my free childcare. My parents love watching the wee ones. They do daycare for me every Thursday, which is a huge moneysaver. And whenever I need a babysitter, whether it’s for a Nothwestern game or a wedding or a night out or a daytime appointment, my parents are there for me. For free. But I was warned after Little Miss that I should not have a third child or this status would be in jeopardy.
So what reasons did I miss?
* Now, let me clarify that this is my personal view. I am not cut out to be a parent of four children. I admire those who have more children and carry it off with aplomb. It’s a real talent, but it’s one that I recognize I don’t have.
However, if two months from now you hear that I’m pregnant with twins, you’ll know it was this post that jinxed me.