Monday, May 2, 2011

3 is better than 2...right?

I stopped in to work today, to drop off some stuff for our upcoming Fun Run.  It was one of my many, many things that I did today, perhaps too many things that I did today.  My friends were happy to see me, meet Raegan, and of course compliment Brynn on being such a great big sister.  Gavin was at preschool, which was a bit of a blessing, as he would have been a little bored by the whole day of running place to place.

I was happy to see my friends and introduce them to our new little peanut...that is, until they asked the inevitable question.  "How are you doing?"  Ugh.  What a challenging question to ask a mom of a newborn...let alone a mom of a newborn plus two.  In an ideal world, the response to this question would be filled with nothing but happiness, butterflies, kittens, rainbows, bunnies...all things wonderful.  But we don't live in an ideal world, do we?

Don't get me wrong.  I am with Raegan, Brynn, and Gavin.  I wouldn't trade in a single moment of mommyhood for anything in the world.  Even a nap.  Or a chocolate hazelnut candy bar.  Or a really great glass of red wine.  But in the past two weeks, I've come to realize some of ways in which three kids is a totally different story than two. 

1. Having three kids means that there's a really good chance that at any given time, someone isn't happy.  Most often, there's an even better chance that multiple people aren't happy.  During a typical day, we run the risk of have people crying, fighting, over-tired, hungry, jealous, lonely, whiney, pouty, or just plain grumpy.  Actually, it's not a risk.  It's a fact.

2.  Having three kids means that in addition to having four thousand mood changes throughout the day, there are seven thousand times during the day when I need to meet the needs of someone other than myself.  In a 24 hour period, I fill sippy cups 32 times, open 8 packages of gummies or granola bars or cheese sticks, change 18 diapers and 4 pull-ups (thankyouBrynn!), wipe snotty noses 59 times, read the same book 4 times, watch the same movie 2--sometimes 3 times, nurse 16 times, give 10 'owwies' kisses, send kids to time out 6 times, and use the bathroom 2 maybe 3 times (only one of those times gets to be by myself).

3. Having three kids means that the large majority of those seven thousand requests occur during the 16 times that I'm nursing.  It's as though the moment I've become 'less available', they need me to be more available.  Thankfully I have all but mastered the art of the 'nurse and walk', the 'nurse and discipline', and the ever-popular 'nurse and do-whatever-is-necessary-to-make-their-whining-stop'.  I bet most of the uber breastfeeding moms are appauled by that admission.  But to be honest, I don't have the time during daylight hours to view breastfeeding as something much more than a means to keep one of them happy.  The bonding doesn't get to happen when the sun is shining.  That's what 2:00 a.m. is for--the television at that time is crap anyways.

4. Having three kids means that my poor, sweet little Raegan has learned at the tiny age of two weeks that she is going to need to 'go with the flow'.  Her screams and cries are important to me, and I know I need to attend to them.  But sometimes, she just will have to wait.  For the time being, that works.  So long as she's in a safe place, I can let her cry and walk (or run) away.  She can't follow me like the other two.  And the other two are like little St. Bernards in an avalanche.

5.  Having three kids means that now that Randy's vacation is over, I can all but kiss my mid-day naps goodbye.  Sure, Raegan might be sleeping...but Brynn isn't.  And Brynn?  She's got lipgloss stashed all over the house, and isn't afraid to use it...on anything that isn't her lips.  So, while I'd *love* to sleep while the baby sleeps...I'm fairly certain the only way to make that a possibility might be to duct tape B to a chair--and I'm 100% certain that's highly frowned upon, if not illegal.

6. Having three kids meant that Gavin and Brynn have grown to adore each other even more.  I mean, they definitely have their moments of tears, whining, smacking, and the ever-popular  'you're not my friend anymore', however they do love each other.  Even moreso now, because they've realized that Raegan is pretty much incapable of joining in on the fun--for now.  The older two take care of each other and themselves far more than they had before...or maybe it's just that I'm noticing it more since Raegan's barely able to hold a binkie in her mouth.  They hug each other if they're sad or hurt.  They are perfecting the art of compromise (at times).  Brynn misses her brother when he's at preschool, and Gavin (despite his 'manly' facade), adores playing with Brynn--we think mainly it's because she idolizes him and he can basically get her to do anything he wants.  They are both becoming far more responsible (just the other day, Gavin poured his own cereal--milk included *shudder*, thankfully no spills though!).  Brynn, albeit still a v-e-r-y distant relative to the potty, is becoming more capable of dressing herself (she has mastered undressing herself many months ago!), and also wants to buckle herself into her carseat now, just like Gavin.    Their newfound responsibility is adorable--and appreciated.

7. Having three kids, especially one of whom is a newborn, means that I have to re-evaluate and re-prioritize my daily accomplishments.  There will be days when my greatest acheivement might be getting the oil changed in my car (tomorrow's goal).  I might only get to the point where I've got all three kids from one pair of pajamas into a clean pair of pajamas by 5:00 p.m.  And still, there might be days when I do a *ton* of stuff, but my favorite and best part of the day is the 20 or 30 minutes when I get to cuddle up on the couch with all three of my babies, watching a mindless episode of Spongebob to unwind before tucking each one of them into their beds, kissing their sweet little faces, and sending them off to dreamland. 

8.  Having three kids means you learn how to take your already amazingly full heart and find yet even more space for this new little person, more space for the two kids you already have, and more space for the amazing husband who gave you these beautiful gifts. 


weightliter Brynn

WHY did I only buy one?

how she sleeps through the fighting, I'll never know

her face captures my thoughts exactly

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