When you have your first child, you become sort of like a golf ball. You are swatted around a bit, but all-in-all it’s a leisurely sort of game you’re in… full of learning the skill & precision of a new sport.
When you have your second child, you become more like a volleyball. You are volleyed back and forth between two opponents, but it is still a controlled and predictable flight path you find yourself traveling in- back and forth (with the occasional spike here and there.)
When you have a third child, you suddenly become a pinball… there are flashing lights and loud noises and pitfalls and bumpers and trap doors and flippers and holes and targets and switches and spinners and ramps to attend to, and at the end of the day, you feel so battered and pulled and pushed and bumped that you can think of nothing but being STILL and hearing silence.
At least, that’s how it has felt lately for me. If it’s not one child needing me, it’s the other. And if it is not the other, then it is most definitely the other-other, who is probably in some mode of total melt-down because said “need” was not met immediately due to the fact that I was attending some other “need” when their “need” arose quickly and without warning. (“Mamaaaaaa?” My shirt tag is itching meeeeee!”)
This pinball life of mine may be lacking heavily in quiet, solitude, or moments of restful reflection during the days, but I know how temporary this insanity really is, so I try to laugh as much as I can during the day at the craziness of it all. Oh… Myer is whining about food and Ezra is missing an essential lego and the baby needs to nurse and I’m in the middle of cooking dinner? Just laugh! And ask the husband to finish up the dinner while you nurse and soothe and search for a microscopic clear lego deep down in the carpet!
So… Ezra needs help with a lego set and Myer is DRAWING on his toys and the baby somehow wiggled himself onto the hardwood floor from his playmat and face-planted his mini-nose onto the unforgiving wood? Giggle it all off! And then encourage and scrub and coo and soothe! (PS. You forgot to make dinner. Doh!)
Often, the thing that saves my sanity is just imagining myself right in the middle of a sitcom. I imagine what all this chaos would amount to on a little television screen in someone’s living room, and it suddenly all doesn’t feel quite so daunting anymore.
So, I giggle. And I spout off some witty sarcastic remark, just like a mom in a sitcom would do, but none of my children get it because they are all under the age of seven. (Yet I feel better, none-the-less!) Then I imagine the live studio audience loudly laughing at my wit while I attend to the tri-fold needs before me.
Perhaps this makes me batty, but at least it keeps things… funny.
These boys may have my number right now, but there will come a time, when they are older and grown and living their own lives separate from me, when I hope and pray they will recall all this madness and smile inwardly. And, in those future days, we will gather on special occasions and I will look around the table at their manly faces and smile inwardly as well.
Because I will REMEMBER these days of being up to my EYEBALLS in legos and diapers and Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers, but I will also hear the years of laughter ringing in my ears loud and clear like a far away church bell, and I will know that every single chaotic moment was so very, very…