Tuesday, February 22, 2011

They Lied to Me

Now that the boys are the same age Amelia was when we brought them home I look at them and wonder how we ever survived. I never had four in diapers, since Amelia was fully potty-trained when the boys were born, but she was not sleeping consistently through the night.

And she was two. TWO!

Now we're back at two again. Setting aside the fact that I can't believe the boys are in the thick of being two already, I have days when I wonder if we'll all survive to see three.

Before the boys were born many of my fellow moms of multiples said, "If you can just survive the first year it's all downhill from there."


Yes, the first year was tough. Brutal even. And honestly I have (mercifully) already forgotten much of it. But the pumping, feeding every three hours, sleeping in 45-minute increments, and never having time to shower or eat? I remember. The spoon feeding, diaper changing, baby bathing, bottle washing and laundry marathons? I remember those too.

But two years old? Times three? The velocity, the energy, the curiousity, the into-everythingness is AMAZING. Also, exhausting.

The other day we were playing with Play-doh, and I was breaking a sweat trying to keep up. One wanted help cutting out a circle. Another wanted to "quish" the orange Play-doh, not the yellow he had. A third wanted me to make balls to put in his cup. And no one wanted to wait patiently or play on his own while mommy helped someone else.  The faster I filled their requests, the faster the requests came at me.

It reminded me of spoon feeding them in the early days when they would open their mouths and squawk for more the second they swallowed. They made me sweat then, too!

I am continually trying to keep up with them. Their imaginations are in high gear and I spend a lot of time trying to understand what they are talking about and whether it is real or pretend. Then there are the special toys, cars and tiny pieces of things that must be found, sending Mommy on a treasure hunt all around the house.

Then there's the typical two-year-old behavior. You know, the less-than-accepting response when the answer is "no." The sudden changes in what they like and don't like that leave their mama completely confused. The physical acting out when they are mad or frustrated.

Some days you'd think there was a rule here that the time-out chair can never be empty. And I'm sure the neighbors sometimes think I'm beating the kids for all the wailing in anguish they do when they don't get exactly what they want. I promise I'm not, though sometimes they beat on each other. Just one of many reasons we need the time-out chair.

The early days were crazy, sure, but three two-year-olds raises the crazy stakes to a whole new level. At least in the beginning everyone needed pretty much the same thing at the same time. Three bottles, three diaper changes, three baths etc... Now, everyone needs different things at the same time. I thought the juggling was crazy when it was trying to get everyone fed at the same time and sleeping at the same time.

These days I'll often find myself playing race cars and eating a pretend lunch someone's whipped up in the play kitchen while singing "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider" with the third boy. I try to grab every moment I can to do something one-on-one with each of the kids. Amelia gets the boys' nap time and the boys get whatever moments I can find when the others are busy. It's not easy, and I try not to obsess about those days when mommy time isn't very equitable.

One thing does make this age easier than the early days: I get to sleep at night. Let's hear an "Amen" for that!

© Trippin' Mama 2011


Suzy said...

Yep, I pretty much feel like someone beat me up at the end of every day. Was thinking of writing about it myself! :) Looking forward to tomorrow night!

susie said...


Kitty said...

Age 2 was hard, but something magical happened at age 3 and it is that the play started being cooperative instead of parallel. Plus, mine are so much more helpful at 3 then they were at 2 (can actually set the table, sort the laundry, or they can help me find a sibs' toy that is being requested). It's nice. Our time-out step still has frequent visitors, but things do get easier. And I'm not lying. :)