(Note: I found this post lost in my drafts. It was written quite awhile ago. Too good not to share.)
As you know, we now have several small children in our home. Our children are currently ages 1,3,4,6,10,13 & 16. Since I have never had the pleasure of having children spaced so closely together (the largest gap with these new littles is 18 months), this has provided some interesting situations.
At our house, Sunday morning is a test of everyone’s sanity, beginning at 5:30 am, when Michael gets ready to leave for church. Fast forward to 6:30 (somehow that hour goes very quickly), and the rest of the big kids need to get up, due to their many (chosen) responsibilities around church.
That leaves me at 7:30, alone with four small children. We stare at each other balefully, wondering how we will get to church without going insane. (It is possible that only one of us is staring balefully, the others may be chortling gleefully…)
I recently began taking them to the store for a treat after church, as we were wanting a small morale boost. I swear this isn’t bribing, but due to the incessant squabbling that begins the moment we set foot outside church to go home, well, candy seems to cheer the soul. Can anyone explain this phenomenon? They’ve been good for too long?
On that particular Sunday, as we were loading back into the car after the grocery store/candy episode, the potty-training three-year-old informed me that he had to go potty. Well…there was no way I was getting EVERYONE BACK OUT OF THE CAR, so I just told him that he probably didn’t have to go that bad. Only two minutes to get home.
This was a misguided decision.
We got home without incident, and went in the house. Due to the insanity of getting all the children into the house, I forgot the state of things.
As I was buckling the wailing (hungry) baby into the high chair, I heard a noise that meant Mr. Potty-trainer needs to get to the bathroom, stat.
Time to get serious.
I tell him to RUN. Too late for running.
He ran to me, now yelling (it was hard to know what he was saying, as multiple people feel the need to yell immediately upon returning home), but I realized I had lost this round.
Not understanding how bad it was, I told him to RUN to the nearest bathroom. He took a flying leap into the only room that has carpet, where his soaking wet sock splashed pee up in the air. I was close behind, and at that perfectly timed moment, someone slammed the front door which slammed the bathroom door (window was open) knocking a small bottle of oil-based medicine off the bathroom window-sill, spilling half of the bottle onto the floor.
We stared at each other.
He said he was sorry for peeing his pants. I told him it wasn’t his fault, because he’d told me he had to go.
He smiled. He loves it when things are my fault.
He also knows I will have to say our family’s magical words “you were right and I was wrong”. It makes everyone’s day when Mom has to say that.
So, child is on the toilet, I have just confessed to being (terribly) wrong, and I now hear that several other children are out in the living room, likely running around in a puddle of pee.
Okay. Baby still crying in high chair. 3-year-old on toilet. Bath pouring. A few children now playing in the bedroom. This only leaves a few children at large.
In a moment that was truly very unwise, I yelled to the kids to “THINK LIKE AN ADULT” and go see where the pee puddle is!!! Unfortunately, “think like an adult” means different things to different people, because I am quite certain that an adult would not then go and stand in the pee.
You’re asking yourself why in the world I didn’t go and see myself? Well, remember, wailing baby (hungry), half a bottle of medicine on bathroom floor, 3-year-old getting into the bath.
Alright, back in the bathroom, I am on hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor, and I see little eyes looking at me over the side of the tub. He looks at me and smiles. He loves it when it’s my fault.
Medicine still won’t come off the floor.
I walk back into the living room and see pee foot prints from the rug all the way across the floor.
Ah. Okay, maybe a mopping is in order.
I get to the front door, and finally see the VERY LARGE puddle for myself. And then I realize that the rug was the connection between the puddle, and the pee-prints.
I get into our room (the one with the carpet) and crawl around for awhile finding his pee footprints (he was wearing socks, remember).
Back to the bathroom. I’m scrubbing the floor again (oil-based medicine). He is now singing “It was Moooooom’s fault”.
Baby is still wailing, although she has been eating the entire time this has gone on. The others are getting restless in their rooms, I realize I’d better move faster.
I have now been home from church for 15 minutes, and my house has been mopped, the carpets scrubbed, and the bathroom floor is clean enough to eat off of. I’d call this a productive time. As I was laying on our floor to catch my breath after finding (I hoped) all the pee-prints, I hear bubbles in the bath (right next to me) and then a little voice singing “and nooooowwww I have to poooooooop”.
I’ve never moved so fast in my life. That child was out of the bath and on the toilet before he could blink.
He must think I’m quite perceptive.
Because I got there with about TWO SECONDS TO SPARE.
Michael got home and said “I hope you had a decent time getting the kids home”.
I stared at him. Balefully.