Friday, April 3, 2015

45 Minutes

 The morning was great.  We got up, made it through our morning routine, even read a few books with the little kids.  School time was smooth.  Everyone was in their places doing what they were supposed to be doing.  It was a good day.

12:05pm - Two children began throwing tantrums for different reasons.  I cleaned up Rachel from her lunch, attempted to put her in her bed and quickly realized that she needed a new diaper in a bad way.  Jeremiah walked in the room and it became obvious that he also needed a new diaper.  So I began the process.

12:15pm - Both tantrums persisted as I cleaned up the little guys' diapers.  Both messes were a bit bigger than I had anticipated.  Rachel needed a new shirt.  Neither diaper swished out in the toilet nicely.

12:20pm - One tantrum ceased, but the other ramped up as I rinsed out some pretty fowl cloth diapers.  It didn't take long to be literally elbow deep in some pretty mucky water.  Ewww...

12:22pm - Hannah comes through the front door, screaming, "Abby won't let go of the jump rope and I already asked her to!"  Oh, yes...this requires my direct attention.  Not.  I send Hannah back out to resolve the jump rope issue with her younger sister.

12:24pm - Still up to my elbows in diaper water, trying to keep Rachel out from underfoot, and Hannah enters yet again.  This time sreaming about ten times louder than the last time.  "Abby hit me with the recorder!"  Cry.  Sob.  Jump up and down.  Yep.  Another tantrum.  At least the tantrum from the other room had toned down to some moaning and groaning.

12:30pm - I look up to explain to Hannah that I cannot deal with the recorder/jump rope situation because my hands are covered in poopy water.  I see blood streaming down her face.  A blood nose.  Perfect.  I send Hannah to get some tissue.

12:33pm - The diapers are rinsed.  My hands are scrubbed.  The bath tub is bleached.  Hannah is still freaking out.  She runs in to find me and I send her right back to the bathroom where she started.  She leaves a drippy trail of blood through most of the downstairs.  My usual pregnancy heartburn rears a very ugly head about now.  Oh, time for that.  I get the hydrogen peroxide, put Rachel in her play yard, and hope that this is over soon.

12:35pm - After cleaning the blood trail, I find Hannah standing over the toilet.  Screaming.  There is blood everywhere.  Her hands and arms are covered.  Her clothes are covered.  The toilet seat is covered.  Blood is splattered on the walls, the floor, the outside of the toilet, the sink, the mirror.  I'm glad I have the hydrogen peroxide and that I apparently have a strong stomach after working through those messy cloth diapers.  I start cleaning.

12:45pm - Hannah is clean and changing into fresh clothing.  Her nose is no longer bleeding.  The bathroom is clean.  The laundry has been rinsed with hydrogen peroxide to prevent stains and is in the washing machine.  All tantrums have stopped.

12:50pm - Three of the kids are playing play dough.  They are laughing as if none of them had thrown a tantrum, produced a blow out poop, had a blood nose, or beat up their older sibling with a recorder.  (Please note, the blood nose was NOT from Abby.  It happened all on its own.)  Rachel is in bed, not asleep yet, but on her way.  And the complaining from Tantrum-Thrower Number One has ceased.  Now it's time to dictate a spelling list, supervise violin practice, heat up lunch, and prod the preschoolers as they clean up the Duplos.

If ever you hear a mother or father with a few (or more!) small children in their constant care, this is what you should think of when they say things are "busy", "hectic", "crazy", "exhausting", "tiring", or "non-stop" at their house.  This can happen any time of day or night without warning, without due cause.  Things are running smoothly and then BAM!  Everything spontaneously combusts and chaos abounds for 45 minutes. on a good day it only lasts 45 minutes.  I won't even get into what a bad day can look like.  You're smart.  I'm sure you can imagine.

After you have imagined, then you can say a prayer for any parents you know who have a troop of little tikes at home.  You may just be praying at the precise moment that a blood nose, two tantrums, two incredibly messy diapers, some heartburn, and a few other urgent matters collide in one big train wreck.

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