Friday, July 18, 2008

Have Kids, Will Travel (Eventually)

Seems that the stomach bug is contagious and made its descent onto Isaac around 1am this morning. Poor thing was awake complaining of a "sore throat" for a few hours before his stomach finally gave way to the bug. He has been fine all day, claiming this morning that homemade biscuits would make him feel better. However, it does seem that we need a bit of an anatomy lesson to distinguish between throat and stomach. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that the first thing I said to him when I discovered he was throwing up was (I was in his bed with him during the icky hours leading up to this point), "Do not throw up on my hair." Such motherly instincts I have.

One challenge that I faced when first becoming a mother was figuring out how to get myself and another human being...that was completely helpless...out of the door on time. The first week of Isaac's life I swore to my mother that I was never leaving the house with him alone, certain that I just simply could not manage myself and a baby in public. Restlessness set in and soon I was venturing out into the world, baby in tow.

Twenty-one months later, Evelyn came along and again I decided I would have to live a life confined inside the walls of casa de phillips. Certainly I would never figure out how to get two little ones, plus myself, out the door. Once again my restlessness overtook my fears and I eventually figured out how to get the three of us out into public before 5pm.

These days I am again facing a to get two active children out the door with everyone dressed and without losing my sanity.

Let me provide an example:

Tuesday mornings we have bible study at 9am. Since the kids get up at 7am (and me before that), this provides a solid two hours to get everyone dressed, fed, and out the door. Logically, it seems that getting to bible study on time and in a peaceful manner is a feasible task for any mother.

However, in that two hours on Tuesday I experienced the following: the changing of two dirty diapers, breakfast where at least one bowl of yogurt landed upside down on our kitchen floor, the washing out of someone's hair because they decided to wear their toast as a hat, breaking up a sibling spat, dressing each child...both of who protest (Isaac because he wants to do it himself and Evelyn because she fusses EVERY TIME she is changed or dressed. Every time.), putting shoes on each child, drying my hair which causes Evelyn to cry loud wails and say "No No" repeatedly, putting shoes back on Evelyn because she took them off, packing two separate bags for their respective classes at bible study, locating the sippy cups to put back into previously packed bags after Isaac removed them for him and his sister, apply make-up, instruct children to put Tupperware back into the cabinet from which they pulled it all out and left it, get myself dressed, water backyard, clean up kitchen from breakfast, break up sibling spat, instruct Isaac to use the bathroom before leaving, put an end to Isaac's ten minute hand-washing routine, dry Isaac's shirt with the hair dryer due to his ten-minute hand washing ordeal (thus causing Evelyn to cry again), fix Evelyn's hair with a bow, grab bags and bible study materials, move everyone out to garage, inform Isaac that he cannot take sidewalk chalk to bible class, load everyone into car seats, drive to bible study, pull into parking lot to discover that Evelyn has removed both shoes and her bow in the 45 seconds it took to get to the church.

Seriously, how do Jon and Kate plus 8 ever manage to leave the house?

How do those of you with more than two kids ever leave the house before noon on any given day? Tips? Techniques? Sanity saving guidelines?

Please share!


summer said...

My guess is that there's no real secret, that most moms do exactly what you do, and take each little challenge as it comes and deal with it in the best way they can. But I will certainly be checking back to see if anyone else has found the magical solution (since I'm really going to be needing it in about 9 weeks). *nervous laughter*

Hope you're all feeling better soon!

Kelli said...

Tell Isaace I used to eat butter as a child too. He and I are such good buddies- I'll introduce him to the bowl of brown sugar and the bowl of plain cake mix as a delicious childhood snack.

It's a miracle when we get our whole family in the car and headed out somewhere with everyone's shoes on, carseats buckled and without any type of spit up, snot or juice anywhere. One time, Ethan got in the car with no shoes, and I realized this after I got to our destination. We piled back in the car and headed to Target to buy him some new shoes because there was NO WAY I was going home after getting everyone out in the first place!

Shanta said...

You are just amazing. I don't know how. We struggle with a 5 month old that doesn't talk back much and is good to go in a onesie. But, as I'm sure you do, we always have the diaper bag ready to go, backpack and stroller seem to stay permanently stored in the back of my Explorer, and baby frequently wears no shoes or bow. I try to get up and completely dressed before I have to get her up so I'm not doing it all at the same time. Simplify where possible!

Again, I don't know. :)

GPaty said...

I was giggling the entire time I read this post because as a mommy of three children under the age of five, I only have ONE piece of advice that I have learned on this journey. YOU JUST CANNOT BE IN A HURRY. Cody laughs at me because we live so close to church, the grocery store, etc. but I start getting in the car at least 15 minutes before we are truly needing to...simply because I realize the drama that can take place in the 15 steps between the back door and the suburban. I will encourage you with this gets better. The older they get, the more capable they are of keeping their shoes on, bow in, and even help carry some of their own stuff. :)
We are currently at the beach on vacation right wouldn't believe the chaos hauling these three and their STUFF required today. Drama, but we wouldn't have it any other way. And I know you wouldn't either. Keep it up! You're a great mommy.