A blog written as a reminder to my future self. (If my children are also reading this in the future. Please come and hug me and say thank you for keeping us alive after you are finished reading. Incidentally older children of the future. Very proud you can read. At the moment it seems like that day will never happen.)
Remember these days self? When the triplets were only two. Self, so glad you have made it into the future, I knew we could do it. But oh my, days like these, remember how it was simply putting one foot in front of the other.
The morning starts as usual. Flurry of activity. Lots of crying as Daddy gets breakfast and children object to certain coloured bowls or the cereal they are given. We have been to a parenting course that says this should never happen. But it does happen. We don’t want it too, but it does.
I avoid the kitchen until I surface showered and make-up on, because I know once I emerge there will be no time left to do things for me.
Eat cereal child.
Sit down boy.
Stop crying girl.
Put your uniform on oldest.
Mean Mummy starts barking out the orders.
What you need to wear a red t-shirt because it’s cross country today? Your red t-shirt is dirty. Here roll the sleeves up on this long sleeved shirt.
Stop crying toddler.
Stop touching your brothers things little sibling.
The experts say I shouldn’t be giving so many instructions as a negative. I should be phrasing them in a positive way. Stop being so bossy, experts. Don’t you know you are giving us all guilt trips? Constantly.
Change nappy one.
Change nappy two.
Change nappy three.
Dress the four year old so he scampers out the door with school boy and Daddy. Out to the cross country. “I’ll meet you there”, I call out. He queries, “You sure you don’t need help?”
Dress Triplet 1.
Dress Triplet 2.
Dress Triplet 3.
All in red. Go Graham Go! (Graham feels like such an odd house name to cheer.) We all look like tomatoes.
Find shoes. Gosh I hate finding shoes. Find several red shoes. Yay me! Cannot convince blue triplet to wear red shoes. Somehow blue triplet doesn’t realise that he is in fact in red shorts and a red top with a red hat. And now blue shoes. Never mind, you can still tell what house he represents!
Load into the car.
Triplet 1, Triplet 2, Triplet 3.
Zip across to school. The race is about to start soon. Hurry, hurry, hurry. No time to get a big heavy, cumbersome triplet pram out. Hold three hands at once, walk slowly up to the oval. Still quicker than the stroller. I’m sure.
Cheer big boy on! Go, go, go! Race is all over. Kiss goodbye. Back in the car. It’s slow walking with two year olds. It’s OK I reassure myself, there is no big agenda today. There is no time schedule to keep. It’s OK to go slow.
Four children buckled in. Off we go. It is time to visit my grandfather. Haven’t seen him for a few weeks. In we go. Holding three hands at one time, fourth child holds a triplet hand. Walk up path together. It’s OK to go slow. Model children. Old folk glance out from them units and most of them smile. Proud Mummy moment. Arrive at Great Grandad’s. He beams. A little bit of sunshine for him during those long lonely days. The children sit down and have their obligatory great grandparent treat of a chocolate and juice. Great-Grandad gets concerned that so many chocolates are disappearing. A child gives him one of the chocolates like the children needs help opening the wrapper. They all eat happily.
Back to the car. Model children once again. Patting self on the back. I did this too soon.
Last errand. I want to start potty training in earnest next week. Pants need to be obtained which weren’t bought when I planned earlier in the week because annoying things happened like car batteries dying. I also want to buy shoes. Feet keep growing and there is much wailing as I keep on forcing shoes that are too small onto growing feet.
The last time I went to Big W and put the trio in the trolley. It was a disaster. Much crying. Standing in seats, hanging out the ends, chucking in unapproved items. Surely the triplet stroller is a wiser choice. Except they all like to sit in the top seat. She gets to sit there today. She is happy. Blue shoe him is not happy. A conciliatory cuddle, a word of explanation, he stops crying and is gracious. Allows himself to be seated in the pram. He is my easy going child, although I have seen easy going children in other families, and they don’t bite and bully. You can’t be a push over if you the only laid back personality in a family full of feisty individuals.
Red boots emerge from the car demanding to be seated up top on the seat of glory. Request denied. There is no gracious submission. There is loud screams, indignant wails, kicking and general thrashing about, only contained by an amazing little device called “The Houdini Stop“. I only wish I knew about these straps when I was trying to get the triplets to sit still in highchairs…
I walk towards the shops. Tantrum in progress. All seated waiting for the bus turn and stare. As if the bulk of the triplet stroller doesn’t already attract enough attention. I cross the road, head towards the door, then turn around. It’s OK to go slow. (One day I will be convinced when I say this to myself.) I don’t need to go into the shop straight away. If I walk around to the other side of the centre. Maybe he will have cooled down by then. No. I walk out to the road. Perhaps a walk around the block? Keep walking. Still crying. Crying settles down a little, we’re at Aldi. Aldi sells cheap sultanas. This could be a good thing for getting through the rest of the expedition.
You can’t zip into anywhere with a triplet stroller. I should know that. The ramp is long and has corners. It doesn’t look like I can fit, I wait until the trolleys come down. Old lady stops and talks. She had triplets too. Her boys are 38 now. She survived. And she didn’t have triple prams. Third child squeezed in behind another in a double stroller. Mine is having a breakdown because he can’t sit in his chosen seat.
Up the ramp. Uh oh. Someone came down the ramp. Phew could squeeze pram past the trolley, only just. In! Grab sultanas. And some pop top juice. Tantrum starts again. People staring. Line up. Man in front whirls around and starts talking to Red Boots. Red Boots is startled. The old fellow is a larrakin, reminds me of my own grandfather. Non-Aussies. (Larrakin=mischievous, funny and lively old fellow.) Takes Red Boot’s mind off his woes. Relieved mother. Until old larrikan takes forever loading his 14 cans of peaches onto the conveyor belt. What does an old guy use 14 cans of peaches for? Half a dozen cans of baked beans. Ok then. Next are plum queries. He has bagged every variety and now wants them weighed and priced before he decides which ones to buy. The troops are starting to get restless. Finally, he has paid. Shoot. I can’t fit through the aisle. Everyone needs to back out of the aisle and I need to go through another one to pay for my juice and sultanas. Old larrikan decides he wants to give the
kids change each. They all get a $2 coin each. Old larrikan starts panicking that they will eat it. Takes coins off children and gives to me. Tantrum starts again. Quick! Sultanas. Sultanas rejected. Now littered over Aldi floor. I’m scrambling around on hands and knees picking them up. Old lady looks down, “I wouldn’t mind love, I’m sure worse has happened.” Yes I’m sure, but if they are going to talk to me after they leave, at least they won’t be complaining that I didn’t even pick up the mess…
Back down the ramp. Phew. No people. Red Boots starts eating sultanas. Peace is restored. Best and Less. Where are the training pants? Finally located. Where are the size two? Why isn’t there size two? Why? Find something. Tantrum resumed. Pay. Tantrum subsides. Risk going into Big W. Probably not good move, except I accrue more toddler underwear. Red Boots throws a fit because Small Girl gets pink Dora pants. He is insistent that he wants pink Dora pants. The little bugger gets out of the Houdini strap. What the hell? Red boots is now trying to climb upstairs to sit in the top seat. In process kicking Blue Shoes. Blue Shoes starts crying loudly. Head toward exit.
Out of the corner of my eye see a Lego Notebook. Plastered across the front is the phrase, “Everything is Awesome”. Not in my world. Kindy Boy also spots same Lego book. Picks it up and insists he needs it. I insist he does not need it. Kindy Boy now drops to the ground and starts wailing. I have three wailing boys. They are not quiet. God bless Small Girl. I don’t want to serve myself. The last time I went to the Self Serve at Big W Red Boots somehow reached out of the trolley, grabbed the scanner and scanned his eyes. The line is long. There is only one staff member on. The children are screaming. Red boot has taken his boots off and thrown them. Everything is not awesome. I move onto self serve. Positioning my body to block scanner. Scan, drop in bag, scramble, for other items stashed quickly under the pram. Scramble. Scan. Finish. Holy Dooley? It costs that much? The Accountant will query this shop when the credit card statement comes in.
“Scuse me” I hear, “Can you keep your kids under control?” Shamefacedly I turn around to face the accuser. My cousin stands there smiling. I sigh, relieved yet still embarrassed. Make a few wry comments. Pay. Get the heck out of there.
Red Bootless, must sense we are leaving. He transforms. Suddenly he is cute as a button. Hanging out over the side of the pram beaming enormous smiles at everyone, waving as he is wheeled past as though the triplet stroller is his royal carriage.
That is until the royal carriage wheels past the automated car ride. His majesty wants a ride. We exit and the sound of screams once more is injected into the shopping centre and its surrounds.
The day continues. There is more drama. More dirty nappies. Missed sleeps. Blue triplet finally realises he is wearing red. More crying. Daddy arrives home, Mummy runs out the door to meet sister for fabric shopping for bridesmaid dresses. Of course nothing is suitable and the night has been unproductive. Except for the bit where I raced in the shop next door and bought myself some cute flannie PJ’s. The Accountant frowns when he sees me carrying a bag in the door.
Bed beckons. I cannot go. Yet. Places to go tomorrow. Bags need to be packed and ready. There will be a morning rush. I need to prepare. And it will not be enough. Tomorrow I will be scrambling. Of that I can be sure. But something prepared is better than nothing.
Future self, can you remember these days? Aren’t you glad they are over?
But somehow, I can feel that even though future self is relieved the toddler tantrums are no longer, future self misses the toddler cuddles, the future no longer has Red Boots grasping her face, pulling it to his so he can talk to her. Future self misses the snuggles as books are read. Misses the sound of children’s laughter echoing through the house. She wishes she could sneak up and secretly watch the toddlers playing with one another and she recollects the smiles that come to her face as she listens to them communicate in toddler gibberish. She wishes she could see the chubby legs running around naked except for their nappies. She wishes those little arms would once again throw themselves around her neck and hug hard.
You just have to take the good with the bad. Future self tells me that this fact never changes.
|Once again, not today, but this is what today looked like at times.|