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Jigsaw puzzle

Me, I'm waiting so patiently, lying on the floor
I'm just trying to do my jigsaw puzzle before it rains anymore
-The Rolling Stones

Well, the past week has been an adventure. An adventure? Maybe a trial, a test, or a lesson in patience would be a better way to describe it. It sounds like one of my friends has had a similar week (see her blog: "A typical ordinary day").

This week was strange. I don't know why my babies have been resisting naps, which they otherwise enjoy. Our day yesterday:

O woke up at 0700, which is much, much too early for a momma who (now) rarely goes to bed before midnight and expects to wake up somewhere around 0830/0900. Begrudgingly, I realized around 0715 that his sporadic fussing was not going to cease and dragged myself to the coffee maker. After feeding O and D breakfast-- D was so excited to see Momma out of bed that early-- I did my devotional. D informed me that God likes "flat Bibles," as he opened his Bible and smoothed it open. If that means Bibles that are being read, I would have to agree. Around 0900, I realized C should probably come join the rest of the world. After sneaking into his room and gently waking him, he rolled over and gave me a look that I can only describe as adolescent, "Why are you waking me at this hour??" Breakfast for the tired baby before off to play time...

Play time didn't happen. C wanted to run after D, who did not want his toys touched. O wanted all of C's toys; C want O's toys; D wanted C's toys... round and round and round. Can I take one-year old twins and a three-year old to counseling to talk about the root of their sharing issues? "Why do you feel like you don't want your brother to push trucks with you?" "Well, it all started when I was around 13-months. You see..."

All three boys felt that the best person to get involved in a screaming blood bath was, of course, me. I had a one-year old hanging off my yoga pants. A one-year old clinging to me like a baby monkey. A three-year old following behind and whining. And a sweet, dumb dog thinking this meant we were going for a walk. ("Leash!? Walk!? Door!?" No, Louis, me walking around the house with all three boys hanging on me does not mean we are going for a walk. Please stop barking and jumping in front of me.) And so, at 1030, I felt naptime was the best solution. Off to bed with the one-year olds. To the couch with the three-year old. ("Do I get to watch a movie?" "No, D man, you do not." "Can I watch Hercules?" "Well, I guess so. I like Hercules." My three-year old has caught on to my weakness for Disney movies.)

Once in their cribs, do I hear silence from the moments ago wailing one-year olds? No. I hear peals of laughter. What. Are. They. Laughing. About. I want to go in and see, but, as Momma, if I walk in there, that will be the end of any naptime that possibly could have taken place. I read Ephesians instead. Perhaps Paul can rouse the peace of the Lord in me. (Psalm 119:165, "Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.") I had previously written a blog concerning several of the verses in Ephesians titled "We can work it out." So I get all pumped up again. I will not exasperate my children. I will watch my words (much of chapter 4 and 5 are dedicated to our words-- extremely convicting for a parent who is constantly talking, "Sit down. Do not hit. We do not ride our brothers like horses. We do not throw books."). I decide to spend the time the boys are "sleeping" to write. Which does not happen.

D sees me sit down and is immediately intrigued. "What are you doing? Are you writing again? What are you writing? Can I write? Can I share a chair with you? Can I share your pen?" (Sharing is a very important concept to a three-year old when they are the beneficiary of the sharing.) The one-year olds now realize that I am perhaps going to leave them in there are long as they are not screaming. They remedy their situation by screaming. Out of bed they go. At this point, I figure they are hungry, especially O, who ate breakfast 2 hours earlier than normal. I should say, only O was hungry because C shoved most of his sandwich down his shirt (a day later and I think he still has jam in his hair). Lunch now over, play time commences...

Play time didn't happen (again). Screaming, wailing, not sharing, a certain someone insisting everyone share with him, a certain Momma walking around with three children hanging on her (again), a certain dog thinking it is time for a walk (again). I think, Christ intercedes for us when we make the same mistakes over and over again. I'm going to choose the path of peace and show them how to play together. Psalm 120:7 basically sums up how that went: "I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war."

O had a truck that he wanted to use to bang against my face. C wanted to eat my hair. D didn't want his brothers in my lap. Louis, the dog, of course, wanted us to go for a walk, until C found a dog toy--a squeaking hot dog-- to play with. Then Louis wanted the toy C was holding, which, of course, C did not want to share. When both C and Louis were interested in this squeaking hot dog, D wanted the toy. "I want the hot dog, please! Make him share with me!" "D, he was playing with the hot dog. Thank you for using please, but that does not mean you can have the hot dog." With now the dog and both his brothers vying for the same plastic, squeaking hot dog, O decided that he too wanted the hot dog. All of this took place in my lap.

Nap time (again). This time the babies babbled and played and squealed with absolute delight for 20 minutes before I knew one of them-- at least-- was asleep. Ten minutes later there was silence from their lair. This left me and D. I had every intention of writing a few more pages. D had every intention to annoy me within an inch of my sanity.

D: "What are you doing, Momma?"

Me: "I'm writing, D man. Why don't you go play with your trains?"

D: "Well, I want to play with my trains, but I need your pen."

Me: "You can't have my pen, bud. You need to let Momma write. Can you please go find D man things to do?"

D" "Well, I want to find things to do, but I don't want to do anything."

Silence from me. That statement doesn't even make sense.

D: "I don't want to do anything. Hey, Momma, I don't want to do anything."

Me: "That's fine, D. Why don't you go in the family room and do nothing while you lay on the couch?"

D: "Well, I don't want to lay on the couch, okay? I don't want to do anything in here."

Me: "D, you need to let Momma work. I'm done talking."

D: "Okay, Momma. I'm done talking too. Okay? Hey, Momma, I'm done talking too. Momma?"

Me: "Yes, D. I hear you. Please let me work. Thank you."

D meanders to the family room where he peaks around the corner every couple minutes.

D: "Psst. Momma, I love you."

Me: "I love you too, D man. Please let me work."

D: "Okay, Momma. I will. I love you more."

Me: "Thank you, D man. Now, please let me work."


D: "Psst. Momma, I love you."

Me: "D man. I love you too. You need to let me work."

And then guess what he finds? That hot dog. The plastic, squeaking hot dog. You know those dog toys that let out the really loud squeak as the air goes out of them, with the quiet, raspy squeak as the air goes back into them? Yes. The hot dog is one of those toys. At this point, I would rather have heard a pen click, click, click, click over and over again like that kid in high school who used to do that during essay exams.

SQUEAK....squeak.... SQUEAK...squeak.... SQUEAK....squeak.... SQUEAK...squeak....

Me: "D man. You have to stop that, please. I can't listen to that anymore."

D: "Okay, Momma. I'm just playing with the hot dog."

SQUEAK....squeak.... SQUEAK...squeak....

Me: "D man. What did I just say?"

D: "You said not to play with the hot dog."

Me: "So what should you be doing?"

D: "Not playing with the hot dog."

Me: "Why don't you play the piano?"

D: "Okay, Momma."


D: "Momma, I don't want to do anything. Momma? I don't want to do anything."

It would be an understatement to say that D is not a "self-starter." Unless you are playing the game with him, or talking to him, or in the same room as him, he is not very interested in playing the game. And so, I wrote with D man sitting quietly in the chair next to me, asking me something or rather every few minutes.

D, in a whisper, "Momma, how is your writing going?"

Me: "D, you are right here with me interrupting. How do you think it is going?"

D: "Pretty good. God loves you and sent his son."

Me: "Yes, he did, bud. God loves you too."

D: "Yeah, God is pretty cool."

Me: "Yes, bud, he is. Why don't you read your Bible?"

D: "Yeah, but I don't want to do anything."

Me: "Okay, then how about you let Momma work?"

D: "Okay."

And so, eventually, I couldn't focus and was just done writing. I close my notebook.

D: "Are you done working, Momma?"

Me: "Yes, I am."

D: "How was work, Momma? Did you get a lot done?"

This is the moment when that facial tick I joke about shows its twitchy head. You know what you want to say and you know what you should say.

Me: "Yes, D man, I did. Did you get any work done?"

D: "Well, not really. But, I'm going to go play now."

There it is. That tick again. Oh, the irony. I am very blessed in the fact that I can find much amusement in irony. I had to laugh. And then he did-- he went and played. By himself. After all of that. I twiddled my thumbs for, say, four minutes before I heard the banshee shriek. And then silence. I crept down the hall. Are they awake? Is one of them awake? Silence. Still asleep. One probably woke up from a dream? I turn to creep back to the kitchen only to step on the foot of a preschooler.

D: "Ow, Momma! Why did you step on me?"

No reply. Finger over the lips in the universal sign for "Shhh!" and a stern point towards the kitchen. The rest of the afternoon was spent obsessively turning everything down when I thought I heard a baby cry and tip-toeing around the house. I banned D from flushing the toilet because his brothers finally were taking a good, long nap. We seriously walked on tip-toes if we had to go down the hallway. Eventually I told D I was going to go change my clothes, when I finally noticed the dried drool covering my black yoga pants (black is such a bad idea when you are staying home all day with young kids). D asked me why and I told him because Daddy was going to be home soon and I wanted to be in clean clothes. When I walked back into the family room, D says, "Oh, Momma! You got ready! Daddy will be so happy!" At that moment I didn't know if I should thank him or feel ashamed that even my three-year old has noticed my recent obsession with yoga pants. I did both.

Today was about the same, except we left the house. Yes, you read that correctly. We did leave the house. (And-- bonus-- I showered today too!) So I tried the morning nap approach while I got ready because they were, again, exceptionally fussy after breakfast. It didn't fly. They giggled and squealed until I was dressed and ready. I got everything else ready to go before going in to get them dressed. They flung themselves around their cribs, screaming with glee, happy to see me.

I stopped at Chic-Fil-A before going to Target. The line for the drive-thru was seriously around the building. I couldn't picture sitting in the line, so I decided to park and go in. Then I couldn't picture getting my stroller out just to go in to Chic-Fil-A for a to-go order, so I decided to go in sans stroller. Our first walking-in adventure. The babies did great. I held O in my arms, held C's hand, and D held C's other hand. We worked as a team to lift C down and up over the curb. Then we got inside. "Twins?!" "Are they twins?!" "God bless you!" "Look, honey, twins!" I ordered. A woman kept coming over and offering the babies straws. I politely took them from her. Finally she realized that I wasn't giving the straws to my toddlers and started handing them straws. Really, what it comes down to, is that getting out with babies is challenging, but the unforeseen challenges always prove to be the hardest. I told her that they cannot walk around with plastic straws in their mouths. She looked at me like I was crazy and both the boys started screaming because I took away a forbidden toy. And there I was. Without my stroller with two screaming toddlers, waiting for my order to come up. D ran to my rescue, "Momma! Do you need a hand?" He entertained one of the babies while I entertained the other. We grabbed our food and got out of there. (Why did she feel the need to give them straws? I will never understand that.) As we were leaving, a woman asked if they were twins. I said yes. She said to her husband, "See? I told you! They are twins." It was just a strange trip all around.

At Target, they ate their lunch in the stroller. D ate some of his lunch on the glider board, but was too excited to be at Target to focus on eating, "Momma! I love Target! Look at the Spiderman stuff!" The Target trip was exactly what you would expect with two one-year olds and a three-year old. Busy, but I managed. Dropped D off at his friend's house. Went to the wholesale store. Dun. Dun. Dun.

C and O did not want to go to the wholesale store. They didn't want to sit in the cart. They didn't want up. They wanted to sleep. They wanted to throw things out of my cart. They wanted to pull on each other's clothes. And, of course, this is the time that everyone noticed that I had twins with me. (Maybe because they could hear us coming from three aisles away?) The one line to be checked out by an employee was ridiculously long. I debated abandoning my cart and leaving, but felt too guilty to do that. So I jumped on a self-check out and made it work. They screamed, wailed, and flailed, then pathetically grabbed the cart handle and wept. I rushed. I did abandon as many non-perishables as I could. I used my card, even though I had cash (have you fed those self-check outs cash before?!). And we rushed home. Only for the babies to crumple into a weeping heap in my family room. Changed diapers. Laid them down for a late nap. And-- guess what-- I could hear the giggles and squealing as soon as I closed the door. I don't think they napped at all.

So, now I'm going to go get them, give them dinner, and then play time... Hopefully play time happens.


Unknown said…
Thank you so much for sharing your life on your blog! I came across your blog when I began researching double strollers after discovering that we were pregnant with our second back in July. Once I saw how your stroller can accommodate three compactly (I used to work retail and have forever sworn-off any side-by-side double strollers), I was sold. Since then I've just loved reading about your life and the things God teaches you. This post had me laughing to tears, so thank you for your honesty.
Kimber said…
Thank you so much! I'm glad you have enjoyed my blog (and your stroller!). I'm actually working on a follow-up blog about our stroller. We've had it for over a year and half now and still love it! God bless! :)

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