Life with four has been crazy.
It's the kind of crazy that turns you into an active volcano, one that is simmering and bubbling and all ready to explode. It's the kind of crazy that warrants me sneaking into the kitchen, for "just one bite of chocolate", until at the end of the day, you realize you have eaten half a huge bar of chocolate. It's the kind of crazy that has you flopped on the bed exhausted from having to babywear most of the day, wondering what on earth you did, aside from keep yourself and four little beings alive.
These days, there seems always to be at least one kid crying, two kids fighting, and some new mess that needs to be cleaned up. We think Small J is on the verge of dropping his nap, and hence his whole schedule is pretty much messed up. He fights sleep, even though he's tired, and sometimes I find it impossible to make him nap. However, an early bedtime for him is challenging, because the hubby puts all three boys to bed, and can't be in two places at one time. So I try my best to make him nap, and find myself grinding my teeth and trying not to yell in the hour or two that he tosses and plays until he falls asleep. We're still figuring out a way to ensure he gets enough rest, but meanwhile, we end up with a really cranky and whiny kid who is also at the peak of his terrible twos.
Mealtimes are a huge challenge. Just the other day, Small J was melting down after lunch, because he had woken up early. His screaming woke the baby, whom I had to put in her chair because I had to carry the upset toddler. Lil J wasn't eating his lunch, and decided there and then he had to go poo. So I had to leave the crying baby, pacify the screaming toddler (figs did the trick), and clean up Lil J.
Today, Lil J kept disturbing Small J, and the toddler decided that he couldn't take it any longer and messed up a Perler bead creation that Lil J was working on. Lil J lost it, and both started to go for each other. The shouting and crying woke the baby. I had to drag Lil J to the room to cool down, rush to finish lunch prep, while asking Junior J to help to repair Lil J's creation. Thankfully my dad was around, so he helped to carry the baby, while I had a talk with Lil J. Later, Lil J decided he was too upset to eat. And Small J also decided not to eat, and proceeded to spit every single mouthful I fed him. He then proceeded to demand for a chocolate egg, which of course, he didn't get. He went to bed hungry, after a fair bit of screaming and struggling, and then took ages to fall asleep.
I catch myself wishing I was an octopus, and envision myself with waving tentacles deftly cooking, wielding the cane, separating fighting siblings, and eating my chocolate... all at the same time.
But octopus I am not. And so, it has been prayer and prayer and more prayer. And chocolate. Lots of it. And sometimes, outbursts of crying.
However, amidst the madness there are always bittersweet moments, that help you to think that having four and choosing to stay home isn't that bad. Sometimes it's seeing how Junior J has risen up to the occasion, and helps care for his younger siblings. Or how the older two are now helping to prepare dinner by chopping up stuff. Or those sweet moments where all four are hanging out together, and no one is fighting. There are also those times when you realize that they grow so, so fast. Or the times when you discover that they are making progress in an area that they were struggling. And suddenly, the world stops spinning at a dizzying rate, and slows down for your heart to capture a snapshot to remember forever.
And of course baby smiles. Baby smiles always make things better.
They say God never gives you more than you can bear, and life these days are a testament to that. His mercies are truly new every morning, and I know things will get better as time passes. Meanwhile, there's always prayer, and more chocolate. :)
PS: I've hardly the time to blog these days, so for more snippets of crazy, head over here!