Having 2 children seems to be normal at the moment. Any more than that and people look at you as if you have 2 heads, when they realise that my 3 children are 14 months and 2 years apart respectively, they say things like, 'you've got your hands full there haven't you!' and 'so which one was the mistake?' (yes really!) A question I have no answer for at the moment is 'soooo whats it like with 3 childen?' and they stare at you with a greedy, expectant look, like you are a creature from another planet who has come all this way just to tell them all about it. I end up smiling and saying 'yea, its good' because where do I start? How do I even begin to sum up what its like with 3 children?
I'm told the best way to stay sane whilst having 'so many children' is to leave the house every day. I can't help but notice the people giving this advice are rarely in the same position as me, they may have 3 children, they may have a baby but people who have had 2 toddlers and a baby tend to just smile in a knowing way and keep their mouths closed. They know. They've been here!
So, by the time I've gathered all the necessities for my changing bag I'm exhausted! We need, drinks and snacks for 2 girls, a scarf for me (in case some one gets funny about me feeding Pop) 2 nappies, wet wipes, nappy sacks, Pops cream, teething gel, a muslin or 2, a spare bib and a spare change of clothes for the baby, Nunny (because we cant go anywhere with out him, and if were taking nunny we need a toy for the other toddler, and also because everything has to be fair at the moment Baby Girl insists on getting a toy for Pop too!) then there is the travel potty and a spare pair of pants (or 3) and a change of clothes in case of accidents. Finally we have my purse (making sure I have cash and/or my bank cards inside, my girls are like little Fagins!) the car keys, and all the other random bits and pieces that find themselves at the bottom of my bag.
Finally I have 2 girls and Pop strapped into the car and I ask myself where do we go? We're too late to go to any morning toddler groups its already 11am (and besides the hell of going to a toddler group with 2 toddlers and a baby is a whole other blog post!). Have you tried single handedly getting 3 children dressed in the morning? I have a clothes refusing Baby Girl, by the time I've gotten the other 2 dressed she's stripped off! As for me, I don't even get to think about putting make up on or doing my hair, a scraped back pony tail and a tinted moisturiser is all I have time for, if I'm lucky!
I decide on a quick trip to the park before lunch, take a deep breath and off we go! We park up and Pop goes in the pushchair, the park is a short walk away so now I have to dice with death and decide which child's hand I hold. If I'm lucky the girls are in a cooperative mood and Big Girl will hold Baby Girls hand while I hold the other one, if not then we end up with a tantrum in the middle of the road with a car heading towards us while I try and scoop everyone up before we become road kill!
Once we're in the park Pop will want feeding and Baby Girl will want helping on the slide, unable to do everything at once I promise 2 goes on the slide then its time to feed Pop. Whilst I'm trying to feed Pop, Baby girl is using me as a climbing frame she wants my help with the slide again and big girl is wanting me to push her on the swing. Pop has just latched on and is happy feeding, desperately trying to not get angry at the child who is climbing on my back (we have a whole park in front of us with real climbing frames, why wont she use one of those!?) I try and get the girls to go and play but they don't want to, they just want to climb on me. I look at my watch and we've been here for the grand total of 3 minutes. 3 minutes. I was sure it was longer than that! I dish out snacks and drinks in the hope they may go and play for a little bit longer, after all being out of the house is meant to be saving my sanity, not breaking it!
7 more minutes and I am done! We do the walk of death back to the car and spend 5 minutes strapping every one back in and putting the pushchair in the boot. I try not to think about the fact it has taken me longer to get every one in and out of the car than the time we spent in the park. I breathe a sigh of relief as we pull on to the driveway, happy with the thought I can tell the next busy body and health visitor that yes, yes we do get out of the house, I'll just lie about it being every day!
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