Audrey Rae, Braxton, and Charlotte-
Having three kids is hard.
I mean, I knew that having children would be work. I never thought I’d be making my life simpler by siring the three of you. I knew it would be tough, but…man…
It’s been a rough week.
Jim Gaffigan has more kids than we do, but I think he hit this situation on the head.
Charlotte, you’re teething. Or sick. Or something. Whatever it is, “sleep” isn’t a word you quite grasp anymore. The reason I’m not exactly sure what ails you is because you don’t always wake up with screams and tears (though those are never lacking). You have, suddenly and unwelcomely, forgotten the difference between days and nights. For a while, you slept decently enough at night, but these days, you may wake up crying and needing a bottle or some comfort. Other nights, you may wake up and just want to talk. A lot. Very loudly. It obviously is unacceptable that your mother and I are sleeping and not paying very specific attention to you.
The days aren’t much better. You sleep in small chunks at a time. When not sleeping, you need to be held, or you’ll make it clear that you’re displeased. Simply put, if it’s not all about you 24/7, you’re not happy.
You’ve basically become a cat.
Braxton, you are definitely sick. No question here. About a week ago, you woke up at around 6 loosing pitiful moans. Heart breaking, I got up and put your binky in, gently ran my hand over your head, kissed your cheek, and headed back to bed. Thirty seconds later, you start to cry again. I walk back into your room, and suddenly hear a gurgling. I flip on the lights and see you lying on your back, vomit pouring out of your mouth, over your face, and onto your bed. I felt so bad for you. We immediately got you out of bed and into the shower.
That would be the last time you threw up. It would not be the last time your stomach contents would spew from your body.
This last week has been what I am now referring to as “the diarrhea days“. There is no describing the filth that has been excreting from your posterior. It’s as if you have been consuming the souls of the damned and digesting their moral pestilence. And lo, you have become death, the destroyer of worlds.
And as if the confines of your diaper was a personal insult to your excrement, it has been escaping from your diaper, out of your pants, and strewn on the floor, more than one time. The wretched stench that emanated from your vile dung can only be described as “rotten death”.
And through all this, I posit that your mom and I could have handled it all, if we had two children. A sort of “divide and conquer” strategy. But, alas, we are parents of three.
Audrey Rae, you feel just fine. Perfect health. This would, normally, be a great thing, but the fact also stands that you are a very energetic and perceptive four year old. Here’s how this normally works: Charlotte is screaming, so Daddy is quickly trying to heat a bottle. Braxton has desecrated our carpet with his inhuman excretions, so Mommy is rushing to get the carpet cleaner.
You perceive that Mommy, Daddy, Braxton, and Charlotte are all undeniably occupied at the moment.
Clearly, it’s time to cause trouble.
Your brother has shown you how fun it is to jump off of things. Coffee table to couch. Couch to floor. Bar chairs to floor. And all the while, we just hear a “thump” from somewhere in the house.
Next, you’ll bring out your toys. Like, all of them. Every book you own? Clearly that spot on the floor is where they need to be. Every doll in your room? Now they go on the couch. Once the floor is cleaned or your sister calmed, your mom or I will turn and see the mischief you have concocted.
Your mom and I are tired. You three wear us out to degrees that we hadn’t previously known were possible to go through.
Well, that is, possible to go through, and still love you guys as much as we do.
Seriously. I am honestly not sure how this is possible. Never in my life before children would I have said, “I am going to deal with someone screaming at me for half an hour at two in the morning, calm that person down, then still have an overwhelming sense of adoration as they smile in comfort and go back to sleep.”
I never would have thought that I could scrub the feces of another person off of my carpet, and then snuggle that person with nothing but sympathy.
It never would have entered my mind that someone could take complete advantage of a time that I am preoccupied, and then receive immediate and complete forgiveness with nothing but a face of remorse.
This last week has been hard, but I am constantly astounded as to how easily the three of you can give me energy again. Being a parent is trudging through these struggles and thriving only by love. You won’t really get it right now, you can’t get it until you’re a parent of your own kids, but love has kept us moving.
Also, the knowledge that someday you’ll be dealing with me as an old, senile man.
We love you kids, and although our struggles have continued into 2015, we will always let love hold this family together.
1 Corinthians 1:4
Christian, husband, father, and pastor. Also a proud and dedicated nerd. One of the dads at TheDadLetters.com and author of TheLivesIHaveLived.wordpress.com.