So, why do I think I'm losing my mind? First, I agreed to watch my two nieces, who are both two and a half, overnight. Add to that my three-year-old son, and I'm clearly outnumbered. Okay, not so bad, right? Well, it gets worse. You see, this is what really makes me question my mental health. In my mind, I imagined that the day would be filled with lots of playing, fun activities, projects, and more. I imagined all of us playing in the backyard, running through the sprinkler, sitting at the picnic table and having a nice lunch, painting pictures, baking cookies, watching a movie, eating popcorn, and on and on. And, everyone was going to be happy, play nicely, and have an amazing time. (If you're beginning to question my sanity, just wait - it gets worse.)
Well, there was playing in the pool and backyard, but not by me. There were fun activities like building train tracks and riding bikes, but I didn't partake in any of these. Painting was replaced with coloring, but I didn't get to color. A movie was shown, but I'm pretty sure no one saw more than five continuous minutes of it. Harmony was replaced by a new World Record for time-outs. There was occasional happiness, but toddlers are apparently really into tantrums these days.
Instead of joining in on the fun, I had another job: damage control. These three kids moved from room to room, house to yard, like little tornadoes of destruction. By the time I finished cleaning up one room, they were bored with the current one they were destroying and moved on. Oh, I tried to get them to clean up, and they (kind of) tried to, but this resulted in more time-outs than I can count using all my fingers and toes. In fact, I think they preferred time-outs to picking up.
|Playing in the pool.|
So, as they were having a ball playing in the pool, coloring, and building train tracks, I was racing behind them trying to uncover my living room floor or clear a pathway to the bathroom. And, when I wasn't picking up millions of toys (I swear these toys multiply while I'm sleeping), I was getting food ready. It seemed they were telling me they were hungry every hour. So, I made snacks and lunch and snacks and dinner and cupcakes. (Yes, I made cupcakes. In the midst of all of this chaos, I baked cupcakes. Not from the box, oh no. From scratch. With homemade frosting. I'll expect my white jacket to be arriving shortly) By the time I got the snack or meal ready, they were (surprise!) no longer hungry.
Getting three toddlers to eat can prepare anyone to become a really good negotiator. Okay, if you eat three more bites of hot dog, you can go in the pool. If you eat two bites of chicken and one bite of cottage cheese, you can have a cupcake. (Yes, if you're still sitting there in disbelief, I made cupcakes). Somehow, I managed to talk them into getting just enough food down that they were refueled and ready to wage war on my house once again. And bedtime, ha! I'll be recovering from that for the next two days. Traumatic.
|They sat still for 30 seconds!|
I have these sanity-questioning moments often, like when I decide to take my son camping overnight alone. But, at the end of the day, he's had a great time. Today, my nieces and my son had a lot of fun. They played and played (and cried and whined) their little hearts out. I'm exhausted, but it was worth it.