Sunday, August 31, 2008

Magic or super powers?

Within a few hours of finding out I was pregnant this third time around I did the math in my head. Ellie would only be just over a year old when our new baby was due. I think "panic" would be the appropriate description of my feelings for the next 9 months (well, really only 7 months since I didn't find out until later). I knew having three kids ages 3, 1, and 0 could be done. I also knew I wouldn't be super woman for achieving it either. In fact, there are plenty of people out there with 2 or even one child who have more of a challenge in their lives due to disabilities or whatever life has doled out to them. However, I was under no delusion that it would be easy either. In an effort to make me more confident, a friend of mine put together a top 10 list for me of reasons this would be fun. Number 8 was "You can buy a triple stroller...tres chic!" and right above that was "You will be thought of as amazing by women everywhere". And, in fact, I have had a few comments while shopping. I don't think "amazing" was on their minds...maybe pity. People will usually look at me and then say "Wow, you have your hands full", but every once in awhile someone will ask "Are they all yours?" This most recently happened at Target. I wanted to respond "Nope! I found this one in aisle 3 and thought he was too cute to just leave there!" Instead I just accepted credit for them all.

This past Thursday Rob and his dad left for Washington D.C. They are coming back very late tonight (update: delayed flight...not coming home until Monday!) that left me with these three wonders for 4 nights. Thankfully, I wasn't left to fend for myself. Thursday night it didn't take me long to retreat to my parents house for the promise of Chinese food and the unspoken promise of them willingly holding the baby and entertaining the other two for a few hours. On Friday, Patti came up to help out. And she was a wonderful help. We had a good system for getting through the night with Riley and during the day Austin and Ellie did their best to wear us down. Yesterday evening we went on an errand to re-stock the milk supply and during the drive we speculated on how on Earth she did it. I am referring to Patti. She has 5 children, 4 of them very close in age. Which led us to further examine other women, like Patti's mom, Helen. Helen raised 7 children. We finally settled on the idea that it was different in their day and in some areas easier. Although I was very hesitant to use the word "easy" and "7 children" in the same sentence. But, back then you didn't run many errands, and if you did, you certainly didn't buckle everyone into their appointed car seats. You could also turn them loose outside without worrying about where they were, who they were with, and if they left your yard. It was just expected they'd come home for meals. And at this point Patti added "With the rest of the neighborhood in tow" which confirmed something I already knew...Helen is a far better cook than me as I doubt the neighborhood will ever come running when I tell Austin to come home for dinner. But, I digress. Things were different. I won't say easy, but definitely different.

This weekend I tried to take some cues from the people who seem to have boundless patience with my own kids. I like to think that the fact they are grandchildren had something to do with it. I'm not sure what is so magic about the word "grandchildren" and hopefully someday I'll find out, but magic is definitely what it is. When I was ready to return Austin to aisle 3, Patti just laughed off his antics for the 100th time. Grandparents are the ones with super human powers.

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