Gymnastics classes started today.
The class is only three miles from our house. The class began at 10:15, so at 9:15, I started the process of loading everyone in the car. I figured an hour gave us a plenty good buffer to get there and get acclimated before class began.
Some mornings ... actually, all mornings ... are extremely hectic. Once the kids have breakfast they are completely wired. They'll start pulling out random toys for the sake of pulling them out ... they'll fight over the random toys that they pulled out and that someone is actually playing with ... they'll try and unload dirty dishes from the dishwasher ... beeline to the ice dispenser on the fridge if they notice that I've left it unlocked for an "ice" tea party ... and pull every blanket, pillow and stuffed animal out of their rooms and scatter them around the kitchen ... while I'm trying to put dirty dishes back in the dishwasher, pick up ice from the floor and toss random toys back in to the appropriate baskets.
Then, sometimes, they'll take off the clothes that I've dressed them in and pull off the shoes that I worked so hard to get on their feet.
Once I got everyone dressed this morning and started walking out the door, Elizabeth and Carolyn both informed me they had to go potty. I corralled everyone back inside the house so the girls could do their business.
Then Henry had a blow out poop that required a complete outfit change.
Then William was really, really, really thirsty.
Then Elizabeth had partially disrobed because she wanted to wear the PINK shirt. And, her FLOWAH shoes. And Carolyn had disrobed because she wanted to wear something other than what I had her dressed in. I can't even remember anymore. I just know I looked down and she was standing before me in her Nemo underwear and a pair of purple socks.
I got the kids dressed again and put their shoes on.
I got everyone outside and loaded them in the car.
Then, I had to run in to the house at least three times to get things that I forgot.
The registration for the class.
I pulled out of the driveway, drove to the gymnastics class and as I was pulling in to the parking lot, remembered that I had forgotten the Baby Bjorn - which is a critical piece of equipment. I turned around and drove home. The kids are crying because I had been talking up their class with great enthusiasm, and now, they thought I was backing out.
By the time I get back to the class, it is 10:00 AM.
Elizabeth and Carolyn have to go potty. I let them use the potty in the back of the car. As I'm unloading William, Carolyn tells me that she has to go poo-poo in the potty. But Carolyn has never gone poo-poo in the potty. Not ever once in her life ... intentionally.
Since I promised the children brand new bicycles once they go poo-poo in the potty, it happens at least once a day that they will go poop in their underwear (or diaper) and then quickly try and dump it in the potty, themselves. Then they'll tell me "LOOK MOMMY. I go poo-poo in da POTTY!"
They don't quite grasp that going poo-poo in the potty means actually SITTING on the potty and going poo-poo from that position. Until they get that concept and take heed of my shrill shrill screams "No!! You don't take off a poo-poo diaper!! Only MOMMY takes off a poo-poo diaper!!", I have resigned myself to cleaning up some of the most awful messes you can possibly imagine.
Fortunately, this morning, I had a change of underwear for Carolyn. And an extra for Elizabeth who also went poo-poo. But not in the potty.
We get inside the gym at exactly 10:15. I'm feeling grateful that I gave myself a full hour to get there - when it should have only taken me eight minutes.
There is only one other student in the class. We are sitting around in a circle and the teacher is handing out little colored squares for the children to use as part of their warm-up routine. She asks William "What color would you like?" And William who is hunched over with a bright red faced replies "I go poo-poo." She gives me an unsure smile and looking back at William says "You want Pupu... Is that purple?" William shakes his head and says "NO! I GO POO-POO!"
While the teacher is trying to conceal her laughter, William straightens up and declares "I feel bettah now. I'll take ... uh ... bwue!"
But before he can take the blue square and rejoin his pint-sized gymnast class mates, I have to chase him down, pin him and change his diaper because he has taken off running away from me while yelling "You NO touch my poo-poo!!"
The rest of the class went fine. The kids take turns running through various obstacle courses. They are tumbling over padded blocks, jumping on a trampoline, swinging on a bar, walking on a beam, vaulting over small horses. Meanwhile, I am running in multiple directions - trying to keep them in line and deter them from wandering on to the basketball court.
After 45 minutes, the class is over. I have broken in to a full sweat and am already feeling sore from all the climbing, bending, spotting and running. But the class was a good thing. The kids took a 2.5-hour nap this afternoon and were in bed, sound asleep by 7:45 tonight. Which makes me happy. Because yesterday, they slept barely an hour and were still bouncing off the walls at 10 PM last night.
Tonight, as Charlie was filling the tub to give the kids their nightly bath ... and I was sitting on the couch nursing Henry ... Elizabeth ran out to see me. While she was standing in front of me, with her pants around her ankles she exclaimed "I go poo-poo on da potty!" I started frantically yelling for Charlie because I knew that she didn't go poo-poo in da potty.
I'm her mother and I just know these things.
Charlie comes running from the bathroom and scoops up Elizabeth. He quickly checks each of the toilets in the house and confirms that indeed, she has not gone poo-poo in da potty. He then returns to the bathroom and I can hear him groaning "Oh no. OH NO!! These children are like animals!!"
He then yells out to me "Jen, we have a problem. William has pooped in the tub, Carolyn has pooped on the floor and Elizabeth's poop is missing. I don't know where the heck the poop is, but I know that she went. Can you please go find the poop?"
I couldn't at the moment - because I was feeding Henry. But I yelled back to my husband that once he got the kids out of the tub and we put everyone to bed, we could pour ourselves a nice glass of wine and go on a poop scouting mission, together.
And well ... that pretty much sums up how we keep our romance alive these days.