Thursday, May 22, 2008

¡Aye Carumba!

Every time I write a new post about how this phase of my life is especially difficult and oh, wow, when is it going to get better ... I almost don't publish because really, how many times should I say the same thing over and over again? Aren't you sick of me yet??

Then, I do publish and feel like a heel that I'm openly complaining about these beautiful children that I've been blessed with after having wanted for so long.

But here's the thing.

My children ... or rather, OUR children?

They are making me question my level of mental competence. Whenever I'm around them, I feel like I am skating on the thin ice of sanity and it is AFRICA hot outside.

Yesterday, I worked most of the day. Charlie was with the kids. I mention that because I wasn't even exposed to them that much. But when I was trying to get everyone ready for bed last night - with Charlie less than two feet away - I started to go mad. I don't even know what the children were doing that caused me to combust, but it was ANNOYING.

More than ever, I pray a lot.

I pray for people, situations, moments. But mostly, I pray for myself. I pray for guidance and strength almost constantly through out the day. Yet even with all this prayer and the request for God in my life AT ALL TIMES, it seems like the devil has a way of creeping in.


Today, while I was trying to load the children in to the car after swimming lessons and Elizabeth picked up a handful of dirt and threw it in Gracie's face ... and Gracie grabbed the third seatbelt that hangs from the ceiling in the back of the van and whacked Elizabeth in the head ... and William ripped the built-in privacy screen completely off the window ... I had a vision of driving down to Mexico and dropping them off.

That's right.

I envisioned abandoning my children in Mexico before picking up some carne asada, a case of Corona and hightailing it back home, over the border. While my children cried and searched for me, I'd be home sucking down a beer and cooking steak on the grill.

In a quiet, peaceful environment.

And this made me take pause.

Aren't mother's supposed to love their children above anyone else?? What kind of mother entertains the thought of abandoning her children in a third world country?? Worse probably yet than entertaining those thoughts ... was that I told them that if they keep up their behavior, they are going to go live with a new family that speaks Spanish.

When I called Charlie to tell him that I was having these horrible thoughts, he said "Jen, don't feel badly. It isn't abandonment. It's second-language immersion."

The fact that he can see where I'm coming from??

That's got to be the work of the devil.

So tonight, Charlie and I are going on a much needed date. It's the first time that we've ever left them with someone who isn't related to us. Once we feed the kids and put them to bed, our good Christian neighbor is coming over to read a book in our living room and hold down the fort. We're thinking of going to see a movie. Or maybe we'll drive south to Mexico.

There are no guarantees, however, that we'll be back.


  1. Good for you guys going on a date! I've come to the conclusion that my children are much better for everyone else, THAN ME! I'm not sure why that is, but if we drive down together and drop them off at the border, perhaps they can entertain each other while we drink tequila?????

  2. I have been telling mine that I am leaving if they keep fighting. Yeah, real nice Mommy, huh?

    I went to the Dentist, Library, Grocery and coffee shop today-ALL BY MYSELF! It was lovely.

    Enjoy your date, you both deserve it. Be sure to have "desset" later too!

    P.S. I think your husband is a hoot!


  3. Sorry, make that "Dessert". Hard to type with someone climbing on me. I need to go on a date too!

  4. Isn't it funny how life's answers come to us over time...not too long ago you wrestled with whether you should send them to school and not wanting to leave the kids with anyone that wasn't family...

    You make me laugh...I'd probably be thinking about dropping my kids in Mexico if I had 4 under 4 that tested my patience each day.

  5. It's three and it's a horrible age, they're all like that. Two can be trouble, but three is the real terrible age. And unfortunetly, all of your are three at the same time. Trust me, it will pass. Maybe not before you dump them in the um...language immersion program across the border.

    I used to teach preschool, in a class full of three year olds. I eventually decided that I didn't want to be a teacher anymore. Truly, I should have just switched classes.

    School will help, but honestly, becoming four will help the most. One day it will happen...for some kids, it happens a bit early, some a bit late, but you'll know when the magic four age comes. They become socialized creatures overnight. It's a mystery.

    I recommend loads of beer and chocolate until then.

  6. I just wrote a post about me going completely APE today. I don't know what has gotten into me or my children--but it "ain't" right.

    Then, I heard about Stephen Curtis Chapman losing his youngest daughter because his son ran over her by accident in their driveway! It makes me feel blessed to have my babies...

    ...but they still are driving me to the point of needing meds or considering becoming an alcholic for in my profession!

  7. Don't beat yourself up! What parent doesn't get frustrated with the kids? And if you take "moderate frustration" and multiply that by three three-year-olds you would get exactly what you seem to be experiencing. That sounds perfectly normal to me!

  8. YEA!!! A DATE!!!! GOOD FOR YOU!!!! ENJOY every second of PEACE!!:)

    You make me laugh so hard!:)

  9. Sometimes reading your blog is like looking inside my own brain. I was thinking about posting more about stress and mishaps today, but don't want to be writing the same "my life is crazy with these kids" all the time. I really do love and enjoy my children.

    Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful date, and no calls from the babysitter!

  10. How reassuring to know that I am not the only crazy mother! You are amazing with having so many little ones! Enjoy your night out, you deserve it!

  11. Yay! Date night! Hope Charlie's back is all healed up! wink... wink...

  12. I hope ya'll have a fantastic evening, you deserve it! I just got done writing a praying post of my own and then saw yours... the devil is working hard! Don't feel bad on the comment to the kiddos, I almost have Chase convinced that I'll be selling him to the very next gypsy we see.

  13. I hope you had a wonderful evening!!!

    I hear you there, although I think I'd rather just leave them here and go to Mexico myself and sit on a beach somewhere.

  14. Can I just say I would NEVER babysit for you! That is one brave neighbor. Mexico is just too darn close for comfort. Vegas also for that matter. I hope you had fun! I bet you talked about the kids the whole time.....wink.
    ps. i bet they would find their way back from mexico:)

  15. I feel like that a lot and I only have one two year old to deal with...

  16. Good for you! A date will temporarily restore your spirits :)

  17. Second-language immersion! Now that is seeing the glass half full.

  18. You soo have to stop beating yourself up and feeling bad for feeling that way. I think that any mother who says they don't have similar thoughts cross their minds at times is LYING! I only have one son and he is a similar age to your triplets and every day I pray for the strength not to get angry/ overwhelmed by it all. It is a HARD age and while we delight in them becoming little people, it is perfectly normal to be completely exasperated with them at the same time. It doesn't mean that we don't love them as much. My Mum is always telling my how much naughtier my son is than I ever was but my Dad contests to this being total rubbish, I was even naughtier and it is my Mum being selective with her memory so just think, in 20 odd years time we will be telling our kids how well-behaved they were compared to their kids.. it is ALL good and at this rate those 20 years will be here before we know it!!!

  19. PS- Forgot to say enjoy your date!!!

  20. I'm happy that I'm not the only one who occasionally feels like leaving their kids on the side of the road!!
    Have a great date!

  21. I love you form keeping it real and keeping it honest - you say what I feel some days but I can't write on my blog.
    My twins are not even two yet ... so frustrating at times I must yell NO 1000 times a day ... and leave him (your brother alone )
    Hope you enjoyed your date.

  22. i agree with others who said don't be too hard on yourself. i think your fantasy about dropping the kids south of the border is a lot like a woman have fantasies about leaving her life with brad pitt or matt damon (my personal choice). "wouldn't i look great on his arm. we could travel the world. someone could do the cleaning for me. etc." you know you'd never really leave your significant other but sometimes you just need to escape. so i say be kind to your self and go get a case of corona. you are doing a great job.

    (you do make me nervous about my 8 month olds entering the two and three year old phases. i thought we were in the hardest part, but now i am thinking that is wrong. the harder part is yet to come.)

    and the fact is, you and your husband both seem to have a sense of humor and that is one of the most important traits to have at this stage of their lives.

    i hope your date was fun.

  23. Have fun on your date! I remember all mom's have there moments. You are just brave enough to tell people about them :)

  24. Got to love the you and Charlie have the same wild sense of humor!

    Hope your date was full of fun.

  25. Is there something in the air? I am trying to figure out which would be easier: finding gypsies who will buy the toddler or selling her on eBay and dealing with shipping. Hmmm.

    At least your post was hysterical! That helped brighten my day! :-)

  26. I hear you, as much as I love my children, some days are just like that. Spanish immersion, eh? That's looking at it in a better, guilt free light I'd say. I guess I'll have to send mine to Brazil though since I already know Spanish and French. Or , wait, I'm not that far from the Navajo reservations really...

  27. Oh my gosh, enjoy your time out!!!! I hope your neighbor brought a really long book!

  28. Hi, a couple of weeks ago, i had a terrible day with my 5 year old. he wasn't listening to anything...all day. i got so exasperated with him I told him that this family obviously wasn't working for him and so we should start looking for a new upset him terribly and he sobbed for a long time. I am trying to forgive myself and your post sure goes a long way in helping me...knowing that i am human and doing the best i can and i am not perfect...thanks for your post.

  29. Don't worry - we all think that from time to time. Well, not the Mexico part...usually I fantasize about running away from home and enjoying the peace and quiet of a hotel room somewhere.

    3 the same age is hard! They sort of feed off each other in what my husband calls a "spontaneous explosion." Much harder than having 3 close-in-age children...

  30. Yeah for you and Charlie going on a date! I honestly can't remember my last date with Hubby.
    The car is getting so difficult to drive anywhere with my trio that I've been so tempted to pull off to the side of the road flip up the very back seat and throw, rather, put, one child back there. The fighting gets old quickly.
    Mexico, on the other hand, sounds fabulous! Sand, water, heat, margaritas....


  31. I know what you mean, I complain about my guy sometimes and feel like... well, really I love him, but TODAY he's driving me nuts! But three of them... sheesh. I'm sure it will pass. Every other maddening phase has passes in time, so I have hope.

  32. God bless date night.

    The source of all things sane.

  33. I have a twelve-month-old daughter and watch our friends' five-month-old daughter two days a week. When my friend returns for her daughter and my husband comes home, I just want to sit and stare. I'm so tired. I don't know how you persevere! I guess the prayer IS helping!

    Something my husband and I have decided to do to maintain our sanity in this stage of life is to each take one night off a week. My husband goes out to play poker, ultimate frisbee, racquetball. On my night, all I want is to be alone. I lock myself in our bedroom for the night, working out, watching TV, reading a novel, taking a bubble bath... and I always go to bed early.

    I never get tired of hearing your stories. It is life with four young kids, and we can all relate to some degree. I love it.

  34. I know it isn't funny but I have laughed more since finding your site yesterday than I have in weeks. We have four kids too - 10, 9, 5, 1 so I know how you feel about bailing out at times. I feel for you and would like to pray for you from time to time because you have been put into an incredible position - to care for 4 children in less than 3 years. You make beautiful babies - all four of them.

  35. OMG YOURE IN VIRGINIA!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! tell me where jen!! TELL ME WHERE!!! Let me come meet up with you, even if it's in some skanky rest stop... I'll buy you some more mountain dew and altoids!!!

    DANG IT ALL!!! I'll even wear my keens!! :)