Thursday, April 23, 2009

what's in you wednesday thursday

I went running twice this week. And while I was out running on those two occasions, I remembered that running was kind of fun. And the reason that I had lost almost all of my momentum in training for a marathon, is because I am training for a MARATHON and ohmygoshwhattheheckwasithinking?!

I'm a three-mile runner.

Nothing more.

(Sometimes, two miles less.)

Of course I'm still planning to get out there and do the marathon. But I'll be perfectly honest that I am in no way - shape - or form - planning to kill myself in the process. Instead, I'm thinking that I'll run when I feel like running, walk when I feel like walking and wear a pair of Heelys to make up time on the downhill.

I am a little disappointed that I haven't trained more aggressively than I have, especially since Margaret is now running 12 miles at a pop. But I've got a few legitimate reasons that my training has been so lax. Those reasons go by the name of William, Carolyn, Elizabeth and Henry.

And then there's the whole 'enjoyment of sleeping past 6:00 AM whenever possible' thing.

This morning my Aunt Grace (Margaret's mother) called to tell me that she was excited to be coming out to California with my Uncle Bill (Margaret's father), next month. She told me that unfortunately, Margaret hurt her hip training and she hasn't been able to run at all for the past few days. I tried to voice concern but all that came out was, "Gee! Really?! She's hurt and she can't run?! Oh. Wow. That's ... um ... awful. Tee Hee!"

So there you have it.

My cousin who can run more than me gets hurt and I'm giddy.

I'm rotten.

This conclusion is further supported by the day I had, today, with my children.

It happens very infrequently that I will make a concerted effort to spend a day putting away every last thing that litters our counters, sifting through clothes and toys for items to donate, and scrubbing the house 'til it shines.

I am not a perfectionist - not by a long shot.

I know that it is unrealistic to expect that I can live in an immaculately clean house with four children under the age of five.


Today, I wanted to have a little bit of order.

Today, I wanted to enjoy the house clean, even if for 10 minutes.

Today, instead of going to the zoo - or the park - or the beach - or the museum - or the aquarium, which is something I almost always do with our children ... today, I determined that I really needed to stick around the house and get it somewhat organized. Since I'm due to start work full time in less than two weeks, I really want to have a certain "order" in place before my weekly work schedule increases by 30%.

Now, in my four and a half years as a mother, I have learned a fair number of truths. One of those truths is that it is damn near impossible to straighten up a house with children underfoot. Especially when three of those four children are triplets that are like a wrecking crew moving from one thing to the next.

When my sister called to tell me that my brother and his wife seem to be handling things just GREAT with their (almost) four-year-old twin boys and twenty-two-month old singleton, my response was that twins are not as difficult as triplets. There are no two ways about it. You add that third wheel child in to the mix and all hell breaks loose.

Today, I would take one step forward and the kids would set me back by two.

I'd go through their drawers and remove clothes for Goodwill, they'd take off the clothes that they were wearing and throw them in the pile and then pull clothes out of the pile and put those on. And then they'd go roll in the dirt.

Whatever it was that I was trying to do, they would derail my efforts. Or, they would meddle with something I had just completed such that I'd have to do it over again. While I was trying to go through their closet, the kids were playing on the opposite end of the closet and knocked the door off the runners.

For those anonymous commenters of the world that are laying in wait to pounce on this post with their advice, save your energy. I know that my children's behavior today was preventable. I know that I should have distracted the children with positive activities. I know that I should have done this work when Charlie was home and could entertain the kids. I know that I could have called in reinforcements. I know that they are only young once and a clean house isn't all that important. I know it. But sometimes, just because you know something, doesn't stop you from doing something stupid.

I put everyone outside to play and while I set about tackling cabinets in the kitchen, a mere 10 feet away, in less than three minutes, they flipped over all of their toys and completely disassembled the seven piece toddler slide.

What caught my attention is when they grabbed my broom and were smacking it against the wind chimes on the side of the house so hard that they were slamming into the window of the nursery. Where ... you guessed it ... there had been a blissfully napping baby.

The long and short of it is that I went nuts.

I told the children that I was going to send them someplace else to live.

They needed to go PACK THEIR BAGS because I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take them not listening and destroying everything in their path and fighting and whining and I WANT I WANT I WANT and HE, SHE, IT IS LOOKING AT ME and the SASSY ATTITUDE that has hit our house, times three, full force.

That's it.

They're leaving.

And then for added measure, I picked up the phone and called my mother and since she wasn't home, I left a message that I needed the bus to come pick up the naughty children. While I was leaving this message, the girls were crying hysterically. William however, didn't say anything. He ran off in to his room and returned a few minutes later carrying a bag. He had packed him pajamas, a few toys and his toothbrush.

He was ready to go.

"Bye, bye Mommy! Thanks for incubating me in your womb. I'm leaving now!"

He then convinced his sisters that they needed to leave with him.

A few minutes later, my three four-year-olds were packed and ready to leave.

Here's a picture of them sitting by the front window waiting for the bus to take them away.

And here's a small segment of the 20-minute video clip I filmed three hours later when William still wanted to go to my mother's house (Noni), despite my apologies and begging that he please stay.

Apparently, I give him a headache.
Now, that's novel.

I'm hard pressed to understand why a child that I threatened to drop in another country and then, told that a bus for the naughty children was coming to take away, would ever want to leave?

I think he senses my overwhelming weakness in certain situations and I think he's calling my bluff. Because I can't imagine it had anything to do with looking at a face like this all day.

No silly. Of course that's not me!

That's just some psycho I downloaded from the internet. Which I imagine might have resembled me ... a tiny little bit ... at some point today.


Nice teeth?


  1. Just curious - in the second picture is one of the children MOONING you?!?

  2. LOL! Too funny!

    Hey, I would love an updated post about you returning to work fulltime. You know, if you feel inclined! lol

  3. I cannot blame William, I used to love going to Noni's house too.

    May I suggest that in the future you may want to utter these two words, "Military School". It's not quite as welcoming as a doting Grandmother.

    Poor Margaret, she has put so much into training. I hope that she is going to be all right.

    Perhaps you can bring along your Bob stroller and take turns hauling each other through the race.

    Keep on smiling, pretty lady!

    Another Cuzzin,


  4. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Three times. Because I was just feeling like that after the same episode in my house with my triplets. I was actually crying. I told them to find another Mom.

  5. Oh! This made me laugh...Been There Done That...the bliss of Mother Hood! ......triplets or not.

    AHHHHH! That William.....I think it is safe to say NOW he is smarter then you. It hurts....I KNOW!!

    Hope today is better;)


  6. I have twins plus one and had them in two years and I KNOW throwing one more in the mix would change things dramatically. Kids can be like dominos. One gets upset and the rest do, one destroys something and the rest do. Hang in there.

  7. Hysterical. Okay? Just hysterical. LOL


  8. Can I tell you how refreshing it is to read this account of your day? I haven't yet tried/threatened to kick my kids out yet, but 1) I only have twins, and not a day goes by that I'm not thankful I had only two and 2) They're only two years old.

    We all have our days. I've taken to yelling recently, and I really hate that part of myself. I think being able to look back, to acknowledge what might work better next time, is the best lesson we can take and share with others.


  9. You might not fully appreciate this quote, living in southern California and all, but here in the north we get it.
    "Cleaning your house while the children are still home is like shoveling your driveway while it's still snowing."
    I have four children of different ages and I still can only keep one room at a time clean.

  10. LMAO. THAT is completely hilarious! I give my four year old a headache on a regular basis apparently! I am reading this at work and had to try really hard not to laugh out loud because that would blow my cover of doing something serious, sensible and work-related! LOL! I love your blog Jen as you make me feel completely normal and it is so nice to know that my son isn't completely abnormal in his thought process. He and William would get on like a house on fire!!

    I also wanted to say that I am hard-pressed to maintain order at home with just one small child so the idea of trying to do it with FOUR fills me with admiration.

  11. Kathy: No, I know though, it looks like it. I thought the same thing when I first looked at the picture last night. It's William in his orange shirt and it's creased funny when he is bending over to look at the flowers.

    Lawrence Zoo: The interesting thing about our dynamic is that Henry now thinks that he is four, too. Now if he actually WAS four, I think it would be a lot easier than having a toddler who can't quite keep up with preschoolers but knocks himself (and them) (and me) out trying.

    Tracy: Word. I've already posted that EXACT same quote on this blog before. Here's the link:

  12. Oh boy that reminds me of the time I did that with Karen, my only one at that time. She was absolutly delighted to go and live at Nana's house and actually walked up to the bus stop with my pleading her not to go. Is our family really that weird, threating our children like that?? I am sure they will be effected for the rest of their lives.

  13. Ahaha! Awesome Jen. I'm doing a preceptor-ship in a pediatric office (I'm a medical student interloper among the moms...I know... :O I'd like to be one someday- let's call it studying up!) and have fallen in love with kids who are around 4 years because that's the age in which they develop the ability to plan such running away escapades. However, they are still young enough to get REALLY excited about their Disney princess underwear that they talk nonstop about while you try to listen to their little hearts! Love that he told his sister to get her coat. My heart goes out to you sister. Keep up that running!

  14. This is the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Honestly, I have no idea how you do all the things you do. I have two children spaced five years apart and don't seem to be half as productive as you do! We all get to have days like this!

  15. LMAO at the picture of the yard. How the hell did they take that thing apart?! You need to hire them out somewhere!

  16. Great post.

    I especially loved when William said, "Mom, put your camera down and drive. Drive me to Noni's."

    You better threaten to take them somewhere scary next time... :D

  17. Too funny ... we've all been there ... at least once. Oh, all of us except those perfect anonymous commenters :) I hope you had a better day today!!

  18. What impresses me the most is that the three musketeers were able to DISMANTLE that slide. My husband and I had to move two of those types of things into the house from outside and it took both of us, tools, and an HOUR to figure them out. It took all of our brute strength. Your kids took that down like it was Jenga.


    Now what else was I going to say...hmmm...have you considered giving them something constructive to do while you sorted their closets? (Just kidding) Oh, did...they dismantled a piece of playground equipment faster than two adults with five college degrees between them.

    William is precocious, I didn't attempt running away from home until I was at least five and I didn't have the nerve to ask my Mom to drive me.

    You're doing great, hang in.

  19. From a mom with 21 month old twins, I so understand where you're coming from. I also have tried to clean with my children awake, and it is always one step forward, two steps back. Or all is going TOO well, and then I discover what they've been doing for the past five minutes of silence... The mother of my best friend in high school had a great sign in her kitchen (herself the mother of 6) that read "dull women have immaculate homes" I try to laugh and remember that when I look around our tornado ravaged house and want to cry.

  20. You're giving me a headache!!! Are you serious??? That is hilarious!!! OMG!
    At least William gave Carolyn her toy to take with her! You gotta give him props for that!

  21. I know how you feel but I had to laugh anyway. At one point they beat us at our own game. That's hard to take but cute at the same time. The next day it makes me laugh because they are so smart but in that very moment - it gives me a headache

  22. So much for leaving the kids out to play while you cleaned up. I guess that is why, I went out walking every day with the gang.
    Of course, This day will be remembered a long time, like the day your brother played barber and cut the twins hair. Please hide your electric razor, because some fun days are coming.

  23. Seriously, the beginning of your post about training SO could have been written by me! I'm not ready for my HALF marathon. I'm not motivated. I'm discouraged. I feel alone. I feel stupid. I'm going to die trying to finish.

    As for the hurricane of children surrounding your annoying as it is trying to undo what the kids undo that you did (?)...there'll be WONDERFUL stories and memories in the years to come...

  24. Oh my, is this what I'm on for:)?
    And I get NOTHING done during the day when my kids are awake! I am forever trying to figure out how to even put their clothes away because either they are napping in their room, or they are awake, and they need me RIGHT there.. this triplet thing is tricky!

  25. Very, Very, Very, Funny!!!! What a smart kid. Let Will know that I live close to Noni and will be too happy to take him (& who ever wants to go) away from "that crazy Lady" in the picture. ;-)

    Too Funny. Love, Marg. ;-)

    PS Do you have a voodoo doll that looks like me?? Put my leg and hip BACK the RIGHT WAY, RIGHT NOW!

  26. OMG, "you're giving me a headache" I was rolling on the floor!

  27. Angela (niece)4/24/09, 9:45 PM

    Oh Jenna, you crack me up. Little Gracie is incredible photogenic. Takes after her mother on that one. Lovely portraits in this post.

  28. what a face! - is all I can say - up to you to decide which face I am refering to - lol.


    P.S. This too shall pass - these days are priceless.

  29. One of many cuzzins'!4/25/09, 1:10 PM


    You need your eyebrows waxed!!!

    Hysterical video & backyard mess. What a nut house!

    Love it!