Once a child is born, the brain produces trillions of neurons - more than it could ever possibly use. "Then, through a process that resembles Darwinian competition, the brain eliminates connections, or synapses, that are seldom or never used. The excess synapses in a child's brain undergo a draconian pruning, starting around the age of 10, leaving behind a mind whose patterns of emotion and thought are, for better or worse, unique."
Herein lies our Catch-22.
I can see that our children are constantly learning and I know that the synapes in their brains have not yet formed completely. Thus, they do not know that climbing and subsequently falling off the kitchen table, walking in front of someone swinging on the playground, or jumping off the top of the slide may lead to physical injury and pain. My concern is that the synapses in our children's brain are never going to form correctly if they are constantly smashing - or having their noggin - smashed.
At our house, noggin smashing happens every.single.day.
A toddlers adorable - and yet totally insane behavior - is primarily due to their immature, but rapidly developing brains. Taking care of three toddlers is more than a job. It's a whirlwind, exhausting adventure ... and every single day, I want to bop myself in the noggin.
In a room of 100 toys - our kids will inexplicably be drawn to the same exact one. They will fight over this toy, yell, push, cry, hit and bite. Invariably, Charlie and I will step in to referee and when we introduce a new toy ... our children will now inexplicably be drawn to it, leaving behind the toy that they were gouging each other's eyes out over, seconds before. Now the once coveted toy is forgotten and the new toy is the only thing that will bring them any happiness. Damn be their siblings.
Until, Barney comes on television, and the children stop cold in their tracks and embrace each other in a group hug. They are like pint-sized schizophrenics on the loose.
When we go for walks around the neighborhood, we have been putting two children in our double stroller and letting the third one take turns to walk "free". A walk that once took us 15 minutes around our block, now takes two hours. Not because our children have little legs, which they do, but because they stop every 6-inches to carefully examine everything on the ground. Ants, worms, caterpillars, snails ... leaves, pinecones, rocks, bottle caps. Sometimes instead of walking in a straight line, they will hold their little arms up in the air and spin around and around in circles until they are dizzy.
And then, they will laugh hysterically as they try to stagger forward before falling down.
Last week, I found all three of our children eating a candle. Moments later, they had confiscated a roll of self-adhesive stamps and were peeling them off and trying to ingest them before I could see what they were up to. When I asked what they were doing, they began jabbering, and Carolyn started to sing incoherently. Then, they threw the evidence away from them and tried to look busy with something else.
Then, they all started to cry. They are extremely emotional. Then, they came over and tried to hug me. They are extremely loving. They are extremely dependent. They are extremely enfuriating. They are extremely amusing. They are extremely innocent. They will have moments of independence, yet, they are an absolute danger to themselves. They are the life of a party. But at the end of the day - I can't wait for them to pass out.
I have fond memories of toga parties in my collegiate days. Many times, I would be a "designated-walker" or, the person who remained sober enough to remember where we lived and was able to get my friends back to the dorm safely. What I remember most is that when my friends were intoxicated, and I was not, they were extremely emotional. They were extremely loving. They were extremely dependent.
Why, yes ... I am.
Thankfully, a toddler is much more adorable and not as likely to throw up all over my couch.
Oh, wait a minute...