Monday, June 09, 2008

the power of water

Today I had the worst conference call of my entire life.

Charlie was at a meeting two hours away and left at 6 AM. Henry was awake two minutes after he walked out the door so my plans of getting anything done this morning were shot.

The triplets were up by 6:30. I was running around like crazy trying to get kids fed, kids dressed, diapers changed, CAROLYN FOR THE LOVE ALL THAT IS HOLY WHY WON'T YOU POOP IN THE POTTY?! dishes put away, a load of laundry put in to the wash. Because if I don't do a load of laundry every now and again, laundry will never be done and sometimes I just wonder why bother at all.

Who cares if we wear dirty clothes?

Is it really THAT important??

I reminded myself as I was nursing Henry at 9:45 to sleep that we had a conference call at 10 AM. But in that span of time, those 15 short minutes, all hell broke loose.

Elizabeth got a hold of a Sharpie. Carolyn hijacked my wallet and took out all of my credit cards and was slipping them under the fridge. William was trying to "fish" in the toilet.

When I heard my cell phone ringing, I remembered and called in. And I immediately thanked the cell phone God's for equipping those things with mute because the noise level in our house was deafening.

Eventually, I pushed the triplets outside in the backyard and locked the door. They were SCREAMING because I locked them outside. Henry woke up SCREAMING. I had four kids SCREAMING and that's when my boss asked how things were going with the team meeting that I'm supposed to be hosting next month.

In the time I tried to click off the mute, I received a call that went to voicemail and damn my new phone if I didn't disconnect from the call and go straight to my mail box.

Before I called back in to the conference call, I noticed that even with the kids outside, they were screaming so loudly I couldn't even think straight. Instead of tossing them ice cream cones - which now that I think of it would have been a splendid idea - I brought them back in the house, stripped them down and put all four of them in the tub.

Now that I've returned to work, I suspect that our children will be taking at least one bath a day. But on those days I have multiple conference calls, it might be as many as two or three.


  1. What do people without bathtubs do?! There have been times that we have refilled the tub three times with fresh water...because the peace it provided was so very worth the extra water...

  2. you do what you have to, to make it through the day. My kids have taken one bath so far today. The dog kicked the hose on again, out back, and now I have a torrent running down the driveway again. The water conservationists on our street are going to have a conniption and the kids just discovered the mud. Bath #2. Check! I'm not even feeling guilty about the thought of a second bath. Ok, perhaps a tad.

  3. how about a kiddie pool or water table (or sled full of water) right on the patio where u can see them thru the glass door? A hose and some buckets? A sand table?

    You are a quick thinker on your feet though!

  4. Now all you need to do is put them in the bathtub with their clothes ON and then you have done laundry at the same time!

    Another idea: little water buckets and chunky paint brushes. They can paint designs on the patio, "paint" the fence etc. My daughter used to spend a decent amount of time doing that at their age.


  5. I can just feel your stress in this situation. YIKES! I have been there but I have to admit that I have never thought of the bath tub idea! You are SUPERWOMAN!

  6. I don't really look forard to bath time. I don't know why. I have pulled out the kiddie pool a bunch of times though!

    I'll have to try that paint brush idea. (Just so they don't get their hands on anything real to paint with!)

    The big commotion always seems to come when you're on the phone--or trying to do something for yourself. Thanks for your humor.

  7. Jst reading that made me want a glass of wine! You poor dear. I hope your poured yourself one.

  8. If you had given them the ice cream they would've needed the bath anyway - you just got straight to the point.

  9. Here's an idea (not advice- just an idea). A mother of 7 taught me a long time ago to completely do my laundry twice a week. I would hate to face a load every single day. I like the empty hamper- even though it only lasts a minute.

  10. That picture of all four in the tub is great!

    You have such ambitions for the day. I have 2 under one today (mine and a friend's daughter) and was delighted to have prepared breaded chicken for tonight's dinner. That's ALL I'm hoping to accomplish before 5:00. Couldn't live that simply everyday though... I'll have to keep reading your blog for strategies as our family grows.

  11. What's funny is that even though you accidentally hung up on your conference call, you got the kids situated, AND THEN TOOK A PICTURE, before returning to your business.

    My question is, how is your camera not broken by now? My kids want their hands all over my camera whenever they see it.

  12. Whatever works, right?

    I think that sand and water table are great! They even worked on the two years old monster, er, I mean mischievious boys I was watching a couple of weeks back. And a trick that I learned to keep them out of each other's way is to put one dot (a sticker or whatever) on each side and tell them that one person can stand at one dot.

    Baths are okay, too, though! I just really can't imagine four kids in a two would kill each other!