Third Grade: The kids in their uniforms ready to go to school.
This week we remembered what happened seventeen years ago on another Tuesday, on September 11. Every year when that date comes around, it is a somber day. We all remember where we were when the planes struck. It changed our lives irrevocably.
This past Tuesday, a friend on Facebook asked for memories of 9/11 and it was a solemn task, yet part of the ongoing healing, to go back and reflect on the day, its impact, and how it changed our lives.
Not long ago, Pierce called to ask me details about applying a butterfly bandage to his roommate’s leg. The two young men had been biking home from the liquor store with a six-pack of beer and his roommate hit some gravel and the bike flew out from beneath him. He landed on the bottles, which broke, and a shard of glass cut a nice gash down his thigh. Pierce was wondering if they could avoid going to the ER and do like I’d so often done when Pierce was growing up and just tape the thing shut.
The kids are all very far behind in speaking, from what every other mother tells me their two-year-old is saying. But the kids are picking up new words quickly. At least one per day. We are at the difficult stage where they try to say a lot of things, and I have no idea what it is they want to convey, and we all get frustrated. One will say, for example, “Baw, baw, baw,” and I can’t figure out for the life of me what it means in that particular context.
Cooking and I are not good friends. But I’ve tried to not ruin my children’s enjoyment of cooking (or eating, considering the many failures I’ve tried to make them eat). I knew they had the potential to make a party of cooking one day when they were two. They had a Betty Crocker mini-set of kitchen appliances which kept them concocting dishes long before it was safe for them to use real appliances. It included a toaster that really popped fake toast, a blender that when you pressed the button whizzed around whatever little toy you could fit into the pitcher, and a hand mixer that spun the beaters back and forth with every push of the sprocket-driven button. I knew they were ready to have their first cooking lesson when I came back into the bathroom one day when we were potty training and they had the hand mixer in the little bowls of the potty chairs and were whipping up what they’d put in there. (And it wasn’t water from the faucet.)
Our first cooking lesson: You don’t cook in the bathroom. And certainly not with what you find in the potty.
We moms (and mums) sometimes have bad days when we know we just screwed up royally and surely added another six months to our children's future and inevitable therapy sessions. I call them "Bad Mumdays."
Dear Diary: January 1994
When I put out a line of bottles for the kids, they crawl or scoot (depending on their skill at mobility) over to the line and pick out their color of bottle. Sometimes, Charlie likes to distribute them. (He can get around the easiest. Pierce and Spencer are still just doing commando crawling on their bellies.) Charlie always takes the correct bottle to the corresponding baby. I love to watch him make sure everyone gets a bottle. He seems very pleased to be able to take care of everyone.
Tomorrow I’m scheduled for a hysterectomy. Today, trying to prepare for being out of commission for a while, I cleaned the house. Sent the kids outside. Scrubbed and mopped and glowed the kitchen floor, cleaned the bathrooms, etc. Molly came in and needed to poop. I told her to use my bathroom because I hadn’t cleaned it yet and I was still cleaning the kids’ bathroom. After a bit, she called to me in a nervous voice, “Mom?”
The kids each had their own color and I LOVED to find sets of things in their colors. I became obsessed with colors! One day when they were about three years old, I was checking out at the grocery store and my eye caught a multipack of something with deep red, crayon green, solid blue, and brilliant sunshine. Endorphins released. My heart sped up. There was something in all four colors! And it was small and with the “impulse buy” items, so probably not too expensive.
One day when the kids were two, we were having a terrible day. I was cranky, they were cranky. I was feeling trapped and alone, overwhelmed, down. It was snowing and the barometer was dropping. And so was my disposition. I'd had about all I could tolerate. My patience was pushed near the point that I would stop being able to cope. So I did something I rarely did. I called someone to ask them to come and help me so I wouldn't lose it. I dialed up our good friend Linda, who had helped me with the kids since they were babies. I told her things felt bad, desperate, and I asked if she could come and help me. Unfortunately, she had a prior commitment and couldn’t come, but she said she would pray for me. I hung up the phone thinking, Great. That was my only idea. Now what am I going to do?
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Life with Quadruplets
As a mother of quadruplets, I've had plenty of crazy experiences raising "supertwins." I blog a lot of memories about my kids. Sometimes just my thoughts on things. I get those sometimes—when my brain works. Which is about one third of the time. I'd love to know what you think!