And then Saturday comes around.
2:03 a.m. - Jayden sneaks into the bed. The 4-year-old still loves to climb into bed with us, but he's usually good about waiting until 5:30 a.m. or so to do it. Sometimes I can even sleep when he does it, though half the time I think sleeping with a pile of ferrets would be easier. I honestly wonder if that kid ever holds still. Actually, I really don't wonder. The answer is no.
2:05 a.m. - Jayden plasters himself against me. It's nice that Jayden likes to cuddle, except when you're trying to sleep.
2:33 a.m. - Jayden is, no joke, sleeping on my head. Is he part housecat?
3:25 a.m. - I peel him off me - he has a lot of room, after all - and push him over into that space.
3:33 a.m. - He plasters against me again. This goes on all night. At 7:05 a.m., I sigh and get up.
8:15 a.m. - After a quick shower, it's time for a trip to the zoo. We should be out of here by, say, 8:25 a.m.
8:55 a.m. - Um, yeah. Well, OK, at least I didn't forget anything.
8:57 a.m. - We're filling up at the gas station, and I realize the kids have not hit the potty. The zoo is an hour away.
That math won't work with two 2-year-olds. We go by the house again.
9:05 a.m. - OK now we're on our way.
9:07 a.m. - Forgot juice boxes.
9:35 a.m. - I answer, for the 55th time, that yes, we are, in fact, going to the zoo.
This is one of the hardest things about having this many small kids, and yet it's almost never talked about. Not only do you never really get a break, but when you ARE somewhat at rest, like you're driving, your MIND never, ever rests because it's constantly bombarded with inane questions that you answer over and over and over and over and...get the idea?
10:30 a.m. - We make it to the zoo. I strap on the girls' leashes. Yes, leashes. You try corralling toddler twins and a 4-year-old.
Most of the day is me telling me not climb up on something, for Jayden to come here, not to try to pet the Tiger, please keep their jackets on, quit climbing up on something, please don't get out of the wagon, eat your french fries and to stop climbing on something.
I honestly wish I had more moments where I was just holding their hand or hugging them or laughing at the funny things they say and a lot less moments where I'm being stern. But at their age, and at their numbers, I can either be stern or I can probably leave the zoo with one or maybe two less kids. They prove the law of physics that states a body in motion must remain in motion. Right now honestly it's hard to enjoy them on days like these.
12:05 p.m. - We're eating lunch, and Andie tells me she needs to go potty. The clock is ticking at this point. About three months ago I made the mistake of thinking Andie could wait a few minutes when she told me she had to go at Target, and that few minutes later I was cleaning up a puddle on the floor with some paper towels.
We just went potty, so I've got a little time, but not much. I tell the kids to hurry and eat, and I start to gobble my chicken fingers. Andie grimaces a couple minutes later. I can tell she really needs to go.
We wrap it up, practically sprint to the building next door and hit the bathrooms. Andie makes it. Good girl!
4:10 p.m. - We're home. Time for dinner. They start to play and scream and run around.
5:05 p.m. - We're eating a simple dinner. About three-fourths of the way through, Allie tells me she just pooped (in the potty, at least). This is the third time this weekend I'm getting a meal interrupted for a chance to wipe someone's bottom. This is probably the best example of what it's like to be a parent of three young kids. When I go in the bathroom, the seat is smeared with poop. I'm not sure what Allie was doing. I don't think I want to know.
Here's the other example of what it's like to be a parent of three young kids: It doesn't even bother me. I clean up the poop and wash my hands. Hey, most of it was in the potty. FTW!
6:30 p.m. - After their baths I'm utterly exhausted, both physically and emotionally. This is, ironically, my "rest" day in my marathon training schedule. Long runs are much easier than this. I've still got an hour to go. I have to constantly remind myself not to yell at them or treat them harshly. We're all tired at this point.
8:05 p.m. - Olympics. Rush Poker. And I'm recharging for tomorrow, when I get to do it all again.