Before kids, I used to look forward to the weekends. Saturdays and Sundays consisted of sleeping (never up before 9am), cleaning, errands (i.e. shopping) and dinner out (sometimes lunch if I was able to muster up the energy to shower before 3pm). Throw in some weekends away to LBI or a rainy Sunday spent on the couch watching Lifetime movies and life was good. Come Monday it was a guarantee that I would be “exhausted” from a “busy” weekend.
That changed in June 2006 with the birth of my twins M&J. The weeks and months following the birth of a child is a blur and days and nights all blend together. As a new parent, your main goal is sleep and/or a contented baby so you have no idea if it is Monday at noon or Saturday night at 11:30pm.
Slowly you come out of the newborn baby fog and life gets back to “normal” – work, daycare, playdates, etc. Weekends take on a whole new meaning, especially if you go back to a work. Saturday and Sunday are now spent catching up on cleaning, food shopping and the never-ending laundry. Let’s not forget sports and birthday parties and in the blink of an eye it’s Sunday night at 9pm.
The husband works most Saturdays so it is just me and the troops. Usually it is fine, if we have something planned or if my mom or aunt (or both) can come over to help out a little. However, there are times when it’s not so great (rain, snowstorm, miserable kid(s)) and in a sick twist of fate, I find myself not only counting down the hours until bedtime but also for work Monday morning. This weekend was one of those weekends.
The husband was working and I was ALL alone (Mom had my niece’s dance recital and my aunt was at a baby shower). Yikes, 10+ hours with just me and the 4 boys – I needed a plan and fast.
The day started off pretty normal, breakfast, laundry, cleaning and yelling at the kids to stop fighting (all before 9:15am). A little after 10am, I announced that we would all be taking a trip to Target to buy my aunt a birthday present and that everyone had to get dressed. Easy enough right? Wrong!
The twins told me they didn’t “feel like” getting dressed, J (the now 4yo) told me no thanks when I
screamed suggested he use the potty for the 50th time and L was standing on the little wood table attempting to jump onto a bean bag chair. I took a deep breath and went to work on dressing J. I started off calm, offering him a choice between a shirt with a helicopter and one with a truck (his teachers and therapists are always telling me it is important to give him choices) and a pair of big boy underwear. He took each and threw it across the room yelling OH NO..NO THANKS!!
I tried reasoning, threatening and yelling but nothing worked. Before long, J was completely naked and hiding upstairs in his room. Emotionally drained, I moved on to dressing L. He kicked the crap out of me when I changed his diaper and then and hid behind my new white curtains in the living room (with sticky hands). Ok, let’s try the twins, I stupidly thought. M…J…upstais and get dressed I said with authority. Their response Why? followed by I’m tired, hungry, busy and don’t want to get dressed!
How is this my life????!!!! All I want to do is go to Target!!!
I looked around and J was still naked, asking for red juice and L was in the pantry (clad in a diaper and t-shirt) pulling out Cheese-its and lollipops. Nick Jr. blasted in the living room where the twins were sprawled out on the couch asking for drinks.
Suddenly something inside me snapped, I HAD to escape! It felt like the walls of my “cozy” house were closing in on me. Where would I go? I couldn’t run away and leave the kids alone (though this thought ran ever so quickly through my mind). No I needed to hide but where??? Suddenly the proverbial light bulb went off in my head and I knew where to go. Someplace that was quiet, dark and had a door – the upstairs closet!
I opened the closet door and it was like the most WONDERFUL place on earth. I quickly snuck inside and crouched down in the far back (next to a container holding wrapping paper, a bin of flip-flops and the bunk bed ladder) and Ahhhhhhh was all I could think. It was like my own secret hiding place. Finally I was all alone with my thoughts and no one was demanding anything from me or calling my name and it was great!!
I quickly came out of my euphoria when I heard J calling my name. I stayed very quiet, it was way too soon to be found and I needed more time to be alone. I took deep, meditative breathes and felt calm. Who knew the closet was the ultimate hide out? I had a brief pity party for myself (poor me all alone with 4 kids, poor me with 4 boys under 6, poor me with kids who won’t listen, why didn’t I listen when people told me to snap out of my baby fever and that all babies grow up why, why, why???).
I knew I had to gather myself and come out and face the world again and I was trying to psych myself up when the door swung open and there before me stood L, holding a bottle of red juice, and J, with 2 legs in one short leg, yelling Dere Mommy we found her!
I wish I could say that I came out of the closet and we all lived happily ever after but that only happens in fairy tales (and on certain people’s Facebook posts). The rest of the day was a “challenge” but I survived and often found myself thinking back to the closet and those couple of minutes of bliss.
Life with 4 young boys is a constant challenge. Even now as I sit and type this the 2 little kids are killing each other over a Thomas train (we have 20 trains that look exactly the same but let’s fight over 1) and one of the twins just had a total breakdown because he hated his bathing suit (it was my fault btw). I love my kids and would do anything for them but at least I know that when life in this house is a bit too much, I can find some solace in my secret hiding place, even if it is only for 5 minutes.
Laugh if you will and judge if you want but trust me, it was GREAT!!
Nicole is a married, full-time working mom to 4 boys and a long-haired dachshund (her only girl) who also blogs at mommy&everything http://ndlarusso.wordpress.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @mommyeverything and Pinterest http://pinterest.com/mommyeverything.