Saturday, February 28, 2009

Nursery Rhymes

It is common knowledge that “Ring Around the Rosies” is really about the black plague. “Pop Goes the Weasel” is about hat makers in London. All of these nursery rhymes come from somewhere.I was reading Mary Englebrieit’s Mother Goose today with Natalie (a fabulous book, by the way). I really connected with the old woman who lives in a shoe. I bet there’s a story behind that one. My imagination has filled in the blanks.

I bet the mom wrote it herself. I bet she felt older than she was due to a lack of sleep and overall exhaustion. I’m going to guess that she was in her late 20’s or thereabout. I think the living in a shoe thing was a metaphor because she felt like her kids walked all over her. I even know how many kids she had. She had three.

When you have one kid crying, you hold him or her. If you have two crying children, there’s room on Mom’s lap for both. I bet every mom who has ever had three children crying at the same time has exclaimed, baffled, “I have so many children, I don’t know what to do!”

Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids, speaking of them individually and not collectively. Every day I have at least some one-on-one time with each of them, and I can look into their innocent little faces and marvel at their amazing spirits. They are the greatest treasure that could be entrusted to me.

When you get them all together, though, they turn into the giant three-headed monster “NaLaNore” and wreak all sorts of havoc. If we have to leave for the pediatrician’s office, for example, Natalie will start to cry because she wants to stay home and play with her horse stable, Alana will trip for no discernible reason and clonk her head on the coffee table, and Eleanor will blow out her diaper. While I change the baby, Alana will push a chair to the counter, reach a glass of water, and dump it on her head. As I clean that up, Natalie will remove her shoes and hide them so effectively that I won’t find them for months, the baby will chip away at my sanity by screaming the whole time, and so on and so on. They have some sort of mental telepathy that allows them to coordinate these things.

So hundreds of years ago, a woman was being driven so nuts by her children that when a little incessant voice whined, “Mommy, tell me a story!” over and over, she leaned over and through gritted teeth said, “I’ve got one for you!” I bet by the time she talked about spanking them soundly and sending them to bed, the kid backed off. And in some sick, twisted way, knowing that other moms throughout time have felt the same gut-wrenching frustration that sometimes comes my way makes me feel just a little bit better.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thank goodness for little helpers!

As a mother of three little ones, life can get a trifle hectic. More accurately, it is chaos over here most of the time. Still, I am grateful for the little helpers I have around the house. The older two girls are only too happy to help me with lunch. Alana got this yogurt all by herself!

I also get a lot of help cleaning. Here is Tula our faithful (-ly annoying) dog taking care of the yogurt mess. Yes, there is work to be done in our household, but when you learn to delegate tasks like I have, it becomes easier.

Thanks, Tula, for getting the face too!