Monday, February 21, 2011

1, 2, 3...

"Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed with my 15 month old, I just look over at your house and then I feel better!" - Mike, next door neighbour.

"Three kids in three years! Twins?...Three singleton pregnancies! YIKES"- stranger at the health clinic.

So am I crazy? Too stupid to use birth control? Extremely horny? Devoutly religious? None of the above. We wanted three kids...maybe not this close together...but enough that birth control wasn't huge on our priority list, and enough that we welcomed each baby with open arms.

Having three kids under the age of three is a bit like running a horse race on a Shetland pony. The odds are one in a hundred to win; and no matter how fast your pony runs, the horse beside you is only there because it's lapping you...for the fifth time. No matter how much I get done in a day, no matter how fast I move, it's never enough. So you have to make sacrifices.

The first most obvious sacrifice is a social life. After the third child (especially one who isn't allowed to get sick) family visits are put off and play dates are pushed so far out of the realm of possibility to be but a vague, elusive memory. Three kids at three different stages of development is impossible to wrangle on one's own. Trying to monitor two toddlers behaviour while caring for an infant is a bit like watching a clown juggle dangerous objects he consistently fails to catch. Social life = gone! This unfortunate sacrifice ensures that my children and I have slowly become Britney Spears incarnate...Pajamas are easy, ponytails are sexy, and a child's hair is much easier kept...shaved.

The second sacrifice is just as obvious as the first. Time to one's self. After having one child, finding time to yourself is difficult but not impossible. There's always someone you can con into watching your kid. After having two kids, finding time to yourself will have to be put off until the kids can entertain each other, or a movie can make a babysitter's job easier. After having three can forget it. The minute you mention the number 'three' people get this look in their eyes...the 'are you crazy' look. That's when you realize  that from here on out the only time you will have to yourself is when abandon your kids on someones doorstep. Preferably someone who knows and loves them...

The final sacrifice...and hopefully most obvious is...(drum roll please)...Sleep! Of course. Three kids under three who have nightmares, are afraid of the dark and things that go bump in the night, who teeth and need to breastfeed, ensure that I am awoken at least three times during an eight hour period. Coffee is essential in the morning. It's the one thing that keeps us all alive. Without it I'm sure I would have burned the house down by now...'accidentally'...

But with all the sacrifices come numerous rewards. I get to celebrate a million different moments, a million different ways...three times over. There isn't anything in this world I have sacrificed that wasn't worth it. I get Gabe's hilarious conversations, Edie's constant cuddles, Preston's beaming smiles and a wealth of unconditional love that can't be found anywhere else.

Is your life as rich as mine? Three kids in three years...crazy...oh yeah...and I wouldn't change it...for anything!

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