February 24, 2007

Worn Out and Stressy

The children have worn me out. William says everything ten times, and in a silly voice, and it seems as if he never ever stops talking. He follows me around the house, flopping. Rob keeps asking if we can talk about something, can we spend some time together, can you play with me now? It's pitiful and annoying at the same time. Elizabeth hasn't taken a nap in the last two days, and she won't leave her shoes on, and she gives back almost everything I offer her to eat. Edward keeps getting into the diaper pail, the electronic equipment, the pencils--anything gross, delicate, or stabby. Lifting two heavy toddlers in and out of their high chairs overwhelms my tired body and my sore tum. Both twins are sick with colds that have turned into fevers and coughs. Their noses are double-double the disgusting.

Paul and Rob needed haircuts, so they went downtown and got it done. I started thinking about the cost of five boy haircuts every two months, plus Elizabeth's and mine, and I started feeling like we can't really afford all these children after all. We will have to donate several of them to Goodwill. I am not sure that will be tax-deductible.

The thought of haircuts led me to the thought of braces. Glasses. Car insurance for teenaged boys. What about our retirement? What were we thinking, having even ONE child? Oh, sure, "they're worth it." I'll tell myself that when I'm living rough, eating out of dumpsters, having given all our worldly goods to pay for the needs of our throng of children. At least we won't have to worry about the cost of extracurricular athletic programs: this morning William referred to something he saw in a book as a "hockey bat." It was a golf club.

I don't know why I thought this was a good day to balance the checkbook and work on the bills. Now I am agitating about our electric bill and our heating bill, and how much worse they will be when we have five children taking showers every day. What will we do about the bathroom situation? We have one small bathroom for seven people. This is not going to work out, and we are foolish to attempt it. The boys will need to start peeing in the shrubbery. I will give them showers in the driveway, with the garden hose.

Earlier, when the twins had been running free and the living room was trashed, and the twins were both crying because I'd taken them out of their mess, and I was cleaning it up even though most of it was on the floor and it's uncomfortable to bend over like that now, I had this sudden vision of what it would be like to add a newborn to this. A fussing newborn who wanted to nurse for a leisurely hour while the twins were tantruming. Am I some kind of idiot, that I would allow this to happen? FIVE children? FIVE?? We can't even come up with a name for this new child, because we have named too many children already.

Also, speaking of five, just five Reese's miniature peanut butter cups ("serving," my ass) have 210 calories. What kind of world do we live in, where this can be the case?


Shelly said...

How about:

Five doting children to care for you in your old age?

Five other people to rake the leaves/mow the lawn/take out the trash/do the laundry/scrub the bathroom so you never have to do it again?

Five tiny faces who light up when they see you because to them you are the center of the universe?

Five personal servants to fetch Mommy's "juice" (aka margaritas) so you don't have to leave the comfort of the sofa?

Devan said...

Sorry you're feeling stressy. I think i would be too in that situation.
Sure, 5 kids is a lot some days, but you're making it work.
You could always teach the boys to cut each others hair when they're old enough. My husband and his twin always cut each others hair, and their younger brothers too. He still cuts his own to this day.
Ok, so that's not the point...

- I like shelly's point of having 5 other people to do all the chores while you drink Mommy's Juice.

Kelsey said...

I think, no matter how many kids you have, motherhood just feels like this some days. Hang in there!

Sending lots of positive energy your way. . .

Erin said...

Clearly the new baby should be named Reese.

Hang in there!

jen said...

oh, just think about holidays, and the general family chaos.. that you will enjoy when you're not pregnant. At least you have boys, you can buzz their hair with clippers :) I have thought about the same things on occasion, what are we thinking? Yet somehow life works itself out. Hang in there.

Oh, and I grew up in a house with 5 people and one bathroom. What's 2 more people!?

Erica said...

Oh dear lord... that was funny! And I can laugh because I only have one child. Neener Neener!

Have you considered just letting them all live in the backyard? No need for showers or haircuts. They can be feral children and you can maybe make some money on the Discovery Health Channel special that will undoubtedly air in 20 years.

See how helpful I am?

desperate housewife said...

I second the name Reese! Excellent idea. And while I have no reassurance other than, this, too, shall pass, I will say that I have totally had those moments. I had a bad few days last week, wondering what in the heck I was thinking making another baby.
But wait, I thought of one comfort: Won't your second boy be in school this fall? Then you'll have just three at home most of the time. Or am I calculating wrong there?

Katie said...

Oh man......I am sorry for all the stress! I get totally stressed out with just one kid. You have my upmost sympathy!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your day. I do have a suggestion regarding the haircuts: Buy one of those Vidal Sassoon kits for about $30 and have Paul cut the boys' hair at home. It costs about as much as what two haircuts cost at Fantastic Sam's and lasts much longer.

nowheymama said...

My mom is one of five kids, and she grew up in a one-bathroom, four bedroom house that they shared with her paternal grandparents. And a dog. I guess my intention is for you to file this under Things Could Always be Worse? Also, my mom, her siblings, and my grandmother all turned out fine.

Swistle said...

Shelly-- You are totally right: I'd forgotten about their usefulness as free labor down the road. And when I am elderly, they can all go in together on a truly awesome nursing home, with good food and big-screen TVs for my 'stories.'

Erica-- "Feral children"--ha ha ha!

D.H.-- You're right, William starts first grade this fall. Sometimes this makes me think, "Yay!" Other times I think, "Still THREE at home! Even when TWO are gone! And no one else going to school until 2011!! I'm doomed! DOOOOOOOOOMED!"

Nowheymama-- IN-LAWS LIVING IN THE HOUSE??? I AM lucky. Lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky *taking huge swig of 'juice' to calm down from thought of in-laws living here*

Melanie said...

I hope you intended for readers to laugh, because I did. If not, sorry. Everyone gets stressy. The great thing is - it all gets sunny again. I hope it gets sunny again for you soon!

Surviving said...

I have 3 boys (6, 2, and 7 months). I'm going crazy with them. I don't know how you do it with 4. I had a friend who has 7 and watched my 2 older boys when I had the baby. She said after a certain point more kids isn't an issue.

Mommy Daisy said...

You need a break! But, really, things will be fine. 5 times the love in your house!

Michele said...

I have twin boys, almost two. I always thought I wanted four or five, but between this post, and their recent discovery of the trash can (in all its wet coffee-ground glory), maybe not.

Thanks, for that. And I hope it gets better. My first time here. You are hysterical and so are your commenters. Feral Children. heh.

Swistle said...

Surviving-- It's way easier as the kids get older. My oldest two (8 and nearly 6) are way, way easier than my youngest two (20 months). A 2-year-old plus a 7-month-old are like ten 8-year-olds. Maybe twenty.

Michele-- I read somewhere that the usual spacing between twins and the next child (if there IS a next child) is 5 years. This news was not surprising to me as my twins entered the toddler stage.