I’ve had the urge to make something complicated and time-consuming for quite some time, but while the onset of the crawling stage usually signals an increase in the amount of time a caretaker has to accomplish complex tasks, such is not the case with multiples. Since the moment the more solid of the two put knee in front of knee on that fateful afternoon, triggering the second to immediately mimic her in an act of spite-learning, they’ve been determined to maintain continuous trajectories in opposite directions, only joining paths in a frantic, spastic race to be the first fed if they’ve spotted me with a pair of bottles. (They’re perfectly capable of holding their bottles and feeding themselves, but they prefer to have me serve them and bask in the awareness that, for a few minutes, those other two can meet their own needs.) In yet another manifestation of the what-goes-around effect, the 7-year old who tried to escape from a dentist’s office though the window now does little more than corral her own tiny travelers, a task made even more nerve-wracking after a carelessly early introduction to the Melissa & Doug Latches Board, aka Baby-Lock-Pick.
Add to that one case of heat rash, two counts of teething, and a three-year-old who pipes up hourly with gleeful declarations of “I’m a rascal!”, and I foresee myself having had it for the next few weeks. Mouths will be fed, but not particularly enthusiastically. The blender will take a vacation from making baby food. An exorbitant amount of plastic will be discarded. Cooking will be limited to boiling, toasting, and zapping, as well as limited in general. I believe child services cannot call me on this, given the confounding number of soldiers the Raw Food Front has amassed.
I’m going take a short holiday from being “the best mom I can” and concentrate instead on the only thing left to do when everything starts to fall apart: maintain a covetable outer appearance! With enough topsoil, mulch, palettes of annuals and back-breaking yard work, I can at least control my exterior dominion. Besides, babies’ wails of indignation are much less incapacitating outdoors (especially if the children are parked several yards away from adult ears) and virtually undetectable once the little mouths are packed full of grass and clover.