Draining, demanding dependents

That’s the phrase I texted to a friend yesterday.  Of course, I was telling her that I have 3 of them….but it’s very important to not getfor (as Noah calls it) that there are actually 5 boys in this household….none of whom can pour their own glass of milk, completely toilet themselves or get a bath, or really even get dressed without either hands-on work or mental exhaustion in reminding them to at least put underwear on!

It’s been an exhausting weekend and it’s shocking to realize that the house looks just as trashed Sunday evening as it did Friday evening, despite the fact that we were home all weekend and actually did some cleaning.

I had to look back in some older messages to find a short paragraph that I sometimes send to new parents….just as a way to get them thinking about how life will change with a new baby:

Did you know that – – A typical baby needs to be fed every 2 or so hours for about 15-25 minutes each time and about 8 times a day. – If you mix formula, that takes about 20 minutes of your time each day. – Changing a diaper will take approximately ten minutes 8-10 times a day. – Extra laundry, cleaning or shopping may take an extra 2-3 hours a day. – Playtime and cuddling the baby should be done 15-25 minutes at a time a minimum of 4-6 times a day.  Total time required: 8 hours and 40 minutes to 12 hrs and 40 minutes a day!

That’s for a baby!  This is how our “typical day” falls….

– a typical boy age 1-6 needs to be fed every 3 or so hours for about 20 minutes each time and about 5 times a day; but it takes an additional 15 minutes to sop up the spilled water (Noah!!), pick up the flying chicken nuggets (Micah!!), and mop up the overturned cereal bowl again (Steven!!) at least 2-3 times a day = 2 hours and 10 minutes

– changing a diaper of a squirming fussing 18 month old will take at least 5 minutes, chasing them around the house to get the clothes back on, another 5 minutes, for 50 minutes a day x 2 diaper-clad bottoms (the 2-yr-old isn’t much easier) = 1 hr, 40 minutes

– laundry of 5 boys, partially folding, sorting and stacking clean clothes onto the back of the couch, refolding and restacking and resorting after Micah falls onto the couch in his Immaculate Reception imitation football catch, lugging clothes upstairs into dressers, washing towels and towels and towels = 2 hours a day

– Shopping for food, gallons of milk, clothes, shoes, toys, milk, coats, diapers, wipes, more diapers, more baby wipes, more milk, more food, back for bananas, gallons of milk (“why in the world did you only buy ONE gallon of blue-top milk?!!?) = average 1 hr a day

– And then there’s Steven…..in one day, he removed his diaper at nap time and woke up distressed by being covered in “poop” (I mean, who wouldn’t be?) = 30 minutes bath (well, 60 minutes by the time all the boys decided they needed one too at 2:30 pm) and 45 minutes laundry and wipe up; emptying of a practically full box of cereal onto the floor (awesome gravity effect) = 15 minutes of cleaning; upending a mug of hot chocolate splashing across the kitchen floor = 15 minutes; dumping over a bowl of cereal = 15 minutes…. 2 hours and 30 minutes of completely unproductive cleaning and close behind this tornado is little Seth emptying the papers from the recycling bin, removing Tupperware from the drawer, and shredding bits of papers.

Right – and now we have to add in “play” with the boys?  Let’s see, 2152 Lego pieces emptied across the floor, a diaper toss battle with Pampers flying, paper airplanes arching through the air, lightsabers dropped after battle (and guaranteed to make you slip and break your neck), Kleenex plucked from the boxes and dropped throughout the house (used? unused?), books wildly tossed off the shelves….I could go on…and on….

My total was at 10 hours before getting to the “play” and the aftermath of it.  If my sister and I sit down for 5 minutes we start to get antsy….knowing that someone is destroying something somewhere.  So from 5:56 (first child up) to 9:17 (last child down), there is absolutely no letting your guard down.

But they sure do look like angels when they’re all asleep!

2 thoughts on “Draining, demanding dependents

  1. First, “2152 Legos” – lol!! Is that an exact count? Second, if I were in your shoes, I might consider just super gluing the cereal bowls directly to the table! I remember reading an interview of the father of the Mccaughey septuplets. He said he would just throw cheerios onto baking trays and put them directly on the floor since that was where the food usually ened up anyway! Too funny!

    • Don’t make me actually count the Legos….because I would….and am afraid it would be more like 21,052! I’m liking the cereal on the floor idea. That way I wouldn’t have to keep yelling at Seth to “sit” instead of stand on the chair (he considers himself way beyond the confines of a high chair now) and half the time I’m telling him to get OFF the table! How is it that we’ve never been to the emergency room yet?!?

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