I have always said that life with three kids is a delicate balance, easily upset by even the smallest of changes, such as illness, bad weather, or a sleepless night. Things can go from peaceful to utterly chaotic in a New York minute.
For nearly three weeks, we have been playing a continual game of tag with a couple “bugs” that have been going around this winter. One gets better, then “tag, you’re it”, someone else gets sick, and around and around it goes. The kids have been tired, uncomfortable and crabby and I have been overwhelmed by the constant whining, tears and sibling fights exacerbated by general irritability. Though not sick, I’m tired, and that makes me less able to handle life’s little upsets or inconveniences, such as spilled milk, urine-stained sheets or bad attitudes, in a gracious, loving, patient manner. When the balance is tipped, we all suffer.
However, as disruptive as sickness can be, it’s got nuthin’ on a spirited little girl who is approaching two but thinks she is 13. Lately, I have been instructing her that it is really not nice to bully her older brothers. Also, when I am not pulling her down from counters, rinsing off the liquid soap that she has rubbed on her body because she thinks it is “ocean” (meaning: lotion), asking her to stay out of the pantry and keep her handsout of the box of cereal or the bag of marshmallows, I am making sure she does not jump off the back of the couch like her brothers or brush her teeth for the fifth time, which really means she is eating toothpaste.
The delicate balance in this home has definitely tipped–tipped in favor of the inmates who are currently running the asylum.`