After we've all had dinner together as one big happy family, Keith and I take turns tag teaming the kitchen and the kids. The one thing I ask during these times, as well as when I'm cooking, is that the kids stay out of the kitchen. Out! Out! Out! If not, here's what happens: kids get stepped on (Oops!), I get burned (Dang!), my foot is impaled by teeny tiny lego structures (Ouch!), my toes are involved in a collision with trains (Seriously?!!!), the mess continues to grow faster than I can clean it up (Sheesh!).
It is during this activity that I see a little something in my peripheral vision, dancing on the edge of the kitchen. I know what he wants. You know what he wants. We've all seen kids who just beg for spankings, right? Well, if I don't respond to the dance, he will continue the episode by throwing various limbs or his entire body across the "boundary line." That's it! Time for a spanking. Before I know it, the other two are asking for one. Shoving a booty at me or pointing to it as if I need assistance in locating the thing. Soon my hand isn't enough and someone, usually Ivan, asks for the spoon. Where is Keith during this madness? Right there in the middle of it, going at them as well. The kids aren't the only ones getting spanked. That wouldn't be fair now. We are outnumbered and, therefore, easily ambushed. Two nights ago Keith had bent over to retrieve an item from the floor and got a good one. From me. With the wooden spoon. The only family member who escapes this charade of corporal punishment is Simon, although I do chase him with the spoon and give him a nudge if ever close enough.
These episodes, full of piercing screams, laughter and other types of affection, remind me of when Avery would beg: "Please, don't eat me!" Oh, those arms were so squishy and delicious. She would giggle and squeal as I devoured her. See post: Man Eater.
I had mentally prepared myself for 6 months of hell while adjusting to life with the changes in our family with not 1 but 2 additions of not babies but children with personalities and strong wills. And, God could have given me more sweet demur girls, but He instead chose boys...loud, quick, active boys. Apparently that's just what we needed around here. Go figure. God works for our best. Plus, it's only been 5 months and look how super positive I am. Yes, there are days. No more days like Memorial Day 2011, but definitely days. About 10 days ago I believe all 3 kids secretly conspired in the hallway during the middle of the night to declare a slow and steady ambush on Mom the following day. I survived. I'm not even sure I broke a sweat, although I did want to cuss. Cuss, cuss, cuss. I didn't just want to scream these obscenities, I wanted to hurl them at my children. All of them. But, you know me. I refrained.
It's times like this one that I need my high school friend Kristi to verbalize this frustration for me...via profanity. What? You see, Kristi would help me vent those emotions, whether angry, upset or mad, by picking just the right expletive when the situation called for one. That's right. If she knew something made me mad, she would cuss for me. Such a good friend.
There aren't many days I need Kristi. For those of you who have made adjustments to life with a newborn, you know there are certain milestones. Points at which some glorious advance was made, like sleeping 12 hours at night. Praise God! Other points weren't necessarily marked by anything in particular, but there was an unmistakable improvement from previous months.
That's kind of how it's gone around here. One day I realized I could take them into public by myself, unafraid. And the next time I thought about it, I no longer needed restraints on a daily basis, or even the belt in the car. Forget keeping a child in a carseat. I don't even want it as a tool for spanking.
Besides, my kids beg for the wooden spoon.