from around here

Brothers are better than yoghurt

Finn and Theo have a very interesting relationship. They mostly get along well until they don’t, which pretty much happens several times a day.

It mostly plays out like this…

Finn will be doing his own thing having a good time and along comes baby Theo who will observe him for a moment and be all like “That looks like fun, I’ll have that one favourite toy you’re holding, thank you very much” and Finn will be all “OH HELL NO.

Theo will be yelling “SHAAAAAARE!!!” and Finn will yell “Baby Theo is snatching my toy, HELPPP!!

I think the problem is that they’re both used to having Truett and Kirsten baby them since they were born. The big kids give in to them almost all the time and Finn is not accustomed to having another baby share in his babyness. Also, Theo is quite an alpha male type go getter, which is to say that he sees what he wants and goes to get it, steamrolling everything in his path.

My mediation techniques so far have been to let them work it out on their own unless there’s shoving involved and someone gets hurt. Sometimes Finn will realise it’s not worth it, so he’ll give up and go play with something else instead, but I don’t make him do it. Other times, he’ll round up his toys and make a quick getaway to some place quiet where he can play in peace, leaving his screaming baby behind.

To foster a brotherly bond, I’ve taken to putting them both to bed together so they can spend more time hanging out before they fall asleep. On the one hand, complete mayhem every nap/bedtime, but I think it’s been working because they’ve been getting along much better.

I discovered them sharing a yoghurt calmly the other day and this is unprecedented because when there’s food involved, Theo goes into full on rage mode if it’s not all making its way swiftly into his mouth.

Maybe they’re starting to realise that brothers are pretty rad to have.

Finn

The Finn Effect

Finn came along for my pregnancy check up last week – this little guy has been super excited to say hi to baby Hayley and I’m just happy to have some catch up time with him.

These single kid outings are my favourites, mostly because they’re so easy. I don’t have to be on my high alert sheep-herding mode every moment, chasing down runaway kids or mediating squabbles or fielding more requests than my brain can process. With one child at a time, it’s relaxing. I feel like I’m out with a good friend and I’m able to really enjoy their company, just talking and having fun.

I was supposed to do a blood test during this check up and Finn is not a fan of needles or blood or any kind of pain in general. I can’t say I’m fond of it myself, but I told him that I’d feel better if he held my hand. So he did, with all the seriousness of someone performing a Very Important Task. He peered at the needle with his face all frowny while squeezing my hand so tightly it was starting to hurt more than the needle prick.

I didn’t mind though – this sort of pain, I’m ok with.

He didn’t let go of my hand the whole time we were walking to the waiting area, and he kept asking if it still hurt. It actually didn’t, but I was rather enjoying the attention so I showed him my finger and said, “yeah, still hurts.”

Clearly, he took this to mean that things were getting out of control, so he made me stop right there in the crowded clinic and said very loudly, “DEAR GOD, THANK YOU FOR MOMMY. YOU NEED TO MAKE THE PAIN GO AWAY NOW SO MOMMY’S FINGER WON’T BE IN A LOT OF PAIN ANYMORE…”

It was the sweetest thing ever, but also kind of too loud because it was also clear to the other 45 people waiting there that I was milking it over a tiny finger prick. If I was in labor, fair game, y’know. But blood test, not so good for my street cred.

“It’s a miracle, I’m fine now, thanks baby!!” I whispered.

“Ok! I’ll always come with you to the doctor so I can pray for you, mom.”

:)

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side effects of motherhood

I’ll have that with a side of doo-doo cake

I have a confession to make: I’m really, really enjoying having 4 kids.

It’s such an obnoxious statement, making it sound like it’s a piece of cake. Which it isn’t. Unless you mean a piece of doo-doo cake, then well, um, fair enough.

Parenting 4 kids is a lot like standing in the middle of a matador ring with a herd of wild bulls charging at you (and also each other) and your job is to make sure that everyone ends the day with nobody hurt or bleeding. Some days, we find a rhythm and it’s almost beautiful to watch, but more often than not, I’m just holding on till I hear the bedtime bell ring and I can herd them all off to bed.

Except weekend mornings. Weekends are like a breath of fresh air. Everyone’s happier, the kids are less fight-y, and we have a Saturday morning routine where all the kids tumble around on our bed playing crazy games for an hour. Also, now that Theo is bigger, he’s so pleased to be actively participating in the mayhem. On these sort of mornings, my heart is full and the madness of the week seems worth it. I mean, how did we luck out so good?

A typical Saturday morning conversation goes like this:

Me: SERIOUSLY, THESE BABIES ARE SO CUTE I CAN’T TAKE IT.

Husband: I think it’s your ovaries that can’t take it. Want to have some more?

Me: We already have some more. One more coming soon.

Husband: We can go for maybe one or two more. Two more girls, round it off to 7.

Me: That would be cute…OI, STOP IT!! No more, I can’t have any more. We’re done here.

***

In an ideal world, we’d be basking in bliss all weekend long, but with 4 kids, there is no such thing as an ideal world, so come Sunday morning, we got served a nice, large slice of doo-doo cake.

Baby Theo started vomiting, followed by a fever, then Finn got all lethargic and ill, then by the evening, both Truett and Kirsten came down with a temperature, accompanied by all the signs of stomach flu – diarrhoea, vomiting, cramps, the whole works. Which also translates into too many bedsheets changes and super gross mop ups. The baby will poop and it will trigger Tru’s vomiting, which will make Kirsten gag and run.

The downside of having so many kids in such close quarters is that viruses like hanging around here too. We try everything from essential oils to immunity-building supplements, but the potent viruses still party like it’s 1999.

So on this fine Monday, we have 4 sick kids slumming it out here making me barf bag presents and I’m not sure if this whole 4+1 kids gig was such a good idea.

Yeah, ok, still is.

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