I suppose the only good thing to be said about the haze is that we’ve had plenty of time to spend together indoors over the past week. Too much?? Almost.
I know this because right around the 43rd rematch of Guess Who? (done round robin style), Finn just started randomly shouting names that aren’t even in the game. “Does he have poofy hair on his chinny chin chin? Sam! Mickey! Adam!!”
WHO ARE ALL THESE POOFY-BEARDED PEOPLE??
Later, we discovered from Kirsten that these are his friends from school (thankfully all beardless!) but I think when your 3-year-old starts shouting the names of all the faces he misses, it’s a sign that it’s time to get out of the house.
We did eventually make it out for some slightly less smoggy air and they were all so happy just to be outdoors. Say what, the PSI is only at the moderately unhealthy range of 78? Pack your bags, kids, we’re heading out!
//On this note, want to know the secret to bringing 4 kids out at once without losing any of them? Sure, you do.
Because y’know, one does not just decide to leave the house with four small humans without a plan.
Going to learn about science at the science centre? We need a plan.
Going to the supermarket to pick up some eggs? We need a plan.
Going across the street to the playground? GET THAT PLAN.
#1. Introduce a baby-buddy system.
Truett and Kirsten are team leaders and they get to take turns picking one of the babies as their buddies. They will have to be responsible for their baby at all times during the outing, which means that they are less likely to be running off themselves.
Also, whoever gets baby Theo is usually first like “I love you so much, you adorable baby, I’ll never let you go” and barely 15 seconds later, they’ll be all “HELPPP SOMEBODY TAKE THIS BABY AWAY I CANNOT FEEL MY ARMS.”
So important. Because when left to their own devices, all four kids would be sprinting off in different directions all at the same time, and we can’t have that. I’m not the flash. That’s why a mobile home base such as a double stroller is great for strapping the babies in nice and tight, plus I get to make the big kids help push this around.
And if I really need to, I can even fit all four of them into the stroller (Tru + Theo on one side, Kirsten + Finn on the other). This is for emergencies only. Which happens to be like all the time.
#2b. No stroller? Find alternatives.
FYI, this is what grocery shopping with 4 kids looks like.
#3. Tag team.
Usually, one baby will require more attention than the other. Identify that high-maintenance baby and channel resources to handle him as required.
Clearly, this baby is Theo so whenever his designated buddy is having a hard time being responsible for him, he/she will yell for the other person to come to the rescue.
#Bonus point: Give them fake responsibilities.
If you can get the kids involved with real responsibilities that they are not likely to botch horribly, go for it. Make them help carry small grocery bags, or stand in line for stuff, or hold the elevator, that sort of thing.
But even if there are no real responsibilities to dole out, just come up with fake ones. I do it all the time. Like here, hold this orange for 5 minutes. Or stand here next to this wall while I change the baby’s diaper, make sure the wall doesn’t fall on us. Or count the number of tiles you step on, it’s super important for research!
*Fair warning: these tips only work like 30% of the time (when the moon is bright and Jupiter passes in front of a distant exploding star at an 87° angle) so I’m gonna go ahead and say that your mileage may vary on this.