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kids in motion

kids in motion

Surviving a date with 4

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!!”


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.

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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.”

#2. Containment.

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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.

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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.

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#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. 

kids in motion

Things that happened

Here’s what we’ve been up to lately.

Baby Theo learnt to sit up unassisted. He’s been practising with his bumbo but he ditched it in favour of sitting on the couch like a big boy. At first, he was a bit tentative, like “is this how this sitting thing is done? Don’t fall over, don’t fall over, don’t fall over…”

is this how you sit?

And then he got more comfy and confident.

sitting up

And then he really got into it. “Is this what big people do all day? Sitting around watching stuff and eating stuff? I could totally be into that.”

having fun

And then he was all like “okay…this sitting around thing is so overrated.”


What’s up, Theo?

Nothin’, I’m just sitting here chillin’.


We finally attempted a meal out in public with 4 kids, and by we, I mean me and the husband – the only person in the world who is crazy enough to attempt something like that with me. He made his scrunchy eyebrow face when I suggested “hey, let’s bring all the kids to the airport for dinner”, which is basically husbandspeak for “what, are you crazy?” But then he immediately followed it with words along the lines of “okay, let’s do it. I’ll do the crazy with you.”

The husband is my voice of reason but he knows that these crazy ideas in my head don’t go away quietly by themselves. And talking them out doesn’t really work either so he lets me try them to realise on my own how insane the idea was in the first place and I’d be all “ok that was a bad idea, let’s not do it again.” The best part is that he actually does it with me even though he knows it’s going to be a total disaster and then he gets the satisfaction of watching me eat my words.



Why? Let’s see. There’s Finn, a human hurricane who needs one dedicated adult eyeballing him at all times. This kid has no regard for danger and for someone with tiny legs, he is ridiculously fast. There’s also Theo, who lacks mobility but he has to be carried all the time and he is starting to weigh as much as a small bear holding a bowling ball. When I’m carrying him these days, my brain stops working because all that energy is going into making sure he doesn’t fall out of my arms. Tru and Kirsten are like wild cards. They sometimes double up as Finn-catchers when he starts bolting but they have the awareness of a squirrel and usually when they start chasing after Finn, they forget that their mission is to subdue him so midway through the running, they’re all like “This is a fun game! Let’s run faster and split up in different directions so dad and mom can’t catch us.”

It’s fun, attempting to eat while running after crazy kids and holding a fat baby. Let’s not do that again.

kids in motion

I think I’m gonna be…

Being a kid is great because they can pretend to be just about anything they want. A circus ringmaster? A fighter jet pilot? A clown on a unicycle? They just decide to be stuff and it’s awesome.

I guess adults can do it too but it’s a lot less cute and people start looking at you weird when you walk around with a tutu skirt, an eyepatch and a bedsheet-cape. When kids do it, people are like, “oh, are you a superhero pirate ballerina? How adorable.”

One time, Finn had his heart set on being a juggler and even though he had the juggling skills of a blind, three-legged cat, he announced “FINN FINN JUGGLE!!” and then proceeded to throw blocks wildly into the air with much aplomb. It was so wonderfully awful, I was so proud.

Guess what these 2 are pretending to be?


They styled themselves, marched out arm in arm and announced, “we’re getting married!!”

Then they built a stage (mattress), a gazebo (blankets), set up two tiny chairs and made me attend their wedding.

Cutest wedding ever.

kids in motion

From the weekend

1. Parks are more fun with friends.

It’s been too long since we had park day and I’ve missed park day. The kids get to run around climbing and swinging and sliding till their cheeks get all rosy and it’s all just a whole lot of fun.

But what’s even more fun? Park day with friends. LOOK, FRIENDS!!

park day

2. Baby Theo had his first park day and he loved it! He spent most of it on the mat watching kids zip around him doing fun park stuff with great interest. And then he started flailing his arms and legs wildly like he was trying to get in on some of the action.



Also, is it me or is this baby getting deliciously chubby? Fat babies are so nom. Or as Kirsten says, “he’s so juicy I can’t even stand it.”

3. Finn and Theo = BBFs = Best Bros Forever.

It’s so sweet that these two littlest ones are getting along so brilliantly.

theo finn

Not like it’s a competition or anything but if there was a competition about who’s best bros with whom, these two would also be in the running.

finn tru

And wait, sisters are super rad too. I once asked Kirsten if she had a favourite brother and she said “I have 3 favourite brothers!”

tru finn kirsten

4. How do I know this kid is mine? Finn took one step in the sand and immediately scrunched up his face, yelling “It’s so dirty, MOMMA IT’S SO DIRTY, MOMMA CARRY CARRY HELPPP!!!”

No prizes for guessing who he got that from. Ewww, sand is so gross.

eww sand


That’s all for now. Peace out, yo!

peace out

kids in motion

One for all, all for one


These days, my 3 older kids have formed a kind of camaraderie, like a secret kids musketeers clubhouse code that us grown ups have no access to.

On one of the afternoons last week, it was getting too suspiciously silent at home so I went into the kids’ room to check on them. As I approached the room, I heard Kirsten whispering, (I’d describe it as more of a panicked yell poorly disguised as a whisper) “She’s coming, she’s coming! Quick!! <giggle giggle>

I was prepared for worse but thankfully, their choice of mischief for the day was to build a fortress using all the pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and various soft objects amassed from around the house. It was a glorious mess. And also pretty cool, depending on who you asked.

All 3 of them hastily flung themselves onto the pile and tried to hide it with their body parts as I stepped into the room and Truett added nervously “Um…nothing. We’re just playing quietly here…” I could see the huge fortress they’d been working on peeking out from underneath their little bodies and I thought about casually mentioning it but then it was too cute that they actually thought they would be able to successfully conceal it. Besides, bonus points for all that teamwork. So I glanced at the mess and back at their hopeful faces before saying “Ok, <dramatic sigh> have fun, carry on.

As I walked out of the room, I could hear them giggling and whispering “phew, mommy didn’t see it man!

It’s a good thing they didn’t see me smile.

PS. Maybe I’ll regret it when their finesse at skulduggery improves but I’m going to allow some latitude for mischief if it makes them learn to work together.

PPS. Also, whatever it takes to get 20 minutes of quiet around here.

PPPS. Mostly the second part.

kids in motion

Motherhood. It’s making me talk funny.

It’s bizarre, I’ve never had any trouble communicating…right up until I became a mom.

Like I start talking to the kids and the words that are coming out of my mouth don’t seem to be the same as the words going into their ears. You know how in cartoons one dude starts speaking in English and it morphs into Martian gibberish in slow mo and everyone looks at him funny. That’s exactly how I feel sometimes.

Kids. They’re making me lose my ability to communicate.

My actual words: Sit down and eat your food.

What they hear: Run around the table like wild animals, then dig at the rice with your fingers, making sure it gets into your hair, face and clothes. If you must use the spoon, try to stab at the food so it falls out everywhere.


My actual words: Don’t play with the bidet while you poop.

What they hear: GO AHEAD, PLAY WITH THE BIDET WHILE YOU POOP. Try to aim for the ceiling so it looks like a fountain.


My actual words: Guys, it’s time for bed.

What they hear: Guys, it’s time to make yourself pee, and then get so thirsty that you’re dying for a teeny tiny sip of water, and then kiss your baby brother, and then your stomach will hurt so you need to poop, and then it’s time for more water and 5 more kisses, and when you’re finally out of excuses, wait for mommy to leave the room so you can dance in the dark for another 30 minutes.


My actual words: Let’s be quiet for 5 minutes, mommy needs to make a work call.

What they hear: IT’S TIME TO PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999!!! C’mon, let me hear you SCREAMMMMM!!


My actual words: Go brush your teeth.

What the hear: Pour soap all over the sink and try to make a foam party. Then spread the foam all over your body so you don’t waste it. Throw in some water as well. And while you’re at it, smear toothpaste all over the walls, it’s like art.

kids in motion

What Is This Ridiculous Baby Doing

Being stuck at home on a rainy Friday afternoon can get boring…unless you have a hyperactive baby brother in the house. In which case you can make up a super fun game called “What Is This Ridiculous Baby Doing?”

*For the record, it was Truett who came up with the name.

They followed him around the house, egging him on to do ridiculous things, and then took pictures of him with my phone. Baby Finn, obviously thrilled with the attention, went all out to oblige.

1. Prison break.

prison break

2. Dances with dogs.

dog whispering

3. Dangerous climbing stunts.


4. More dangerous climbing stunts.

more stunts

5. Passing the parcel.

passing the parcel-2

*Photos by Truett & Kirsten.