Last weekend I had the good fortune of flying down to Minneapolis with my two college friends - 1 friend with her son (11 months) and the other engaged. We were on our way to visit our OTHER friend from college currently living in MN with her husband and twins (a little over 1 yrs old). It was an eye opening experience on many levels.
First of all...these three women are my buds. No matter what I do I can't seem to get the image out of my head of two of them chanting, "CHUG IT! CHUG IT! CHUG IT!" at a college frat party while the other was being held upside down in a skirt doing a beer funnel from a keg. And now...we total seven and are curled up in our pajamas watching the "Baby Einstein" DVD in the living room with glasses of champagne. Surreal.
Second of all....kids - even good happy kids with cool laid back parents are so much frickin' work. From early morning until night all three of them required a level of attention I was not used to as a time selfish, married lady with no kids. The crazy part of this is I am a woman who has been exposed to kids my ENTIRE life. I was THE babysitter of all babysitters sometimes watching kids way into my 20's even close to 4 or 5 days a week. I just loved it. And yet the 24hrs a day observation and participation was so crazy tiring I was stunned. My girlfriends were like powerhorses. Feeding. Changing. Dressing. Playing. Kissing. Hugging. Reading. Chasing. Putting to bed. Getting up. Bathing. Wiping. Repeat pattern from 6:30am until 7pm. THEN - while I was just tired watching them and helping out as best as I could - they put on lipstick and cute outfits and prepared to go out for drinks and adult conversation until late hours of the night. HUH?
Kids are funny. One likes turkey. The other spits it out. Another liked oatmeal yesterday but today pushes out his lips in protest. One likes the DVD. The other not. One wants that toy. The other the same toy. One wants to climb on something dangerous. The other has a piece of plastic wrap in it's mouth. Quick get it. One can't go to sleep without being read the Quack Quack book. Tonight it hates the Quack Quack book. Bubbles. No bubbles. More cream. Dry skin. Neverending and none of it in your control.
Thirdly...outings with three kids are outings like never before. Having been somewhat housebound for most the weekend due to naps, colds and weather conditions, we decided to go on an adventure to a vintage clothing store. Just like the good old days. Here is how it went. Not like the old days:
1.) WRANGLE: 3 kids into various snowsuits, scarves, boots they kick off = 7 minutes
2.) PACK: bottles, bibs, cheerios, baby carrots, rags to wipe drool, pacifiers, toys to keep kids entertained,etc. = 9 minutes
3.) GEAR: Pack car with 3 strollers, 3 car seats = 11 minutes
4.) DRIVE: Drive to vintage clothing store while singing, shaking rattles trying to keep kids entertained= 20 minutes
5.) PARK: try to find parking near vintage clothing store park 3 blocks away = 10 minutes
6.) UNLOAD: (see everything above) = 11 minutes
7.) WALK: 3 blocks to vintage clothing store stopping along way to feed various kids cheerios and biscuits to stop them from fussing = 7 minutes
8.) SITUATE: Walk into vintage clothing store. Take off kids hats, coats, parking strollers in corner, putting away cheerios, bottles, etc. = 7 minutes
9.) SHOP: chasing twins and keeping 3 kids entertained instead of shopping with, "LOOK! LOOK! FUNNY HAT!!! FUNNY HAT! MOMMY IN FUNNY HAT! ISN'T THAT FUNNY!. Kids laugh for 4 seconds and then have complete and total meltdown and want to leave have to leave. Actual shopping time = 7 minutes
10.) PACK: Pack up bags and put kids jackets on load into strollers = 9 mintues
11.) WALK: Walk 3 blocks to car. = 7 minutes
12.) LOAD: (see above of everything to load) = 11 minutes
14.) DRIVE: drive home, more singing, more shaking rattles nothing working = 20 minutes
Total: A 1 hour and 35 minute adventure to the 7 minutes of shopping in the vintage clothing store.
These are just funny stories I am sharing but then there is all the crazy amazing stuff that makes your eyes tear when you see these little innocent ones. Sweet as candy. Smelling so fresh and clean and tucked into little pjs that hardly require any fabric. They are extensions of your best friends. The same women that you already admired just different. Their babies calling them Mama.