For those of you who have kids, do you remember when you brought home each new baby and for a while, your whole world was turned upside down? Time seemed to move in slow motion and even the air seemed to have a different weight to it. Everything you did was out of order because you slept at a different time and bathed at a different time and ate at a different time and you were learning everything for the very first time.
It's like when you do anything for the first time...it's just awkward because you have no stride. You should have seen me when I first tried to ski. I went down the bunny slope with my legs wide apart and skis crossed while I waved my hands back and forth and made noises that sounded very much like a constipated wildebeest. It was terrifying and exhausting but also a little exhilarating.
I'm saying this because this is exactly what it's been like adding a fourth child. Challenging doesn't even cover it. If my torso were how hard it is, then challenging would be the equivalent of a tight fitting tube top that exposes all of my soft underbelly. Raul was here this last weekend and things went spectacularly...just exhaustively. It's a rat race because nobody knows what we are supposed to be doing and they all attack me at the same time and demand attention at the same time and fall to pieces at the same time and feign starvation at the same time. Everything was difficult and required many more than the four hands we had to offer. You should have seen bath night. I've never seen so many small naked bodies in my life! And it was probably sheer exhaustion that made this possible but four naked bodies seemed to morph into fourteen and all I saw was nakedness streaking through our house. It was either the exhaustion or the speed with which they run that gives it the Matrix type effect. Anyway, it was just a lot. Like we went through a bar of soap, one bottle of shampoo and a tub of cocoa butter and most of my patience in order to get the job done.
And then let me tell you about the food. Holy cow, the food. I am going to have to start selling my blood plasma in order to feed these children. They will go through a bundle of bananas, half a gallon of milk, a package of Gogurt, a bag of goldfish, almost a dozen eggs and half a loaf of bread AT BREAKFAST. When I set the food down on the table I have to throw it carefully because they are like a pack of starving piranhas that attack the food and leave nothing left but an overturned fork with bite marks in the handle.
Here's what it's like having four kids: it's a circus. It's stinky and messy and loud. Someone is always hanging from the ceiling and there are a lot of moments that make you hold your breathe. But it's also fun and entertaining and something happens minute to minute that amazes you. There is so much spectacular going on around you that you hardly notice that you're sitting in something sticky.
We did survive the weekend with relatively little scarring. Raul was fantastic. He took a shower with no problem and went to bed without waking all night. He played well, ate well and slept well and we couldn't have asked for anything more. It went so well that I called our social worker yesterday and asked him to move up the "move-in" date. He was scheduled to move in the first weekend in May but he's also scheduled to stay from the 16th through the 25th for his vacation and I can't see sending him home for a few days after we establish a routine that week. It would be a step backward. So, it's sink or swim now because our social worker agreed with me. There is no sense in dragging it out longer, especially since he is transitioning so well. So...the countdown begins. T minus 23 days.