Going from being a single 24 year old with no kids, no attachments, and just my goofy old dog to being in a relationship with a man who has a 6 year old, 10 year old, 12 year old, and a 14 year old has been quite the transition.
Fast forward 2 years, and I’m 26 and engaged to this wonderful man with all these kids, and sometimes I feel like, “What the hell did I get myself into?!”
I don’t have kids for a reason- I’ve just never been into them. I’m a quiet, selfish person by nature, and I love to hog my fiance to myself and be spoiled in all his glory. Then the kids come over, and I have to play mediator, referee, punisher, boo-boo kisser, and housekeeper to 4 hyper kids who attack me nonstop for attention. Where did my solitude go? I just want to sit at my laptop all weekend and enjoy my coffee in peace.
I have to clean 3 inches of mud out of the bathtub that the 6 year old caused when she dumped mussel shells from the river into the tub to “clean” them. I had to plunge the tub 4 times, and it took me over an hour to clean out the swampy mess. I have to vacuum up the beads the other kids scattered all over the living room floor whilst I was helping the 6 year old with her mussels adventure.
I have to cook lunch, and force 4 kids to eat chicken noodle soup, when what they really want is fruit snacks and to watch TV in their underwear. I have to persuade them to help me with dishes and put the Chutes and Ladders game away. I have to convince the 14 year old that texting all day is not productive.
I have to help with homework, and magically pull pencils and math equations out of my ass. I have to teach the youngest how to draw her “b”s better so they don’t look like a “6” while telling her she can’t ride the dog (for the last time…)
I have to make the 10 year old stop bouncing a tennis ball off the walls in the kitchen, I have to tell the 12 year old he can’t shoot at the rotting posts across the field, and to put that .22 away- it’s freaking me out. I have to pry my Bloggie out of the hands of the 6 year old, who keeps making videos of her crotch because she doesn’t know how it works. She’s already dropped it at least 7 times…
I have to drink my coffee while combing hair and trying to get the ponytails right. I have to drink my coffee while kicking around the toys for tennis shoes and looking for the remote to turn the TV off because we’re going to the dollar store for some fun…and only the 14 year old is ready, and already bored.
I have to make the 6 year old take a bath, as she is naked and running around the house covered in mud from the shells she dug out of the hallway closet. I have to convince the 10 year old that it is too cold for a bike ride, and no, I don’t have an air pump for the bike tires. I have to tell them that their dad will be home from work “soon” and no, we can’t go visit him and bug him at work, but we CAN make the house nice for him…right???
Oi vay- what did I sign up for? Temper tantrums, fights over the snacks, homework denial, fistfights, negotiation, bawling, timeouts, and lack of sleep, I suppose. I get woken up at the ass crack of dawn to the oldest one shrieking at the youngest one for waking her up, when I was kept up the majority of the night with the kids sneaking the TV on and their dad slumbering away. He has “parent ears” where he can tune out mostly anything the kids do, whereas I hear every little scurry down the hall, where they systematically break the toilet and leave it running all night.
I count down the hours until they go home, blissfully dreaming of sleeping in, breaking out my laptop, and getting to work again. Enjoying my fiance. Lounging drinking more than one cold cup of coffee. And then they DO go home, and I cry. I cry and cry and cry. I miss those damn wild kids so much. I want to strangle them sometimes, but I miss the chaos, the excitement, the screaming, the childish laughter, the underwear soaking in the tub, the many fruit snack wrappers adorning my entire house. I miss THEM. I still have a bathtub with mussels shells scattered about, and I don’t have the heart to throw them away. There are little socks left under the couch. The 12 year old forgot his sweater, the 6 year old left her backpack. Small skeletal remains of the crazy kids I love so much, who I want to just strangle at the same time.
Is this what parenting is all about? I wonder. On the one hand, I love my life without children of my own, sharing these truly awesome kids with my fiance and their mother. On the other hand, I would trade all my “freedom” to just have them here all the time, because I’m beginning to learn that there is no greater joy than a child, and they truly do feel like they are my own. Even when I am driven crazy, and even my fiance is at the brink of sending them all into separate rooms to get them to SHUT UP and I have to quiet them all down and create peace in the house, and all I want to do is take a nice long nap, when the kids aren’t here, it just isn’t a home. It’s a home in waiting for their return.