Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What if I had 4 children?

I am watching my 2 neices and nephew, Sofie, John and Lilia, today. Their mom is on bed rest with number 4. I always imagined I would have 3 or 4 children in rapid succession as my sister and sister in law have done and while I praise God that did not happen in my life I enjoy the opportunity to play mom of 4 sometimes.

The first thing Sofie announced when she arrived was that she was hungry and needed breakfast. So I made oatmeal all around. They all ate a little but were excited to get playing. We have different toys than them so the first few hours are pretty easy and I don't see them at all. I spent about an hour Instant Messaging with my sister while they took all the toys out downstairs. Eventually they got hungry and came up. Isabelle then discovered much to her disappointment that Lilia had gone around to all the bowls of oatmeal and finished off everyones breakfast. She reminds me of Goldilocks only less picky.

John, Isabelle and Lilia were playing some game running around the kitchen, living room, dining room circle (why do kids love that so much?) and Lilia, the youngest, was amusing me. First she found a fuzzy scarf and was wearing it around singing like she was a lounge singer with a fancy boa around her neck. Then a little later in true youngest child mode John and Isabelle were running away from her and she was chasing them saying, "nana nana boo boo." Oh how her life will be changing next week when she turns into another middle child.

Somehow while I was trying to get Jake out the door and get them lunch half a plate of chocolate chip cookies disappeared. Well Sofie must have special cookie radar because she had been downstairs watching a movie but suddenly appeared to get her share of the cookie caper.

While they are eating I hear Isabelle say to them, "thank you for coming to my house today". Such a good little hostess. It really is easy to take care of 4 children when they are all so well behaved. I would even consider daycare if I knew I could get kids that had already been whipped into shape like these 3. Will Julia be able to maintain her excellent parenting skills once a 4th comes into their life? I suspect so. What she may lack at times in energy and motivation she will always make up for in raw stubborn determination and stick-to-itness. (I love you Julia :))

Sofie ate after the others because she was finishing a movie. I was sitting with her and when she was done commented on what a good eater she is. She said, "yeah but do you know Nathan and David?" (other cousins)Yes I told her. "Nathan is 10 and he is a really good eater. He eats EVERYTHING on his plate." (way to go Angie)

My plan for the day was to let them play in the morning and then be more structured with some activities in the afternoon. So after lunch I broke out the paints. I felt like a pre-school teacher getting paint shirts on everyone, finding a paint brush for everyone and making up blue and red paint bowls for everyone (except Lilia who I told could only have one color in the spill proof container). I am always only half organized so while I was able to make it happen I really have blue finger paint and red powdered paint that I had to mix up. What do they care? And I dug through the goodwill pile and John's work shirts for paint shirts. Then I got out the princess/cars coloring cut outs I found in the dollar section at Target and they did that for a while. Finally when the were done with that they wanted to go outside. While I wouldn't have planned this I was happy to send them out. I managed to find hat and gloves for all of them and even had boots for Lilia. That is when I finally went to dig the camera out of my husbands work bag. I cleaned up the paint and marker stuff while watching them out the window. I was noticing how John and Sofie were taking turns pushing Lilia. I was thinking/laughing how while Isabelle would be old enough to take a turn it would never occur to my special second only child to do such a thing. Well just when you think you know your children they surprise you because a few minutes later I looked out and saw Isabelle pushing Lilia. Maybe there is hope after all. :)

Outside didn't last long since it is only 20 degrees out and back they all came. I looked at the clock and it was only 12:30! It felt like 2:30. As I am talking out loud to myself about the time Sofie kindly informs me that they have quiet time at 12:30 and Lilia takes a nap. So I lay Lilia on my bed and she doesn't get up and goes to sleep and the other 3 go in Isabelle's room and are playing quietly. How does Julia do it?

Now I do have a few other plans. I have those games in the game closet to pull out, Isabelle has been wanting to play them with John and Sofie since we first learned them. And no trip to my house would be complete if I didn't have a tea party. Now they have already filled up on cookies but that won't stop me from giving them more. And then I figure it will be time for a movie or TV or something.

Now while it has mostly gone smoothly and I love having them here, I am glad I don't do it every day. Here are a few things I can put off until tomorrow since they aren't all mine:

Grocery Shopping
Picking up popcorn at the scout office
cleaning my house
Christmas shopping
Basically think only about myself and blog and IM with my sister all morning--Oh wait I did that one while they were here...

Well it has been an hour of quiet time. I wonder how long it normally lasts. I think I hear Lilia so I suppose I should move from my computer and get back on mom of 4 duty once again.

I am woman hear me roar!


  1. Oh Mel,

    I have loved this post today. They may not miss me, but I miss them! That's so funny that Lilia ate all the oatmeal. She is an oatmeal FREAK. At home I limit her to two bowls at breakfast or she'd just keep going. I have yet to find her stopping point.

    Thanks for telling all the cute things they did. It's so nice to know they were having so much fun!

  2. Love the shot on the swing set!

    Doesn't it feel great to know you made your sis-in-laws day by loving so well on her children?

    Wish you were around for my kids.... :(

  3. I was checking my notes and forgot one funny thing they said. John asked Isabelle, "why do you call your Jake, "Jacob"? We often wonder the same thing. ha ha ha.