Friday, July 13, 2012

Driving in Cars with Toddlers


Kid #1 needs to be at place 'x' at time 'a', Kid #3 needs to be at place 'y' at time 'b'. Kids #2, 4,5,6, & 7 just have to ride a long. For 3 and 1/2 hrs. No kidding.
Then, the next day, we pick up kid #3 at place 'z', and decide if we are going back home, or to spend the afternoon at place 'b' for which I will need to bring diapers, wipes, changes of clothes in case of accidents (which we all know are really purpose-dents and WILL happen), food for one or two meals, cups and liquids, bikes, and helmets. Then, when we get to place 'b', we'll have to unload it. And, when we leave, we'll clean it all up, and put it all back in van.  Then, when we get home, we'll unload it all from the van again and put it away.
I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
And then! And then, the next day, kid #3 needs to be at place 'c', and picked up from place 'd'. I need to decide whether to keep all the kids home with me, and trust that Mr.TheZoo will make it after work and through traffic to pick kid #2 up at the required time, or to bring the other five children with me to a crowded street fair without another adult and WAIT with them ALL for a few hours.
Anyone with toddlers knows that they don't sit for hours. They don't even sleep in a still position.
So, if anyone has ever wondered why I have become a hermit in my old age...it isn't my age, it's my kid's ages.
Older kids can shoulder more of the burden of going places, and I don't have Mr. TheZoo to help at home, because he's working hard to provide for TheZoo.
So, next time you invite me to something (and don't stop inviting...please!), and I have a look of extreme concentration and seem to waiver between yes and no...Please know that I'm not trying to get out of something. It isn't that I don't want to have fun, or to help, or to be involved in community outreach.
It's that I have to assess whether I will be any help after I spend the entire time out in discipline for six kids, feeding six kids, helping three kids go to the bathroom, cleaning up after the six kids, and coaxing the six kids back into the vehicle.
It often feels like a pointless battle to me.
When at home, we can do our chores in the morning, and then I can send kids outside to play for the rest of the day while I tackle a project, fix meals and snacks,  and deal with discipline in the safety and comfort of my own home.
To anyone that has scratched their head and wondered at my reluctance, really, it isn't you...it's me!
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