Thursday, April 15, 2010

Whack-A-Mole Days

So, once again, I am in a stage of life in which 90% of my energy seems to go towards either preventing a toddler-induced disaster, or cleaning up after one.

Days, such as this morning, often go like this:

Sit down to read a book to a child
Jump up to close the bathroom door as Miles heads towards it.
Answer the wails of a child in the kitchen who is pouring too much water into a cup and spills it onto the floor.
Hear a crash in the office, realize that must be where Miles is now.
While cleaning up the mess in the office, hear, "Miles is going up the stairs!!"
Remind children to put the gate in front of the stairs after they come down.
Realize Miles is now playing in the toilet after another child left the bathroom door open again. Give another "close the door" lecture.
Take him upstairs to wash him down and hear another child wailing downstairs about how they can't get through the stairs-gate and need to.
Let child through gate.
Hear crash in the kitchen.
Find a child has left the pantry door open again, and Miles is sitting in a pile of oatmeal.
Clean it up with vacuum, dustbuster, broom, paper towels. Give another "close the door" lecture.
Hear "Miles is playing in the toilet again!"
Realize we will not return to page 2 of the book we were reading until Miles goes down for his nap.

It's really hard to not feel like I'm playing Whack-A-Mole all day. (To be clear, no moles, children, or other creatures ever actually get "whacked.") Even my best efforts at baby-proofing are being constantly un-done by the 3 other kids, so I must resort to running around like a maniac trying to catch/stop/fix, in the wake of little Milo.

As a small example... Every cabinet and cupboard lower than 5 feet tall in our house has a rubber-band around the handles to keep him out. So, much of the time I'm going from cabinet to cabinet either opening it for a child who needs to get something or put something away, or re-rubber-banding it... thinking there must be a better system here.

Some all-too-common daily scenes:
I remember my grandfather once talking about how the energy of toddlers -- how they're constantly sitting down and standing back up all day long, not to mention running everywhere. I think the moms of said toddlers also get the same work-out. So, the positive is it's good for weight-loss, and no gym membership is necessary!

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