Feeding Time at the Zoo
November 1, 2007
I'm not sure if it's the halloween hangover or what, but the children at my house are acting like unstable little orphaned primates. I'm in charge of three boys under the age of three, and if there ever comes a day when I have to sheepishly call a mother to explain a broken bone, today will probably be it. The three mini-men are jumping on the couch, bouncing on the dog, twisting themselves up in the clean laundry, and subjecting me to all other manners of craziness.
Right now they're sleeping. It wasn't easy, but they're noiseless--thank goodness.
An hour ago, before this unconscious bliss, the shidazzle was totally hitting the fan. Somehow, all three of the boys became hungry and tired AT THE SAME TIME--holy mole-kisser, you should've seen it.
I sat them all at the table, just like I always do. I gave them each their regular lunch, just like I always do. And we said a little food blessing, just like we always do. But instead of eating happily, just like they always do, chaos ensued.
James bounced a half eaten chicken nugget off the back of Nate's head. This sent Nate into a raging tantrum...on the kitchen table. Before I could wrangle him up, his little flailing body rolled right over onto James's plate. Nick's back was covered in ketchup, James was mad that his nuggets were tainted, and Hayden (the baby of the group) was screaming just for the fun of it.
I stepped back, took a look at the drama, and wondered what in the hell I was supposed to do. Don't get me wrong, I'm an educated woman, but I never took Baby Wars 101. Despite its reputation for easiness at U Maine, I never even took Intro to Child Development--after all, I was NEVER going to work with children.
**SIDE NOTE: Never say never, folks. Trust me when I tell you: the universe is nothing but a giant ironic boomerang that's just sailing toward your unsuspecting ass.**
I stepped away, into the kitchen closet, for a private moment of prayer and reflection. In my mind I was like, "HAVE SOME MERCY, WOULD YA?" And wouldn't you know it, the mercy was granted.
This image popped into my mind, which sparked an idea. If Sarah Flake can make her child sleep in the tub, isn't it acceptable for me to make my child (um, and some other peoples' children) eat lunch in their cribs? It may sound strange, but it all boils down to simple mathematics, people:
TIRED + HUNGRY = EAT PB&J IN CRIB
It worked like a foolproof charm. I went door to door, checking on the kids, making sure everyone was okay. And one by one, they fell asleep, faces covered in jelly, and mattresses covered in breadcrumbs.
Sure I'll have to wash some extra sheets, but that's no big deal. I'll easily have that done by sometime in March. And if I add a pocket tv to the equation, my life will really ease up.