It’s my birthday today and I was wondering if I’m going to be retirement age before I get to blow out my own candles again. By that time, I probably won’t have enough breath to blow them all out. I’ll have spent it over the years yelling at the boys to stop picking on each other.
I did try that feeble attempt today. “It’s Mommy’s birthday. Can’t you be nice to each other for just one day?”
- Can you please stop squirting each other with the water gun in the back seat of the car? Wait a minute, why do you even have a water gun IN the car?!?
- Will you please stop trying to knock each other out of the way as you clamber into the car, squeeze through a doorway, rush for a cup of milk – pretty much go anywhere or do anything?!? Why can’t you take turns?
- Can you please stop yelling that Noah’s fire truck noise is giving you a headache while you play your DS? Can you please stop yelling that Micah’s DS is giving you a headache while you repetitively push the siren button on the fire truck? Can you both please stop yelling as you are definitely giving me a headache as I drive!
- Can you please stop wrestling around under that quilt in the middle of the kitchen floor? Can’t you just wrestle peacefully in the living room?!? But don’t break anything.
- Can you please just behave like Seth does?!? He doesn’t get into trouble. (“But, Mommy, Seth doesn’t do ANYTHING yet!” I know – isn’t it great?)
- Can you please go back to sleep? It’s only 5:46 am and it’s my birthday! Oh wait – here’s my iPhone, watch something. (This is called the night-owl, single-mom get-a-bit-more-sleep strategy. That one additional hour of sleep on the weekends is so precious that sometimes I don’t even know what Micah is watching!)
I think if you had asked me twenty years ago if I ever imagined myself in this place – single woman with three beautiful active boys – I would have said “no way.” But if you ask me today if I’d change that, I’d say “no way.” Even if I do spend much of my energy pulling them off of each other, reprimanding them, encouraging them to use “nice” words, picking them up, putting them down, moving them from one spot to another, buckling them into the car, unbuckling them out of the car, changing diapers, changing clothes (and no, not interested in washing brown stuff from underwear even on my birthday!), putting them into high chairs, taking them out of high chairs, carrying laundry to the basement, carrying kids’ clothes back up from the basement, throwing baseballs, throwing Frisbees, chasing them around the yard, chasing them around the inside house loop, pulling them off the staircase for the thousandth time, following them up the staircase for the eight-hundredth time, brushing teeth, reading just one more book, patting backs and singing lullabies….even with all that, and more, in a single day, I wouldn’t change it.
Those boys are my birthday blessings and I love them.