Surviving Five

A humorous & heartwarming look at life with five small children

SurvivingFive

SurvivingFive
Location
Ohio, US
Birthday
April 22
Title
author
Company
Surviving Five
Bio
www.survivingfive.com I am a 30 year old stay at home mom to five young children (ages 7, 6, 4, 3 and 2) as well as a noncustodial stepmother to three teens (ages 19, 18 and 15)

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Salon.com
SEPTEMBER 8, 2011 12:31PM

Surviving 5 Kids and a Blog Post

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I’m very sorry to inform you that there will be no blog today. I tried, I really did, but sometimes by the end of the day I sit down to write and my brain falls asleep before my eyes do. Not that I can really blame it. After 18 solid hours of listening to children cry, fight, yell, shriek and bicker while I bumble through my myriad of daily activities, how could I possibly expect it be able to formulate complete sentences, let alone witty anecdotes?

Like today, for example. It being only the second day of the school year, I was not yet used to waking up at the crack of dawn. To make matters worse it was my son who woke me up—by dive bombing onto the bed and planting his knee into my gall bladder. I had accidentally fallen asleep with my contacts in (who am I kidding, I haven’t taken them out a single time since Lacey snapped my glasses in half 4 months ago) so even though my eyes were technically open I was walking around in enough of an eye-goo haze to trip over my phone charger and smack my shoulder against the dresser. Awesome. After stumbling down the stairs like a drunk after a bender, I threw a few frozen waffles into the toaster and pressed down the lever. There, breakfast is done. Moments later I smelled the unmistakable stench of melting plastic but I had to stand and stare at the toaster in a confused stupor until it popped up and jolted me back to reality before I realized that the empty plastic bread bag from yesterday’s PB&J lunch was smashed underneath the toaster and melting into an ooze that became one with my counter.

Meanwhile my school age kids come be-bopping out of their rooms, complaining about the smell and asking me to assist them with 37 different things all at once. I asked them nicely to stay quiet in hopes that the three remaining children, still snoozing in their beds might actually stay asleep. They both nodded solemnly and reverted to hushed whispers for about 3 seconds until Brileigh suddenly thought of something

“OH HEY MOM!! DON”T FORGET TO PACK MY GYM SHOES!!!”

“Shh… Brileigh! Be quiet! The shoes you are wearing are fine for gym”

“Oh, sorry… I forgot the babies are sleeping. NU-UH!! I CANT WEAR THESE SHOES FOR GYM!”

“Bri-leigh!! Please stop talking so loudly! Yes, those shoes are perfectly fine.”

“Nu-uh.”

“Stop arguing with me, they are fine!”

I turned to walk away but not before I heard “whatever” muttered under her breath.

Button officially pushed.

“BRILEIGH!!!”

The baby immediately began crying from her crib. I spun around to give Brileigh the eyes of death, at which she pointed out that it was me who yelled and woke the baby up.

Tony, with his ever-present sense of 7-year-old boy-ness, flew into the room and slid across the tile in his socks. He tossed his shoe up in the air so that he could leap onto the couch to catch it with flourish but knocked over a full cup of milk in the process. Oops. Anxious to fix his blunder he bounced back off the couch and rushed to grab a paper towel, slipped in the spilled milk and ended up drenching the leg of his new school jeans. Oops again.   

I sent Tony up to change while I searched under the couch for Brileigh’s left shoe. Then under the bed. Then behind the TV, and the desk, and the trampoline. (Yes, I have a trampoline in my living room. Which makes more sense to have in the living room of a home with five children: a nice chair and loveseat that the little monsters will destroy or a trampoline to help them bounce off some of their energy?) WHERE is it? I swear I just had it, but of course I’m losing my mind, so what do I know? Tony came back downstairs, freshly changed and hiding Brileigh’s missing shoe under his shirt, giggling wildly at the fantastic trick he was able to play on us. So fuh-reekin funny, isn’t it? I hoisted their backpacks up on their tiny shoulders and booted them out the door towards the bus stop before I had a chance to strangle either of them.

I reluctantly rescued Lacey from the confines of her crib and changed her diaper. I set the dirty diaper down next to me for a nano-second while I put on the new one but it was evidently plenty of time for the dog to race past and snag it. He bent down on his haunches and hopped around the dining room table as I chased after him. Oh good, he want to play. Me too, that sounds swell. I yanked the soggy diaper out of his mouth which caused it to rip open and spilled out a small pile of those nasty urine-soaked gelatinous bead-like thingies that diapers are filled with. Incidentally, those beads are non-toxic. Not that I would recommend popping them in like potato chips, but if you by chance happen to ingest a handful or so you won’t die. I learned this when I had to call poison control a few years ago because one of my kids decided to eat a diaper. Yeah, true story, unfortunately. Equally unfortunate, that kind of thing is so common in my house that I don’t even remember which kid ate the diaper, which will make it really hard to tease them about it when they are teenagers.

Approximately four diaper changes, six trips outside with the dog, one meal, 43 snacks and seven episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba later, Tony and Brileigh walked back through the door. Where on earth had the day gone? There were still breakfast dishes on the table (still are in fact) and my teeth were still unbrushed (hmm… yep, those still are too). But no time to clean now, it’s time to go to football practice. Today was picture day so my boy had to be there early and looking clean. On the way to the car Delaney offended Ainsley by opening the door on her side of the car and then Ainsley retaliated by climbing into Delaney’s car seat and refusing to move. Tony and Brileigh began the inevitable war over whose turn it was to sit up front, and once I finally got everyone in place and buckled in, I threw the car in reverse and backed over a bicycle. I don’t have staunch regulations about where the children’s bikes belong, but under the back wheel of my Suburban is not on the list of options.

After using my Herculean strength to unwedge the Huffy from my bumper, I managed to get us on our way relatively unscathed. I was pressed for time but a trip to the bank was mandatory. There are few opportunities in life when having a large family is financially advantageous, but going through the bank drive-thru is one of them. See, while most people moan and groan amount outrageous bank fees and interest rates, I rest assured in the fact that I earn back all of my finance charges by way of generic lollipops. Two or three trips to the bank each week times five suckers each trip—well, you do the math.

Their mouths now occupied with processed sugar, the remainder of the trip to the football field was silent and serene. I navigated my beast of a car into my parking spot and began to unload my sticky children. Sigh. The entire car trip could not have taken more than 15 minutes but in that time frame Brileigh managed to fall dead asleep against her arm rest, sucker still in her mouth, purple drool dripping onto her arm. I guess the new school year was wearing her down as well. I woke up my sleeping beauty who immediately began protesting that she was too tiiiired for cheerleading practice. Her whining continued while I suited Tony up in his football pads, making certain to tuck in his jersey carefully for optimal photos. Once I was finished fussing over him I stood back and smiled at my sweet boy. “Ready for pictures?” “Yep!” he smiled, revealing a mouth full of bright red lollipop-stained teeth. I guess in the long run the bank managed to screw me anyway.

Making a mental note to add tooth brushes to my car emergency kit, I fished through my purse until I found a pack of baby wipes. I scrubbed my little linebacker’s teeth with a wipe until they were relatively white again. He was now nice and clean again and had the added bonus of baby-fresh breath.

I spent the next two hours chasing my two-year-old around the field while my daughter reluctantly cheered and my son depleted the remaining ants in his pants by racing back and forth across the field colliding with his friends and avoiding the ball. Once home again, we had just enough time to scarf down the pizza we had picked up on the way home and shower my sweaty athletes before it was time to put everyone in bed to prepare to start it all over again tomorrow.

So you see, as awful as I feel about leaving you hanging there is just no way I could put together a blog post tonight. I’m physically and mentally exhausted, and I wouldn’t be able to think of anything to write about anyway. But I promise, I will try to make my weekend a little more interesting so that I can come up with something good for you on Monday. See you then!        

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