Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We will never leave this house again

Those of you with three or more children, how the hell do you do it? Specifically, how do you ever go anywhere? I’d really like to know, because I can barely manage with two. Before The Peanut was mobile, it was easy: I’d just pop her into the sling and chase JJ around. But now that she’s walking running at top speed, it’s a different story.

A couple of days ago, we went to Ryder Park in San Mateo. It’s a fantastic place with lots of room for running around, brand-new playground equipment, and an area with sparkling plumes of water that shoot up into the air when you step on a sensor. Kind of like sprinklers, only prettier.

We went with my friend K and her son Q, who is exactly the same age as JJ. The setup couldn’t have been any more ideal: K and Q picked up JJ in the morning while The Peanut was napping so that he could get out of the house earlier. Then when The Peanut woke up, she and I headed out to join them.

K is an ubermom who never ceases to amaze me. She has boundless energy and is able to multitask like nobody’s business. With the two of us watching three kids, it should have been a cakewalk. And I guess it was, but I still felt like we were on the brink of a major catastrophe the entire time.

Keeping The Peanut out of trouble is a full-time job. When she isn’t cramming disgusting things in her mouth (this time it was an ancient peach pit she found under the picnic table), she’s making a beeline for danger. I really can’t take my eyes off her for more than a couple of seconds. JJ is very good about following rules, but like any three-and-a-half-year-old, he does get distracted easily, so I can’t let him run completely wild.

This would be a much more interesting story if some huge disaster had occurred, but I’m happy to report that the outing was uneventful. We did manage to keep The Peanut from offing herself. JJ wandered off at one point, but I caught up to him before he was lost forever. Still, it was far from the relaxing outing I was hoping for. I was ready to tear my hair out by the time we left.

I realize that I have it pretty easy. Many of you have more than two kids, or have children who need constant supervision. So how do you manage going to the playground? Or the zoo? Or any place that isn’t completely contained?

Sometimes I think I’m just not cut out for this job.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I think maybe you have to drop all behavioral standards and let them run wild and eat poop. That's just a guess. We haven't left the house in two days.