Thursday, August 12, 2010

Triage and Insanity

I call my current method of parenting Triage. Whichever kid needs me most at the time is the one that gets attended to. And when both need me equally, I try to take turns. It's a quick assessment that is made on a case-by-case basis.

For example, if Will is in his crib, screaming and fighting his nap and Emma is crying because she is hungry, Will has to wait. If Emma is crying because she has a dirty diaper but Will just fell and bonked his head and needs me to kiss it better, Emma has to wait. If we took a walk and I need to get them both out of the stroller, I take turns on who I get out first.

I try my hardest to include both of them on whatever we do. If I am nursing Emma, I read books to "both" of them. If I am needing to bounce Emma, I turn on music so we can all "dance."

I know none of this is rocket science. It's what parents of multiple children have been doing for years, but it's just finding a new balance and what works for me.

Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, chaos ensues. The other night, I was feeling pretty confident. Dinner was on the table, both kids had clean diapers, the animals were fed, I had even ran the vac before M got home. Life was good. But then he entered the door and it was as if all heck broke loose. The dogs started barking at a passerby, Emma started wailing, M tried to take her, she projectile vomited all over him and the chair he was sitting in, and then Will had the nastiest diaper of all time, and it leaked all over the couch. Gross. So, I was running all over with the cleaning solution, trying to calm crying babies, quiet barking dogs, and find a way to change Will without making a worse mess. It was insanity.

M and I just looked at each other. It was one of those laugh or cry moments and, to be honest, I laughed with tears in my eyes. Like any other moment, good and bad, it passed. We survived. And now when I think about it, I just laugh. No tears.


HereWeGoAJen said...

Ah, it's those evening moments that are the worst here. We get that with just the one child.

It may help a little, but I found that our evenings are a lot smoother when I lock up the dogs before Matt gets home. I let them out again when everything calms down, but that way Matt can put his full attention on Elizabeth and there aren't two barking, excited dogs running around. It made the evenings MUCH calmer. The dogs didn't like it though. (They are used to it now.)

Rebecca said...

You'll look back on that conundrum and laugh! Having twins, I'm familiar with the "who do I attend to first?" can be maddening, but it sounds like you're handling it beautifully!

good enough said...

My kids are 10, 8, and 4, and we STILL have moments like that :) It starts to feel normal after awhile. It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job - with two so close in age and so young, I'm amazed you have any moments at all that AREN'T chaos!

Tracy said...

I've always thought of parenting our two as triage parenting, too. And that's all it is. Chaotic sometimes, but at the end of the day, everybody's fine (mostly.)

I'm sorry I haven't made time to comment lately; I am amazed that you are finding time to still blog. (!) But I have been keeping an eye on you, and am glad you are doing so well. You're a pro, girl!

Amanda said...

Sounds like you're doing an amazing job! "Triage"...ha! That's the PERFECT word for it!

We have those moments. Actually I have those moments throughout the day right now (stupid teeth!!!).

Beth said...

The "witching hours" AKA transition time of day (4-6 PM) is definitely the hardest ~ when Daddy comes home, when the kids are tired/bored/hungry, dog is barking, when Mommy is at the end of her so nice to know it happens to more than just me :)

You're doing a great job with triage, Mama!

infertility just sucks said...

It's almost like THEY KNOW. There's some internal mechanism that feels that things are a little too put together so they subconsciously stir things up at just that PRECISE moment.

And the dog. I love my dog but if he cannot stop barking at every car that drives by the house...well, SOMETHING will have to be done.

Jen said...

Yeah those moments where puke meets poop everywhere are AWESOME! Congrats on surviving :)

Anonymous said...

In those moments of chaos the only way we survive is by laughing. I always try to tell myself that oneday I'll miss this noise even if it is the both of them screaming. You're doing great! :) ((hugs))