A typical 2 hours slice of my (hectic, but rewarding) day as a mother of three 4 and under:
After feeding the older two and breastfeeding and changing my newborn, I herd the olders towards their shoes. I realize it’s really warm enough to be barefoot, and don’t really push the shoe issue after announcing, “Shoes are optional today”. As they shod themselves (or don’t), I give instructions to pick up their morning toy mess, and after it’s clean we go outside.
My 4yo finds a bug, which she’d like to keep inside. (Because I’m determined to have well-rounded daughters, I feign interest in the little critter and try not to visibly shudder at the thought of that creepy crawlie in my home. Quick!! Come up with a better reason for saying no besides, “But that’s GROSS!”)
After a quick science lesson on why bugs like outside better, my 2yo starts crying because she hasn’t had a turn to hold the bug. 4yo puts the bug back in the flower bed and runs away into the neighbor’s yard…having corralled 4yo back into our yard, I find 2yo dutifully and doggedly digging away in the mulch, looking for the bug and actually finding it. Baby starts crying from her swing on the porch. Now, it’s time to bounce and hold.
2yo plays with bug until 4yo gets jealous and snatches bug and throw it back in the dirt. I direct 4yo to the porch, and manage to comfort 2yo and baby at the same time, realizing it’s probably time for a nap for all.
Except “all” is filthy with mulch. So we go inside, where 4yo and 2yo are tubbed. Where they play happily for a short while until 4yo starts shouting and screaming and bossing and growling for no apparant reason, and 2yo is dumping water out of the tub until I tell her to stop and she starts to cry (read: scream like a banshee). Baby joins the mayhem in screaming and yowling.
Towel off the 4yo one-handed (with my other hand holding baby who’s quite hungry again) and throw some clothes on her. Direct her (over loud protests) to go lay down in her room or play quietly, while 2yo shrieks: “I need a towel! Dry me off!!!!” Manage to breastfeed and towel off 2yo at the same time, drain tub, throw soaked rug in the sink, lay 2yo on the couch, turn on sound machine…
…and come back to discover 2yo already conked out on couch. Cool. Diapers can wait. From the sounds of things, 4yo has gone swiftly to sleep as well. Beautiful. Sit down on couch to rock baby to sleep. She gets all the way to sleep and then FILLS her diaper, which, of course, explodes all over me, her, my pants, my hoodie, my shirt and her outfit.
Change newborn who is now SCREAMING and cringe, hoping the older two sleep on. They do. Relief. *whew* Nurse newborn back to sleep on handed, using the other hand to switch over laundry, and toss all the poo-covered clothes into the wash, along with the soaked rug from earlier. (muse to self that this worked out rather nicely.)
Lay now sleeping newborn down on pillow with every intention of getting myself something to eat, but compulsively check on 2yo on the couch….and notice that newborn also got poo on the couch, too. As if that isn’t nifty enough, also notice that 2yo has migrated over to the poo spot and has now caked the towel she’s still wrapped in in it, sleeping soundly. Skillfully move toddler, clean poo, and run nasty towel to the still churning wash and replace it with a nice fluffy blanket.
Notice yourself is cold. Huh. I’m still naked from the poo extravaganza. Good news? A big, oversized t shirt and a pair of lounge pants just came out of the dryer you emptied, and is ready for me to put them on. Ugh. And I need a shower.
Such is the glamor of mothering small children. ;OP