Helping Hands

This week a bunch of my friend’s children have started summer break. Which made me realize that summer is right around the corner for Jack as well.

Soon instead of covering 3 kids for most of the day with 2 adults (my mother and I), I will start having 4 kids around with 2 adults supervising (my summer helper, Kristen, and I).

Also, my mother is staying with us. So she is here all the time. By 6am I normally wake her up to pass a baby off to her and she helps until 8 or 9 at night.

I’m starting to get nervous about coverage. Even hiring someone for 40 hours a week doesn’t cover all the times my mother is here. If Kristen works 9-5, how will I manage the evening hours until Adam gets home around 7:30 or 8? The hours from 5-8 are when all four kids get a breast feed, bathe, eat, brush teeth, and read bedtime stories. It’s a lot to juggle.

Last night, for example, mom fed both babies bottles in that time frame and bathed them while I cooked, then fed, bathed and read stories to the older boys. It will be impossible to do all this with just one adult around.

Ben loves Banana Bread

Still, if I have Kristen start later in the day, we will miss any chance we have of going out in the morning. I can’t cover 4 kids outside of the house. Yesterday when we went to the park, I had my mother holding one baby, I was breast feeding another, and I repeatedly had to ask my girlfriends to help me with Ben, who decided to have a series of hissy fits for no apparent reason. He kept bawling loudly on the ground while I sat helpless. Other mothers eyed him awkwardly, wondering whose kid was being neglected. That’s 3 adults needed for 4 kids! In fact, even with a helper, I’m scared to go anywhere on my own!

I didn’t manage to get any pictures of our play date at Supera Park yesterday, since I didn’t have a hand free the entire time, but I did get a photo of Ben the next morning, his bed head arranged peacock style, eating the banana bread our friend Kelly baked and gave us that day. Yummy!

And just as I was worried about handling all the kids on my own, this afternoon I left the twins with Mom and took Ben to pick up Jack from school. When I returned home, both kids were screaming from hunger. I tandem fed them while Jack and Ben played at my feet. Mom disappeared downstairs for a few minutes. In those few minutes they had both dumped a bunch of little toys that were easy to trip on everywhere. One minute later Jack slipped while running on one of the toys, slid and banged his head into the corner of the table. He was crying and bleeding. I pulled the babies off me, resulting in three out of four hysterically crying kids at once. I checked Jack’s head, blood was dripping out but quickly stopped. All the while I kept my eye on Ben, who has a tendency to want to either hug or pet the babies until they cry. It was a very stressful moment which seemed to last forever. I was tired and everyone needed attention immediately. But there was only one of me.

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