Wednesday, July 24, 2013

From Four to Five

My sweet Miles turns five years old next week, and it's a knife to my heart.

But that's not what this post is about.

One of the most popular questions we've fielded over the last few months is, "So what's it like going from a family of four to a family of five?"  Or some variation of that.

Well, it's exhausting to have three kids.  But, it's exhausting to have two kids too.  And the fourteen months that we only had one child is only a faint memory now, but I'm pretty certain we were exhausted then too.  So from that angle, nothing has changed except my bedtime.  And I don't mean that I go to bed earlier now.  Oh no.  It's about an hour later because it takes us longer to feed, bathe, play with, and get three kids in bed each night.  So that means that I start all the normal, day to day things that make our house run a  little later too (I work full time). 

Keep in mind that the ages of our children today are two, three and four.  Jeremy and I encourage them to help around the house, but let's face it.  The number of times we have to repeat ourselves and the smattering of arguments that have to be squelched just to get a room full of toys picked up burns a significant count of tick-tocks off the clock and a significant number of our brain cells.  The tattling and whining has fueled thoughts of building a padded cell to occasionally lock ourselves in.  And yes, Lakey tattles too.  At least I think that's what she's doing when she comes up to us, furls her brow, and rattles off in jibberish (or Chinese, who even knows) while pointing to one of her brothers. 

I had always heard that going from two kids to three was a hard adjustment.  That may be true if your youngest is a newborn and you are struggling with sleep deprivation.  But since Lakey joined our family as a toddler, for us it feels like another log on the fire (metaphorically speaking, of course). We all eat the same food and sleep in our own beds, so no one has a special or different routine from the other.  That makes it nice and really quite easy.  And while it's true that we've had to switch our defense from Man-to-Man to Zone, it has surprisingly been an easy transition.  I mean, if you already have a headache from two children's inability to access a quiet voice, what's one more gonna do?  

In a nutshell, life at Chez Northcutt is exhausting.  But don't feel the slightest bit of sympathy for us.  The joy that these three little souls bring to our household is unmatched.  As every parent knows, the laughter, excitement, innocence, and random hugs, kisses, and "I love you's" totally erases all frustration in the twinkling of an eye.  If I didn't think there was a real possibility of going deaf or ending up in a mental institute before it's all said and done, perhaps we would even add to our brood.

Then again, five is a nice, round number.

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