Fly On The Wall (You're the Fly)
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
Alright. I know you’ve thought it. At some point in learning that I have three children the same age and a child with extra needs, you’ve been curious about the day to day around here. (And if you’re just finding this out for the first time: hi, I have 8 year old triplets and a 5 year old with global delays, nice to meet you.)
I’m sure you’ve had that wish to be a fly on my wall at one point. Just a little peek into the potential craziness you’re imagining. I’ve got good news and bad news.
The bad news is, our crazy probably looks a lot like your crazy. I don’t think we have an abnormal amount of insanity, at least no more than your household of kids. (And if you don’t have kids…dude…my life is bat sh*t crazy man. You have no idea.)
The good news is, this is your chance to be a fly on my wall! I’m going to give you a small window into when the crazy does happen.
I'll set the scene. It was bedtime. Every parent reading this just cringed a little, because regardless of your family make-up, somehow bedtime is just plain hard! I’ve heard some friends relay to me that once their kids were teenagers, parent led bedtime was over! I get that! I totally get that. In my household, there are a few nights out of the month where it is just me trying to get 4 kids fed, bathed, read to or read with, prayers, recaps of the day and individual snuggles, all while trying to make this all happen as fast as humanly possible so there is still a sliver of time to finish dishes and then just veg out with a book or a bath or Netflix.
For this particular bedtime, I was on my own. I sent one 8 year old to shower while I stayed with another one to read. My 5 year old is usually all up in my business when I’m trying to read with the 2nd graders. He's on my lap, trying to hug the life out of me because I’m giving my attention to someone else besides him. But every once in a while he will happily wander around the house and since the alternative to wandering, is Spencer splayed out, so no reading can happen, I let the wandering happen.
So I finish reading with one 8 year old and go into the kitchen to help another one boil some eggs. (She’s into getting her own lunch ready the night before, and I’m all for it.) So two 8 year olds downstairs, and one 8 year old and one wandering 5 year old upstairs. My son is wiggling a tooth, telling me he thinks it might come out soon.
Suddenly, I hear screams. Like, bone chilling, the IT Clown just crawled out of our toilet, screams. Now, this doesn’t register on my worry meter yet, because, 4 kids.
So I calmly turn to my son, “Gabe, can you go see why Christian is screaming?”
He matches my demeanor, “Sure mom.”
Moments later, Gabe comes streaking down the stairs in a huff.
“Mom! Mom! There is blood everywhere! Hurry!”
Oh boy. I calmly ascend the stairs, but it’s a brisk ascent. Because there could be blood from a bloody nose, and there could be a bone sticking through a leg, I don’t know. My default face is calm, because my kids are always looking to me on how they should react to the blood and gore.
This same son who I’m about to check on split his head open when he was two years old and needed about 8 staples. You can still see the scar where hair will never grow again. All I remember is two other 2 year old faces looking up at me while I tried to stop the ooze while simultaneously calling a neighbor to come the hell over as fast as she could. But calm. Because those little worried faces!
Anyway, I walk in the bathroom, the source of the screaming, and the tub and shower curtain are covered in blood. It looks like the shower scene in Psycho. My poor Christian is standing there, holding his chin, trying to catch drips of blood that are slowly oozing out of his mouth. Default calm face is still on. There could be 4 permanent teeth knocked out, it could also be a split lip.
A quick assessment proves it’s the latter. (Man do those mouth wounds bleed!) As I do my best to calm him down, through tears and heaving breaths, he tells me he tripped coming out of the tub and hurt his mouth and said, “Spencer just sat there and did nothing.”
Spencer! I was in such triage mode when I walked in, I didn't even notice him sitting calmly on the toilet. I turn and see my 5 year old smiling at me. I ask him if he’s ok and he gives me his signature “YEAH.” (Spencer has a very limited vocabulary.)
And then, while Christian is still upset and going on how he can't believe Spencer just sat there, "staring at him and doing absolutely nothing," Gabe comes practically skipping in, grinning and holding something.
“Mom! My tooth came out! Look! The tooth fairy is going to leave me money tonight!”
Gabe is elated. He has Scrooge McDuck eyes, making dollar signs at his tiny little tooth. I just kind of stare at him with a weird, fake smile. “That’s great buddy, can we talk about it later?” I give him one of those looks, pointing with my eyes to all the blood and carnage I’m dealing with.
“Oh, yeah.” He says, as if he forgot he was actually the one who came in on this grizzly scene and had rushed down the stairs in a panic. He looks at his tooth, pinched in his fingers and totters off to find a bag to put it in.
After I got Christian out of the shower and cleaned up, we called one of our favorite first responders via Facetime and showed him the injury. Uncle Michael assured him he was going to be fine and even made him laugh by showing him how not to take a bite out of a hamburger if he had one for lunch the next day.
I loaded up his lip with Aquaphor (this miracle salve deserves its own post someday, it's been with me since day one of motherhood) and smothered him with kisses and hugs and eventually wrangled everyone to bed.
One kid went to bed gingerly touching his goopy lip, one kid mumbled something about the tooth fairy leaving $300 so he could finally buy the Death Star Lego set (keep dreaming kid), one kid was happy we were able to get her boiled eggs cooked for lunch the next day and one kid just kept saying "mom" over and over again as I shut the door.
I sighed deeply as I walked down the hall. I took the dog out. Then I took a long, hot bath, crawled into bed and fell asleep with a book on my chest. I don't think I read a page.