That is the question of the evening.
Tonight Gennavieve, Elijah, Isabella, and Issac are all off on an adventure with grandma, at the pond. (that means my four oldest kids, my helpers, are gone) Tonight I'm home with four kids aged 4 and under, and it's been............. challenging. As I'm settling Abby, Nahshon and Micaiah seem to have found donuts in the kitchen. While dealing with the donut issue, Noah has helped himself to 600 pieces of construction paper. In the middle of cleaning up the construction paper I suddenly remember we own a dog, who has been sitting quietly in her kennel for....... crap, five hours! (quietly, that is, until I remembered she was there, then suddenly started barking like a mad man; not that I blame her of course) Take the dog out, get her fresh food and water, and Abby wakes up and screams. And round and round we went all night.
Beyond frustrated, I kept asking myself what was so different tonight than what life was like not all that long ago when Genna, Elijah, and Bella were three under three? Well, there is the obvious of the fact that tonight there are 4 kids. We didn't own a dog back then. We lived in a slightly smaller home (an apartment), that had baby gates. Baby gates = no access to the kitchen! (sadly, that doesn't really work in this house) Genna, Lij, and Bell were nothing like my little guys are now; daredevil, base-jumping, crazy climbing, body-slamming, monkeys! As I was trying to make a quiche for breakfast tomorrow, I remembered that I didn't cook back then. Of course I cooked a bit (spaghetti anyone?), but nothing like I cook now. I also never baked. We had less stuff (kind of goes hand in hand with having less kids), and I didn't have my husband trying to build a business in my dining room.
If my other group of kids had been here, Genna would have taken care of the dog, Bella's super sugar sniffer would have found out Nahsh and Cai the moment they got the donuts out and she would have cut them up into small pieces so they could all have a little treat without getting over sugared up, Elijah probably would have already been doing art and would have given Noah paper and crayons before Noah even had a chance to make a mess, and Isaac would have been waiting with open arms to hold Abby if my time and attention was needed elsewhere. It was nice having a night with my little ones, but when the rest of the crew comes back, I'll be sure to think back to this evening the next time I feel like I'm having a chaotic day.