Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Raising three 3 year olds and a 5 year old

Last year I wrote this post and thought I would do it again.  When we adopted our girls, we wanted to adopt in birth order and I wanted to adopt a child that was nine months younger (at least) than our youngest child.  We didn't go into it planning to adopt two children.

The twins are 10 1/2 months younger than Isla.  For a month and a half they are all the same age.  Or as Natalie puts it, "everyone is three, but me!".

When the girls first came home, Isla seemed so much bigger than they were!  (July 2010)

Isla was 1 1/2 and the twins were 8 months old.

But it wasn't long before they all three of them started to look the same size

last year

Natalie has been an amazing big sister.  It's not always easy (and she'll let you know that sometimes she will go scream into her pillow or put ear plugs in when the screaming gets to be too much).  She is patient and kind to them.  Her latest idea to make them all happy is to write messages on pieces of paper and then put them inside of balloons and blow them up.  Then she writes their names on the outside of the balloon.  The messages are things like "I love you little sister."  

I grew up with three younger brothers.  To say the dynamic is a little different might be a huge understatement.   I still can't get over how many times I hear "she hurt my feelings" or "you're not my best friend anymore" or "you can't talk to me like that" or "mommy, you don't say those words to me like that" and how often I don't hear "he (brother in my case) hit me, bit me, threw something at me".  They have those moments, but they can sure use their words in amazing ways for good and for harm.  

I'm am still trying to desperately figure out how to raise kids in the states.  I don't know how anyone does it.  I don't know how stay at home moms (parents) do it and I don't know how working moms (parents) do it.  Most days I'm lucky if I remembered to brush my hair before going to work.  One day I  was almost to work before I realized I was wearing my flip flops and hadn't brushed my hair and had to turn around and go back home (I work in a doctors office) to change.  I still haven't figured out how to work at a place where I don't wear scrubs every day!  But that aside, I really don't know how it all works.  I do think I need to live in a community setting or something where everyone takes care of each other kids.  I think that would work out just fine, because we sure can't keep it together on our own!

Three year olds.  What to say about them?  There are days when they make two year olds look like chocolate sundaes.  The insanity!!  Between the three of them, they are finally potty trained.  (Thank you God!!).  One of them is trouble and mischief and cuteness and sassiness all rolled into one little person.  She is inevitably the last person at the table eating (after we've all left) because she talked the whole meal and forgot to eat.  Another one is bouncing off the walls and stuffing wipes down the toilet, unless her dad takes her out running or pulling the wagon or riding her scooter.  And the third little one wants me to tell her how to spell "octopus" while I am talking on the phone.  

The twins.  What to say about them?  I don't think I ever realized how much energy two little kids could have.  And how little energy I have!  They wake up singing at the top of their longs (yes, sometimes it is "What a friend you have in poopy" while they giggle and laugh) and go to bed talking and yelling.  When I picked them up from a daycare (drop in kind) center a couple weeks ago Mia runs and hugs me and say "I had a great day.  I had such a great day.  I love you!".  

Most days, I feel like I am losing my mind!  I remind myself often to remember and savor this time.  It's not easy.  Life is crazy.  I'm often trying not to yell (sometimes all I feel like I do is say, "It's not okay to....") and instead desperately trying to encourage kindness and respect.  I hardly remember those first days when the twins came home anymore.  I try to remember that I want to hold tight to every minute I have with them because it will also be a distant memory.  

We went trick or treating this Halloween with the girls.  It was overwhelming, cute, and a bit nuts.  Natalie, who was given a "trick or treat for UNICEF" box from school, had a lot of fun asking people to give her money for her box.  At one point, one woman, looking a bit frazzled by the idea of having to go look for pennies at that moment, tells her, "well, okay, you are going to have to be patient so I can go look in my house."  Natalie, calmly answers, "No problem.  Do you see all these little kids right here?  They are all my sisters.  I have A LOT of patience.  I have to be patient all the time!"  That sort of sums it up. 

last week, Mia, Isla, Natalie, and Ellie.  They were trying to make sad faces. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love it. and come be in community with us! (can you imagine? 5 girls and N. that would be interesting....)