My children are all close in age.  All three were born in less than 3 years. Despite other people’s recommendation for psychotherapy, we did actually plan it.  Yes, we knew how it happened. And yes, it took medical intervention for us to stop.    
But we wanted them all close together so that they would have similar interests.  We also wanted to be in debt for weddings and college for the rest of our natural lives.  It seemed fun.  Kind of like living on the edge. 

I have come to learn, however, that it would not matter if they had been born within 3 seconds of each other. They are never all going to be happy all of the time.  I may be able to please one or two of them for an extended amount of time – 3 minutes – but I have never found something to keep all three busy and happy.

And it’s frustrating.  Oh so frustrating!

Case in point:

We head out on our – trying to be daily but lucky if its weekly – bike ride this morning.  Everyone seems excited about it!  Katie gets on her bike, orders her servant to put her helmet on and peddles off to the cul de sac while I get everyone else ready.  Sarah promises up and down that she wants to ride her bike.  So I – against my better judgement and mommy training – get her situated and peddling off.  I grab Megan’s baby doll, am pleased to see she has already climbed into the bike trailer, and buckle her in for take off.

All goes well.

For 1/325th of a mile.

We don’t even make it to the house next door and Sarah is crying!

“I don wanna wide my bikkkeeeeeee.  I wanna waaaalllkkkkkk.”

Oh holy bells of thunder.  Really?

I stop my bike, order a very happy Katie to stop hers, and walk to Sarah.

I gently place – throw – her bike to the side of the road, explain to her in a very calm – stressed, hyper frustrated – voice, that she has two choices.  Ride her bike or in the trailer.

An argument begins to escape her mouth and I stop her, mid whine, with “We can all go home and take a nap!”

What?  She does not know that it is 9am!

It works and she sidles in next to Megan.  Megan looks none too pleased so I give her a kiss, tell her thanks for sharing and watch as she debates how long until she throws her tantrum.

And off we go.

For a block.

Megan is screaming, twisting, and working herself out her belt and thus out of the bike trailer.

Oh my freaking pork chops!


I stop my bike, again.  Stop Katie, again.  And tend to Megan.

She wants no part of sharing the bike trailer with Sarah.  I can’t get her back in, can’t get her to stop wiggling and now have Sarah wanting to get out and walk again.

Remind me to do this again sometime.

After standing for a few minutes in the middle of the road, one screaming baby in my arms and one screaming in the bike trailer, I give up.  I force Megan back in the trailer, tell Sarah that we’ll be home soon and take off.

Apparently too fast for Katie’s liking.

Now she is crying.  

“Mommmeeeee, don’t forget about meeeee!”

Bad Mommy.  Bad Mommy!  BAD MOMMY!

In my frustration and speed off, I’d made her feel she was being left behind.

I have to stop, leave the other two wailing in the bike stroller, much to a woman taking a nice, leisurely stroll in the neighborhoods delight, to console Katie.  Crocodile tears are falling from her face.  I feel awful!

I hug her, tell her Mommy could never ever in a million years forget about her  Katie and get her calm.  Then I tell her we need to take her sister’s home.

More tears.

“I wanna ride biiikkkkeeessss!”


I finally convince her – lie to her – and get her steering her sad, whimpering self towards home.  I pull into the driveway with two screaming, one with feelings hurt, and a headache.

It takes the promise of milk and a TV show to console them and get them in the house.

Then the argument starts on the show choice.

“I want Dora!”

“I want Spongebob!”

I want Cherries Jubilee.  Bet that won’t happen either.

I cram milk in all three kids mouths, earning myself peace for a moment, put on Max and Ruby, tell them their shows are next – white lie – and take a deep breath.

I know that in less than a minute, one will start to whine, one will demand something and the other will fall and hurt themselves doing something they are not supposed to do.

Because that is the reality of having children.  On top of just taking care of them, I have to make them happy too.  And with three, that is virtually impossible all of the time.  But it is my job to try.  All day every day.

Failing often, succeeding some.

But always trying.