They told me I was having a girl. Then another. And then I told them I was having another. After a while, I could read the ultrasounds better than the techs.
I didn’t panic, didn’t start calculating what three cars, three educations in a row or three wedding would cost us – because we’ll be encouraging elopement. I just smiled and thanked the Good Lord above that all of my girls would have each other and be the best of friends. To tell secrets, share clothes and rely on when Mommy is wrong… often.
I pictured them laughing over boys, helping each other sneak out and plotting my demise. Good, healthy, sisterly things that I never had. I was glad I had three girls and winked at God for knowing what I could handle.
God must have seen an opportunity!
Girls are not gentle, sweet or innocent. And, despite my cookie consumption while pregnant with the three, they seem to be lacking that all important sugar and spice. They are not calm. They do not listen. They do not have a sorrowful bone – or a conscience! They are mean! Mean like a woman scorned, mean like I am pre- coffee. Just mean.
Mostly at each other. Hair pulling, hitting, scratching, and pushing are not off limits. If blood is not drawn, tears are not present and I am not worried, then it is not a true girl fight. In fact, if I don’t hear screaming at least once every half hour, I run to check to see if they have fled the home in an attempt at a more redeeming life. Usually one is just asleep so that explains the peace.
My three year old is the worst. She can be so deceivingly helpful, kind and gentle. And she rarely beats up on the one year old. But if Sarah, my two year old, walks in the room its all over. “GET OUT OF MY ROOM SAWAH!”
Mommy runs to get the video camera… what? Is that wrong? When she brings home Marilyn Manson’s offspring and I need to run him off I’ll be glad I have it!
I can hear the defining closed fist smack right on Sarah’s back. But, oh, don’t feel sorry for her! Because immediately following the “thunk” will be the ear piercing “Mommmeeeeeee, Sawah pulled my haaaiiirrrrr!”
Now, as a Mom. A loving Mom, no doubt, I feel the need to care for my young. But which young, I ask you? When I know Katie has been happily playing in her room with Mr. Potato Head and Sarah heads in to play with Dora and a fight ensues because all of a sudden, Dora and Mr. Potato Head are getting married and kissing Mrs. Corn so technically Katie was playing with every single thing in her room, who do I side with? It is Katie’s room but Sarah was just trying to play sooo… are they both right? Or both wrong?
I just don’t know who to side with. So I watch through the eye piece of the camera wondering which one will take the first shot. Sometimes I remain hopeful that, like all rational two and three year olds, they will work it out amongst themselves. I am always wrong. My track record is depressing, actually.
I can generally get to them before any blood is drawn. If I can catch one in my arms and turn my back to the other really fast, the only my kidneys get a shot. That’s isn’t so bad. I only need them to – well, live. But I sacrifice for my children so it is ok.
Stopping them from fighting is harder than stopping myself from eating oreos on a Thursday. It just is not done. And if it is, it is from drastic measures, like separating them for an hour much as I am separated from my lovely circles of heaven that I so gently place in the cabinet lest I break one….
I’m sorry, ahem. Where was I?
Oh yes, raising WWF stars…
The headache that I have dealing with the screaming, crying and whining is painful and daily. And Tylenol can’t touch it, I have tried. Vodka helps – but not for long. I just don’t know what to do. I never expected it this early.
Even my one year old is not off limits. If she can walk, she can fall. That is my daughter’s motto. But don’t feel sorry for her! She can dish it out too! She is currently practicing her left on the dogs. The two younger dogs can escape, but my poor 12 year old Beagle gets a pre- toddler open handed smack like no body’s business! I know it hurts, it has to. Girl can clamp down on a breast like it’s free shrimp night in Biscayne Bay. So I know, personally, her power.
Just as my 3 year old has taken aim at my 2 year old, my two year old has taken aim at my 1 year old. And she holds nothing back. She deems all of her toys and the baby’s toys plus any toys Katie has mistakenly left behind as hers. If Megan touches them, its war on the short person. But what really scares me is her convincing, manipulative actions of sharing that backfire and leave the baby screaming for a restraining order.
“Sarah, that toy is Megan’s. She got it for her birthday.”
“Yea. I share it with her like a big girl.”
“Yes, you share it with her like a big girl and if she wants it, she gets to play with it.”
“Yea. Cause it’s her birthday.”
Mommy heads to the beer fridge…
Turning around is always scary. I am just never sure what I am going to find. Even if I find tears, scratches and bruises, I am never sure what to do. Some incidents are obvious. It is clear who started it and easy to punish the offender.
And then there are the fights that I didn’t see, don’t know who started and have no clue how to punish. The one where the child with the largest injury could easily have been the instigator. But I am expected, as the Mommy, to resolve and punish on demand. Despite my lack of knowledge. Again,my track record leaves something to be desired.
Though it is my job to protect, love and care for those I have spawned, the fighting is so out of control that I sometimes lose my will to care. A friend once told me that her friend lets them fight. “They will work it out amongst themselves.” Though it brought a lot of conflict and flabbergast from those that knew her, I now understand the self- preserving attitude that is easy to let reign supreme.
Sometime I do want them to work it out amongst themselves. To hit until there is no more strength. Bite until the teeth are numb. Scratch until the nails are filed. Maybe if I don’t intervene they will figure out that aggravation gets you no where and all that is gained is permanent scarring the even Mederma can’t erase.
But, it is my job to raise them so I continue to attempt reconciliation. Correcting and punishing the best I know how. Responding when it sounds serious. Taking a potty break when it doesn’t. Handling tantrums, doctoring boo -boos, wiping the tears.
Because one day, they will stop fighting and realize that they are their sisters.
And that if they form a united front, Daddy and Mommy will cave a lot faster.
Ah, memories! Lori, I'm the oldest of 6 kids, but my parents started with us three girls, all born within 2 years and 8 months. If my mom were online, she'd love this! And tell you you'll live to tell the tales. Of course, she went on to have two boys and another girl, so she might just be crazy…