Well, I survived my first real outing with three kids... traveling up to Kansas City for a short hotel stay to join Clay where he is stationed all week for a work training class. It went surprisingly smoothly - except for maybe that one brief episode in the Mexican restaurant (I won't name any names), and the fact that having three babies in one hotel room can be a bit much.
I was even adventurous enough to take the kids to "Wonderscope", the children's museum. And swimming in the hotel pool. All by myself. And everyone survived! And even managed to have some fun in the process.
But even while I was feeling so pleased with myself for managing things so well and being so brave and cheerful... the calm in the center of the storm, so to speak... (Not to toot my own horn, you know, but...) Well anyway, you get the point. And yet somehow, in the midst of all this expert child care, I still attracted countless sympathetic looks and awed comments. Like the man in the elevator talking on his cell phone: "Hang on, I just got on the elevator with this lady with three little kids. And I mean these kids are little." Or in the museum: "How old are they? ...And they're all yours?" Or when Margaret ralphed all over her breakfast plate in the hotel lobby: "Do you need some help?"
I wasn't really sure if I should appreciate all this attention, or be humbled in my self-esteemed view of how I was handling things, or chalk it all up to our culture's response to an apparently uncontrolled family planning approach (or a blessed, fruitful family, whichever you prefer). Somehow I don't think people really believe that I prefer living life this way, let alone enjoy it! I get the feeling that most people are wondering what kind of crazy husband I got myself involved with, poor lady. But it is a great way to get people to hold doors open for you, offer to carry things, and just generally be extremely helpful and courteous. I could get used to that kind of attention, if I could just figure out how to field all those comments...
Everyone warned me that three kids put things on a whole new level. It's where you run out of enough hands to control things. Where the parents are outnumbered for the first time. I'm thankful for the quick recovery I have had after Amelia's arrival because all of those things are true. And I'm still in the (long) learning curve of efficiently and effectively parenting all three of these youngsters. It is crazy, but in a very fun way... and I'm getting really good at laughing at myself and the appearance we make when things don't go quite according to plan. And a good margarita at the Mexican restaurant is awful nice too.
At any rate, it was a fun little outing. And I'm thankful to be home again. And our hotel room neighbor is probably thankful to not have to listen to our bedtime process again.