I knew something was wrong when I reached the top of the stairs and saw the bathtub faucet handle lying on the floor. Two na%ed* boys were screaming excitedly from one side of the bathroom and Mommy was yelling at them not to slip and fall while she held the infant at her waist. It was one of those precious family moments when things briefly slow down in your mind and you just survey the scene unfolding around you with eyes and jaw wide open. Things then quickly sped back up to real time and I realized that I’d waited too long to slip out the back door and retreat into the night. I peered into the steamy bathtub to see a scalding water jet spraying out of the area where the faucet handle once lived. “Is the house going to flood?” my son screeched from amidst the chaos, the look on his face showing that he was certain that this was surely his final hour and that I might as well just save myself while I still could.
I’ll spare you every detail, but I’m happy to report that I successfully turned the water off. The bathroom perimeter has for the time being been secured until I can make a Home Depot run tomorrow and sort things out. I’m finding that there seem to be a lot of days, like this one, when the craziness just keeps on coming. Thankfully, in the big picture, these are relatively mild issues, but stressful none the less! The house starts breaking. Kids start talking. And talking. (Honestly, sometimes they just won’t shut up.) But of course it all happens when you’re already wiped and the baby’s hungry and crying. Not when you are just sitting around with nothing to do. (When was that exactly? – oh right, before kids…) Most days, parenting our family of five feels a lot like a heavyweight fight. Keep moving with the punches and stay on your feet waiting for that bell to ring so you can rest a few moments until the next round.
The hardest part, by a mile, of raising these three little guys is the exhaustion. I don’t think that we were prepared for that in the beginning. (Now we’re prepared but just not handling it well.) Everyone tells us that it gets better as they get older, and I guess I do believe them. But there are so many of those moments when you close your eyes, standing in the middle of the storm, and you wonder what in the world you have gotten yourself into. Thankfully, the bell does eventually ring, those moments end, the kids finally all fall asleep – and as you bend over and gently kiss them as you pull the covers up, it always (ok – usually) strikes me that I just can’t imagine anything more awesome than being their dad. (Unless, like tonight, you realize they wet the bed – that’s just annoying.)
(* Note: Sadly, I had to change the spelling of this word so that misguided individuals would not find this article & site when they did search requests for boys in that setting…)