The other night, Antique Daddy took Sean off to read books and put him to bed while I went off to prostrate myself face down on my bed like a priest in ordination. Sometimes after the end of a day with a three-year-old, I feel like I’ve been riding the Kamakazi on the midway at the fair and all I want to do is lie motionless and alone upon my bed.
As I lay on my bed encouraging and willing the scant remaining energy in my body towards my thumb that was working the remote, I came across a documentary on TLC about a couple who had trouble getting pregnant and decided to undergo infertility treatment. They conceived easily and immediately with twins. After their twins were about a year old, they decided that they wanted “just one more” – and got six instead. So lets see, 2 + 6 = GULP!
And this woman! This woman who bore an entire day care center in her womb — she is not only mother to eight tiny children, but she cooks all the meals from scratch! And she works 16-hour shifts every other Saturday as a nurse! Her one luxury that I could discern is that her husband, who is laid back and easy going and reminds me a bit of Rupert Gee from David Letterman – he brings a cup of coffee to her bedside in the morning. Then he leaves at 7am and returns at 7pm. That’s it. Beyond that she has no help. None. And? She never complains.
She runs her house like a navy ship. She has her day scheduled down to 15-minute intervals and everything is labeled. After she has her coffee, she gets those kids up and put clothes on them. And shoes! Shoes people! Sean didn’t wear shoes until he was a year old. I don’t think I wore shoes until Sean was a year old. Putting on shoes required more energy than I was willing to part with that first year. And when you are wearing your pajamas all day, there really is NO point in putting on shoes.
At one point in the show, they met another couple who also have sextuplets at a local restaurant. I was exhausted just watching them get all those babies into car seats and out of car seats and into the strollers and out of strollers and into high chairs and out of high chairs. The husband tells the camera that they’ve been at the restaurant for two hours and he is just now going to sit down and eat. I’m watching all of this in disbelief that anyone would go to the trouble. Because on me personally, the combination of tired and hungry is very unattractive. Not. Pretty. I probably would have just ordered in pizza, which I could eat without having to put on my shoes, let alone eight other little pairs of shoes.
As I watched the controlled chaos that was her life, I didn’t know whether to be impressed and inspired by her organization and good attitude or to hate her for making me with just my one baby look like a whiney, inert bed slug with a remote.