This is nothing new. Because... and I know this is going to be shocking so just wait for it... people have had multiple children for thousands of years and lived to tell the tale (well, most people lived to tell the tale, I have no doubt some succumbed to the stress of multiple children). In all honesty I even hate calling two children "multiple" since I have as many children as hands and I can't even imagine what someone does who has MORE children than hands.
But, today I ran into a situation which made multiple children challenging... someone got hurt at the park. Here is the scenario. It's a beautiful day outside so, surprise, the Castrucci kids went to the park (and Castrucci mom drove them there). It was only going to be about an hour trip as it was our stop before Target (you know, that place where I have yet to walk out of spending less than $100... I have no idea how they get me each time but someone should study this phenomenon). Evan was running around like a maniac and I was following around Chloe who firmly believes that she can do anything that Evan can do even though she is 20 months younger than him.
So while I'm watching Chloe try to climb this gigantic spiderweb thing with 2 peanut butter crackers in her hands (don't focus on the details, just go with it) Evan runs off to some slides. He has been down these slides already a couple of times but this time he slipped on the step right before the slides. At first it was a small uh-oh and I asked him if he was okay. There was no response so I waited... not wanting to be "that" mother. And then the wailing began. My son was wailing and calling out "Mama" (which is his new name for me - it used to be just Mom - and I think he switched to the new one because he secretly knows that when he calls me it my heart melts and I will gladly give him whatever he wants but Brian thinks he is just imitating Chloe). Since my son hardly ever cries in public anymore and pushes me away if I try to comfort him after a fall I know something bad happened.
I have to take action and make some decisions. Do I:
- Pretend I have upper body strength and bring Chloe with me up the jungle gym so I can then carry both of them down?, or
- Pretend I'm super fast and try to make it up to Evan and carry him back down BEFORE Chloe gets to the bottom of the jungle gym and starts to make the climb for herself?
Evan was telling me his foot hurt and he wouldn't let go of me. Chloe was squirming out of my lap and running back to the jungle gym. Moms and nannies were just watching me, some with sympathy but most with humor. And not one person thought it would be a good idea to help me stop my 15 month old from climbing up. I'm not saying it was anyone else's responsibility... but, come one, it takes a village.
I was finally able to peel Evan off of me, securely grab the wandering toddler, somehow pick Evan back up, grab my backpack (I think I sprouted another arm from my back), and waddle to the car... on the other side of the parking lot where I parked it so I would have easy access to open both of my rear doors - another "planning" item I learned with multiple children.
Everyone survived. I think Evan twisted his ankle which is fine now as he was just dancing around my living room to The Fresh Beat Band. Chloe didn't fall... not that she would care if she did. And I was able to handle the situation. I'm thinking next time I'll just, you know, completely wing it again.