Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On Making Breadcrumbs (or Parenting Three Kids)

My mom and two sisters left this afternoon. They left me with dinner cooking in a crock-pot. They left me with a freshly cleaned house in perfect order, and with two children in their rooms for their nap/quiet time. They left my little girl, potty-trained when she wasn't before. They left my little boy with words of love, and admonishment to be a helper, a listener. They left my baby with a kiss on her soft cheeks, each of them. And me - crying - rather pitifully, asking if they weren't absolutely sure they couldn't stay just one more day?

I made a batch of my multi-grain sandwich bread this morning, in an effort to get one last cooking project in before they were gone, and to teach my Sister, McKenzie, a thing or two about making bread before she left. I've done this recipe literally dozens of times now. And . . . my loaves turned out like this:

Flat, heavy, golden brown loaves. Great as doorstops, or bread crumbs. I'm thinking LOTS of bread crumbs. Maybe even bread pieces for stuffing next week? Trying to look on the bright side, here.

I just realized that having to make breadcrumbs out of my tried and true sandwich bread recipe, is a perfect metaphor for how I'm feeling about parenting three littlies right about now.

I've done this before. Given birth, and nursed and cared for babies through their toddler years. Now, I have another one. (A sweet, calm, easy little baby at that. *Fingers crossed she keeps it up.*)

But, I've also watched my mom, two sisters and I all run around all day to care for these children and this home of mine for the last two weeks. And now they are gone. And it's just me. . .

Plus, when I walked back in the house after my family drove off, I heard Lincoln yelling for me to wipe his poopy bum, Jocelyn crying for me to change her poopy diaper, and Atley - who was much too-quietly sitting in her bed - rubbing a whole pump bottle of shower gel all over her hair, her bedding and stuffed frog. All at the same time.

And I cried some more.

My midwife told me about a family who is about ready to welcome their fourth baby, all 4 years and under. The husband's sage advice to his wife was, "All you have to do is keep them alive, honey." I like that advice.

I have a feeling that we'll be eating lots of breadcrumbs - literally and metaphorically - for the next few months. Healthy, happy, multi-grain, heavy, golden brown bread crumbs, made with all the love and effort I can muster while short on sleep. 

And so it begins!

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