My children are small tropical storms on a good day.
On a bad day, well, let's just say I'm only half joking when I say we should have named the middle one Katrina. She can reek havoc on a room in three seconds flat...and she's just so freaking cute while doing it. It's maddening. Invite her over to your house, and you will still be finding things where they don't belong several YEARS later.
I wouldn't change a thing.
The only problem comes with balancing two handful-ish children with keeping a home that doesn't get nominated for Hoarders.
It's not easy. I can clean, not paying attention to my children, only to find that they've emptied both toy boxes, the book shelves, and rearranged the furniture while I washed three dishes.
I can set them up at the table with a project, which will result in walls that need to be cleaned since there is no way for me to wash dishes while watching them, since I was born without the proverbial eyes in the back of my head.
So today, faced with the prospect of looking at this mess for another day after spending almost a whole day yesterday without the benefit of power, heat or hot water, I broke all my parenting rules. I'm guessing this will be the day that begins their need for therapy, and I'm not entirely sure I care.
A list of rules I've broken today:
1) I made two separate lunches. Two. Separate. Lunches. I don't do this, because, well, I'm not a short order cook. But today, I went to the fridge, dug out what each child would like best, and put it in front of them. So, Alicia went a whole meal subbing the vegetable course for the more popular chocolate course. She's going to Grandma's tonight, they will have plenty of vegetables. Plus, I'm out of raw carrots.
2) I then put their plates in front of them and left the table. This is a much bigger rule in this house. We eat together. Today, I palmed a chicken sandwich on a commercial (blech!!!) hot dog bun and left the table. Popping my head in every three seconds and cleaning without the benefit of music to listen for any sounds. The girls, very happy to be left to their own devices, ate happily as I ran up and down the stairs rotating laundry and sweeping the steps.
3) I used the TV as a baby sitter. Well, as much as I could. My kids don't really "watch" TV. So this bought me exactly enough time to vacuum the steps. Which, I'm fine with, of course. I just needed to get it done before I fight them into their respective beds.
4) I forced the middle child into slave labor. As of right now, she's fed the dog and thrown her shoes from the living room. Hey, I'll take what I can get.
So, now that I've both neglected and abused my children for at least a half an hour according to some parenting standards, my house still isn't clean, and I have guilt. I'm also at a loss as to what parenting rules I can break that will let me clean my kitchen and get ready for work. Oh, well, I'll figure something out. Right now, the baby is unloading the book shelf I just put back together, so, off I go.