With this amazing job we call parenting, I'm always learning. It's a continual process, no matter how many kids (or sets of twins) I have. I have figured out some things but I still have so much yet to discover.
Most recently I have found out that children are incredibly adaptable. If you know the right tricks, you can get them through just about any situation. For example, you can calm the chaos of moving by buying donuts at the grocery store. Did you know that? What I also learned is that you will have to pay the price later when the sugar causes them to run amok and you desperately want to send them out to pasture. Only you don't have a pasture. And you're moving. So you then have a bunch of wild and crazy kids trapped inside, surrounded by stacks of boxes marked "fragile."
You can entertain kids with just about anything that is not a toy. This includes cell phones, remotes, empty boxes, rolls of packing tape, a colander, or even your running shoes. While this will likely keep them happily occupied for a while, you also may never see your cell phone or remote again. Lesson learned.
Potty training 19-month olds is easier than potty training almost 4-year olds. Because 19-month olds don't regress because they miss Daddy. And they don't hide their poop around the house. And they delight in the satisfaction you get from seeing them produce. But almost 4-year olds aren't so keen on impressing you and are smart enough to call your bluff. For example, when you suggest that perhaps your preschooler may need to wear diapers if she can't use the potty, she may happily oblige. And then you wonder if she'll turn 4 and still wear diapers. And since her birthday is in 2 weeks you know that this battle is lost. Score: Sarah-1, Mommy-0.
If there is dirt to be found, trust a 5-year old boy to find it. And I've learned that he's not just content to bury himself in it... he wants to bury his sisters, the dog, and your kitchen bowl. (Hey, maybe the missing remote is out there?) Forget any chance of keeping your house clean while it's on the market. Hope the buyers in Georgia like nature because we have brought the outside in... literally. My living room floor is a sand box.
Even a 19-month old can remember and recognize familiar faces if you remind them enough. Nathan and Ryan have only seen Daddy for a few months out of their entire lives. But they see Flat Daddy every day and it's done the trick. When Jason called me on Skype yesterday (hurray for internet!) the little boys ran over and said "Hi Daddy!" Kids are so awesome. That just made Jason's day and further proves that kids are always full of surprises!
So I think I'm going to have to go and buy some donuts now. Because I forgot a few things in Virginia and I smell another road trip. I know, I know. It's ridiculous. But a few boxes were left behind and of course they contain important items that I suddenly need, so I'm contemplating a trip up to Virginia this weekend and back to Georgia on Monday. Donuts for the car ride. And Starbucks. And more donuts.
Actually, there may not be enough donuts in the world to fix my problems.