I have a lot of friends out there that have only one child. I can’t even imagine the bliss of having just one. If there are two of you raising this one child you can hand them off to each other like a game of tag. OK- I’m done- tag you’re it. Someone will always have the attention span to be obsessed with there daily activities and ramblings. I’m even jealous some days of the parents with just two. Not being outnumbered seems cool too. I’m pretty sure my three parasites have learned that if they all bombard me at once I will mess up at least one out of the three answers. Even when I try saying go ask your dad- I can only get rid of one which leaves me still trying to have two conversations and out numbered. I have learned me out numbered is always better than dad outnumbered because multitasking for him is more difficult. When he gets out numbered the next conversation goes something like this:
Parasite 1: “But Dad said I could I go to the party and leave at one am”
Me: Look of disgust in hubby’s general direction
Dad: “No I did not”
Parasite 2: “Yes you did – you gave him permission at the same time you told me I could wear the tub top”
Me: Same look of disgust- but adding in the standard “Really?”
Dad: “No I did not”
Parasite 3: “Yes you did- you also told me you were gonna build me the skateboard ramp I wanted that’s 6 feet tall”
Me: Look of disgust turns to in general disbelief and I just hang my head knowing the very next statements coming
Dad: “Well I obviously wasn’t paying attention so it’s a no to all of the above and ask your mother”
The funniest thing about raising multiple parasites is their vast differences in personalities. They were all created the same way (maybe not in the same positions, but in the same way). They each grew in my belly for 9 months. I went to the hospital and pushed or had them cut out. I brought them each home. I changed each of their diapers and rocked them in the same chair. I sang them the same songs to sleep and read them the same books. I even feed them each from my breast and the same foods. So where do they get off being so different and making me have three parenting styles now?
They were even different as infants. The first boy came home, ate every four hours and slept through the night at 4 weeks. The second came home very similar, but she was a girl so every difference I decided was just a difference in the sexes. The hubby and I thought we kinda had it licked so when God decided to surprise us with the third we were excited. Then he came home. He was a demon child. He had colic and cried unstoppable for hours for the first three months. He refused to take a pacifier so there was no rest for the wicked. I guess I should of seen this little nut coming. I’m just glad God sent him last or we would be one of those parents of only children I’m jealous of from above.
As they get older the differences seem to be becoming more pronounced. Some are based on their sex and some are based on order of birth, but most seem to be from the womb. The eldest is still quiet. Getting any information out of him is worse than pulling teeth. If the CIA is looking for someone to hold national secrets- he’s your man. He has always been emotionally independent and was never my snuggler. The middle child has NO secrets and I mean NONE. She would talk to a fence if there’s no one else to listen. She can’t lie and never shuts up. Today she was with me and talked non-stop for 3 hours. I’m not even sure she took a breath. She is definitely not CIA material. Maybe an ESPN commentator, but don’t give her a secret. She’s extremely conservative and rarely even requires supervision. I spend a lot of days thinking that this child was switched at the hospital and there is some perfectly nice conservative family out there trying to raise my hell’yun. The demon child just keeps me in stitches and always keeps us on our toes. He has a tendency to be my Facebook star because the things that come out of his mouth are usually pretty funny. The scary part that no one actually realizes is that those are just the one’s that are safe for public consumption. He was born stubborn and there are many a day I’m not sure he will make it to adulthood. He will give me almost all of my gray hair. I don’t worry about the 90% of the trouble he will talk himself out of, but the 10% he can’t scares me to death. We changed his college fund to the bail fund when he was about 3.
When they were little parenting seemed easy. It consisted of saying NO a million times a day, physically moving them away from danger, chasing them down, child proofing the house, and saying NO a million more times.
As they get older and their own personalities are becoming more pronounced my parenting style is being forced to change with each. The eldest is requiring me to spend time snooping. I don’t particularly like snooping, but I am getting pretty good at it. I have become stealthy in my old age. I can sneak and stand outside his door and listen without being detected. I can figure out phone passwords and go through bookbags. For those of you who don’t know and are confused – they can have privacy when they pay their own bills and move out of my house- until then- I snoop!! My darling daughter just seems to require listening and I mean lots and lots of listening. She is by far the most exhausting to me cuz my attention span sometimes wanders and I have to constantly remind myself that somewhere in the million words that are flying out of her mouth might be something I really need to hear. The third parasite or demon child is the easiest for me. He just requires yelling. I don’t start off that way, but notoriously after the 5th time I’ve said it – it goes there. He doesn’t seem to understand or acknowledge anything if it is not told to him in your loudest voice with approximately 3 threats of violence thrown in for good measure. To which he always seems to be amazed. He would argue with a fence post because it’s in his way. He is definitely what they call in the south “Paying for your Raising”. I was prepared to pay for my raising, but I never realized I would have to pay for mine and the hubby’s. Someone should of told me that before I got married- I would of married a saint. I was bad enough- adding in his bad behavior is just not fair.
So if you have to raise and parent them differently maybe having multiple parasites isn’t that much different than only having one. Treating them each as individuals is kinda like having three “only” children. I just wish I could say- Tag you’re it!
We hear about “the one” a lot in life. “The one” perfect person, soul mate, friend, job, house, outfit and on and on. We spend most of our life waiting or searching for that perfect “The One”. I’m not sure I believe in “the one” in most of those circumstances. I know some do find it early, but I think most of us have many many “One’s” over our life times. These “one’s” fill different spaces and needs as our lives progress through the craziness.
I only started to believe in “The One” after this long insane ride through motherhood. If you have multiple parasites (or those wonderful little creatures who you gave birth too) you will understand my version of “The One”. My version is “That Child”
This “one” hits you right between the eyes- you weren’t waiting, or expecting, or probably even wanting it to come. It’s “that child” who was born with the innate ability to push every button you have until your head starts to spin like the Exorcist, you scream, threaten, and in general look like you should be committed to the asylum at any second. The amazing thing is that this child (who has accomplished this monumental feat of turning you into The Wicked Witch of the West) now stands looking at you confused. He has even said in these volatile moments “Wow mom- Why are you so mad?” I’m not sure if he really is dumb enough to not know or if I he believed somehow in that hollow head that this would help. Needless to say- either way- WRONG!
The first two parasites I birthed did not come out of the womb with this skill. They were pretty good at listening, minding, not arguing and in general not making moms head explode. Maybe that is why I thought having a third seemed like a brilliant idea. Note to self- more children than adults – never a brilliant idea!! The older parasites have their moments, but they are fewer and much farther between. They now sit and watch “the one” with faces of astonishment at – what they call -stupidity.
Now “the one” also came with a built in survival skill set. I believe God put him all together and looked and said “oh my, she may kill him before he’s grown so we may need to make him funny” Well they may of overdone it, but he IS funny. He uses his humor to convince perfectly normal adults to protect him when he turns me into the raging lunatic. When he was little he could wrap an entire room of adults around his finger in about 30 seconds flat. Now this would be great, but after he accomplished the feat he would walk up to an adult call them a fart knocker and smirk at me. I would get up to punish the child and most adults would hide him while laughing and say “Now Val, he’s just so cute and funny” OK- just cause he’s cute he still can’t call adults fart knockers. (NO I STILL DON’T KNOW WHERE HE EVEN LEARNED FART KNOCKER)
He can be stubborn, argumentative, loud, difficult, manipulative, never gives up, never forgets, funny and is the baby. Basically all of my husbands and my own traits that drive me bat shit nuts all rolled up into one package of my insanity. Basically “The One” is “That Child” that shows you your own strengths and weaknesses magnified by 1000 every day. Remember when your parents cursed you with “I hope you have to pay for your raising” Yep you guessed it – that’s “THE ONE”