I am often bemoaning the difficulties of raising three boys under four years old. It seemed that as soon as I stopped breastfeeding one baby I was pregnant with the next; falling pregnant was not a problem. So each boy is 19-months apart in age and people like to comment on the fact.
Strangers say things to me like:
It’s hard now, but they will be best mates
Gee three boys; triple trouble! [followed by hysterical laughter]
And, my favourite;
Oh; it gets better!
What aspect of parenthood gets better with three boys exactly? And when the fuck is it supposed to improve?
When I look upon my Master 1 merrily emptying his food onto the table and swishing his hands through mashed veg and steak, I wonder when the unnecessary extra work that children cause will cease.
When Master nearly 3 and Master 4 are punching each other in the back and running away laughing until one hits too hard and then the other retaliates even harder with it all ending in hysterical tears, I wonder if they will eventually get along.
When all of them run out the gate ahead of me in the mornings while I, lumbered with bags, hats and lunches, watch in horror as they run toy metal cars zooming around the duco on our family car, I wonder if they will ever respect their things.
When Master 4 is coughing all night until he spews, then Master nearly 3 wakes with night terrors and Master 1 wakes because the other two are crying their fucking heads off, I wonder am I strong enough to do this.
When Master 4 is perched on the toilet pooing/reading (because he doesn’t want to go to bed) and Master nearly 3 is whinging that he too needs to go, suddenly Master 1 is there to investigate, unroll the toilet paper, throw toys in the unflushed toilet, and peer up someone’s bum when it’s getting wiped. I wonder if I will ever be able to complete simple tasks unimpeded.
When Mr Magentafrog is working away and they are all crying for him (because their mother has clearly lost her mind) and I am forced to do all the child work, house work and business work I wonder if the daily gauntlet of wake up-breakfast-bath-teeth-dressed-pack lunches-get in car-childcare drop off and then in reverse in the evening; I wonder when it will get better.
I adore my children. But I want timeframes. I want to see that glimmer of light at the end of this long childhood tunnel get brighter. I want to enjoy them amidst this monotony but more than anything I want the work to have an end date. I imagine this is every mother’s lament and I don’t think it’s possible.