Andy and I had a really funny conversation this morning that I thought I would relate here. Last night (while I was napping.. mm... nap!) he timed some things and decided that each of our three children needs about 15 minutes / hour of service. Not sitting-down-with or one-on-one with attention, but getting things for them and changing their diapers and doing things for them, etc. Obviously we pay them more attention than 15 minutes/hour. Unfortunately, they obviously don't need 15 minutes of consecutive service, which leaves us parents getting 30 seconds here and 5 minutes there in between doing stuff. We're not complaining, because we love our children.
This morning, Andy proposed that we set them onto a number system. We can set up one of those machines like they have at the post office, and get a neon buzzer, and everything! Each time our kids think they need something, they can take a number and then wait in line. It will teach them life skills and patience!
Then we realized this would never work, and the following would happen.
Lauren: I've got numbers 4, 8, 9, 13, 23, 27, 31, and 42. What do you mean you're still on number 2?!
Luke: I have this number, but I can't count that high.
Heidi: Bah bah bah UP! *knocks down number machine in a Godzilla-esque Tirade*
Now, these numbers could be a bit consolidated, since Lauren's 4, 9, 23, and 31 would all be "ice." Seriously, this kid is OBSESSED with ice. "Sorry, I can't play WoW with you today, because I have to give my daughter 37 ice cubes in the next hour. Maybe tomorrow?" It's especially cute when she asks for "more ice" but doesn't enunciate, because then she's standing next to me demanding "MICE MICE MICE!" Sorry, Lauren - they smell and frequently bite, and you already have four dogs.
I would dread Heidi's stack of numbers because they would all involve a) being picked up, b) watching Leap Frog again, c) kissing me with a face full of allergy snot, or d) my boobs. Plus, much like she does with tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, clean laundry, dirty laundry, and dog food, she would just pull all the numbers out and throw them around the house, and then I'd have an even bigger mess to clean up.
Yeah, the take a number system was a good idea in theory, but when tied to practical application? Not so much.
Andy throws around the phrase "butt sensor" a lot, too. Because every time he sits down from helping one kid, another has a need. Stand up to fill a sippy, sit down, and suddenly Lauren HAS to have ice RIGHT THEN. She didn't want ice 5 seconds ago when we were in the kitchen still. No. She has a sensor (or radar - see previous post) that tells her when a parent sits down in a chair, and she should then ask for something. They always wait until we sit down.
So Andy proposed to get an egg timer, and make the children wait for 2-3 minutes every time he sits down. "Sorry, Lauren. I will get you ice when this bell dings and not before." It's a good idea - maybe it'll work!
Basically what it comes down to is that we have three SMALL children.
Three children who can't:
** Dress themselves
** Get their own food/drinks
** Go potty alone
** Reach the freezer
** Cut a strawberry
** Feed themselves applesauce
** Wipe their noses
** Change the channel/volume/input on the TV
** Get along
And we have three children (sometimes only two) who CAN:
** Undress themselves
** Open the fridge and pull everyone out
** Push a chair over to the bar and knock everything onto the floor
** Empty a box of tissues or baby wipes in under 6 seconds
** Torture the dogs
** Open and dump out the contents of a sippy cup
** Always find the open can of sticky soda that I forgot about
** Love unconditionally
** Shower me with hugs and kisses all day long
I guess at the end of the day, it's a fair trade. ;)