Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Little Red Hen

I'm in love with my four children! In fact, I ADORE them! I couldn't even dream of putting any one of them back - each birth was divinely precious, especially witnessing the first cries of our twins; within two minutes of each other; deemed an "emergency c.section" as my placenta was failing and one of the babies kept losing a lot of weight, and there wasn't much fluid around one of them. Just when I got used to seeing one baby (a boy!), the little girl was born within a very short time frame, then both were whisked away to the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit, as they were born at 34 weeks and required some extra TLC for a few weeks. About that time, I learnt the true meaning of multi-tasking! Both babies required my expressed colostrum/first milk, and it became Liquid Gold! Each twin seemed to vie for attention even back then. The neonatal staff, as kind as they were, said I had enough Liquid Gold for one baby, but not for TWINS!! The daily queries were bounced off the neo natal nurses: "Which twin shall we give Liquid Gold to? The "small for dates twin" or the twin who has breathing difficulties and jaundice?". 

And then again, the meaning of multi tasking grew even more, when our precious babies were finally home. I also had a 21 month old Princess to care for. Three little Cherubs in nappies, two babies to feed, burp, change and put to sleep. And so "routine, routine, routine" became our slogan in those days, not to mention learning just how much the very word, "sleep!" was a treat in itself! (Sleep = aka not enough of it!). When owls were calling it quits for the night, we were up far before the first bird twittering, feeding a baby, two babies!!

Fast forward four years. Today we have x2 four-and-a-half year olds, a six year old, and a 7 month old baby! Obviously twins didn't put us off having more children, but you may have noticed a respectable 4 year age gap!  I still have x2 children in nappies (the baby Cherub, and Prince 4, who has special needs and has no control over his bowel and bladder - hopefully that will change one day!). During the day, life has become quite manageable now! Princess 6 goes to school, and our twins go to morning kindergarten (8.30am-12.30pm.... but I am never there at 8.30am; more like 9.05am after dropping Princess 6 off at school first - for me right now, that's the most practical way for the how the morning runs!). But when they are all home in the school holidays, when my Prince Charming is at work, the days are interesting, colourful and busy! I go to do one thing, and someone needs their shoe tied, or someone needs help going to the toilet, or I have to help clean up a spilt cup of milk. There are many days like that when the dishes and the laundry smile at me, as if to say, "Well? When?!", and it all gets done, along with the evening's dinner, and a quick tidy up of the living room at the end of the day... as if it wasn't too much effort, when Prince Charming gets home to an "okay" looking house!! Hee hee, he didn't see the carnage just half an hour ago!! :0)

My latest organisation tip (it is a new one for me!) is to put x4 snack containers (named) in the fridge, containing snacks that the kids can serve for themselves for morning tea and afternoon tea. There are drinks made up in their own cups (named), so the girls (who are the most capable) can get their own food if I happen to be busy feeding or changing the baby etc. Where did I get this idea from?  The children's storybook, called, "The Little Red Hen".

The Little Red Hen was a busy mother just like myself, who seemed to struggle to get things done, with her busy brood. One day it all got a bit too much, so she stood her ground (as hens do!) and asked her friends to help her bake some bread.  She says, "Who will help me plant this wheat?" and they all replied, "Not I!". I am guessing you all know how the story goes; she asks for help several times and each time the reply is the same: "Not I!". Eventually, with a heavy heart, she says, "Then I will do it myself!". So she does everything as she has always done, bakes the bread, and cunningly says, "Well, who will help me eat this warm, fresh bread?" "I will!" "I will!" "I will!" chime the friends. "No, you won't", said the Little Red Hen. "You wouldn't help me plant the seeds, cut the wheat, go to the miller, make the dough, or bake the bread. Now my three chicks and I will eat this bread ourselves!". And that's just what they did. 

In many ways, I relate well to busy Red Hen! Sometimes when the going gets tough, you are allowed to have your "just desserts" - you can have your cake and eat it too! 

And that, dear Readers, is just what I do! The bread is delicious!!

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