Before now, I never contemplated the physical exhaustion that comes with 17 month old triplets. It's not even the multiple set of stairs in our house but the constant bending and stooping that is killing me. By the time the kids go down for their afternoon nap I need not only a mental break but a physical break as well. They are all over 20 lbs and of course I'm constantly picking them up, putting them in the feeding table, and putting them in car seat and back out. Eloise also has turned into a little koala bear and constantly clings to me so I've learned to do all kinds of stuff with her on my hip. But I won't hold her when I'm cooking either on the stove or opening the oven. For lunch today I was making pizza and heating up naan and I would put her down in the living room and sprint into the kitchen dodging kids and toys and open the oven and hopefully finish what I doing before she would come run screaming into the kitchen, sobbing and clinging to my leg. I did it like 5 or 6 times by the time I finished cooking everything.
So picking up and putting down the kids is one thing but the continual stooping and bending to pick up toys, move toys, break up fights and up and down off the floor also take its toll. I'm sure the emotional exhaustion contributes to how I feel physically. It so mentally draining on a minute to minute basis that I'm not sure I can explain it. It is easier in some ways than when they were only a few months old but harder in others. When they were so little I was always on edge worrying that more than one would be crying or needing attention and I wouldn't have enough hands to comfort of soothe like I thought they deserved. At this age it is just a different kind of edge. I have a continual one way (at least that is how it seems) conversation/discussion/direction or whatever you want to call it. This is about 30 seconds of what I in any given day:
-Yes Beckett, that is a picture of a concrete mixer.
-Addy please come here so I can change your diaper.
-You have to share my lap with your brother/sister.
-Addy do you have poop in your pants?
-Eloise please watch where you are going, don't run over your brother.
-Please share the shopping cart.
-If you push each other over the shopping cart I'm taking it away (then I put it on top of the wash machine.)
-Beckett if you are going to throw yourself backwards in a temper tantrum, please do it on the carpet so you don't get hurt. (Then I pick him up and move him to the carpet.)
-Eloise please keep your shoes on because the floor is slippery in socks.
-Addy, dogs drink from water dishes on the floor not little girls, please get up.
-Addy, please come here so I can change your diaper.
It goes on like that for hours so you can see how this is a different kind of mental exhaustion. And then things happen that are hysterical but just as exhausting. For example today Beckett got his hands on one of the upholstery brushes from the vacuum. He was pushing it around on the floor like a car making car noises which was pretty funny and sooooo typical of Beckett. I was changing Addy's diaper on the floor and was surprised that she had this terrible poopy diaper, the second of the morning. Normally these things get taken care of in the bathroom. Beckett walked by peered over and threw the vacuum brush right smack in the open poopy diaper. Then reached over to pick it up, I stopped him and he started to scream while Addy flipped over to try and crawl away. I got Addy flipped back over, moved the diaper behind my back and got Addy cleaned up while the whole time Beckett was screaming and trying to push and crawl behind me to get at the brush sitting in poop in the diaper. Funny now but not so at the time. It's all about keeping one step ahead. If that means hiding a poopy diaper with a vacuum brush stuck in it, so be it. That's the kind of exhaustion I'm talking about.
It seems that with every activity there is one child that is not interested or wanting to cooperate and I'm including mealtime in the "activity" category. Mealtime is a whole post on it's own because of the challenges that go along with it. Let's take coloring for example. Beckett was done in about 3 seconds because all he wanted to do was eat and throw crayons. Fine, he gets down. The girls were pretty happy until Addy saw the glass vase that holds all of the crayons and wanted to hold it.
I wasn't able to calm her down so the activity was done for her. But Eloise stayed and colored for another 20 minutes. She had her milk, a snack trap and all the crayons to herself. She did offer me a crayon, sweet girl.
All the chaos is bookended with just sweet innocent surprising moments which can take your breath away...
When they come down from their afternoon nap I have already fed the pugs and the dog food bowls are setting on the floor. Beckett and Eloise are usually very eager to pick up the bowls and put them in the cupboard where they belong. On this day Beckett had a play fried egg in his hand when he saw the dog bowls. He started to put the bowls away and ended up putting the egg in the bowl and I said, "Are you feeding Bella the egg?" He looked up, dropped the bowl and ran over to Bella and did this...
That is typical Beckett as well, he will do anything for the dogs. He'd kiss and hug them before kissing and hugging me. I'm working on being the top dog.