“I love the baby more than you,” the four year old says.
“Oh, you mean you love the baby more than I love the baby?” I try to clarify.
“No, I mean I love the baby more than I love you. I love Papa more than I love you, too.”
Charming, kid. Guess who’s getting nothing but canned spinach for the next week.
Repeating the conversation to my husband, he laughed uproariously and then said, “What did you do to earn her disapproval?” Nice. Blame the victim here. And the answer? Nothing. I was sitting on the couch, coloring with her and snuggling her. Next lifetime, I’m going to work in an office where at least if I’m not valued, I’ll be paid.
To put it in perspective. I got out of bed at 5:00 AM today. I nursed the baby, folded a week’s worth of laundry…
Wait, let’s pause on that agenda item. A week’s worth of laundry; that means more to you if you have children. If you don’t have children, you have no idea what a week’s worth of laundry means. A friend tallied it up for me yesterday. With 6 people in the family, one shirt per day equals 42 shirts per week. 42 pairs of pants, 42 pairs of undies, 84 socks to find and combine. And that doesn’t include the sheets, towels, washcloths, jammies, and random dress ups I find. Then, if you have a newborn, you’ve got to double the numbers, because newborns run through burp clothes and blankets like they hate me. They also poo out the sides and up the back of their diapers, which means not only extra clothes to wash, but extra stain-fighting, too. We’re moving to Belize and going native.
So, back to my litany of accomplishments today. A week’s worth of laundry, folded and put away (my children put their clothes away, but only after 18,000 reminders and a threat to mail all their clothes to the starving naked children in Africa). I made 2 loaves of cinnamon bread, the dough for 2 more loaves, and measured out the ingredients for a final 2 loaves so I could demonstrate how to make the bread to friends at a church function. I made breakfast for the now-awake children, nursed the baby while I ate, read a book to my daughters while they ate, washed the dishes, wiped down the counters, cleaned out the kitchen sink, loaded a bag with all the stuff I needed to demonstrate the bread making, showered and steamed the baby at the same time, let the dog out to walk 3 times because she has dementia and can’t remember that she already went outside, made my bed, dressed the baby, changed at least 4 diapers, loaded everyone in the car with all the stuff they needed to be entertained for 4 hours, including lunch, snacks, movies, coloring stuff and a birthday party gift for my youngest daughter to hand to her friend whose birthday was right after the church function. And it was barely 9:00 AM. On the way to the church, I realized that I had forgotten yeast. Hard to make bread without yeast. So, I went back to the house, got the yeast, returned to the church. And I didn’t yell even once, so that’s at least 10 minutes spent counting to “10” and breathing deep.
But the four year old loves everyone more than me, apparently. I’m so gonna remember this when she has kids.