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Kids, Parenting

Because … (a glimpse into life with five kids)

A glimpse into life with five children …

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Because I needed to finish something up at work, I was delayed a few minutes getting home.

Because I was late, my lovely wife Kelsey left five kids (ages 7, 4, 2, 2 and 1 — the first three are biological sons, the last two are foster girls) alone in the backyard for a few minutes so she could start dinner.

Because I hadn’t yet put together the new deck box we bought to replace the old plastic bin that holds outside toys, a few inches of dirty rainwater were just sitting in the bottom of the bin (the lid doesn’t work so well) waiting to be used.

Because they were alone, the three youngest children (boy and two girls) decided to dump the waiting rainwater into the sand table that had just a few minutes before been lovingly cleaned and filled with new replacement sand that surprisingly enough we actually had in the garage.

Because water and dirt make mud, and because children enjoy mud, when I walked in the door from work, I found a frustrated mama, two older kids being perfectly agreeable and three younger kids with mud and sand on their shirts, shoes, hands, faces and hair. Mud and water were also all over the back patio and muddy toys near and far.

Because mama was cooking dinner and had taken care of the cherubs all day, I got clean-up duty. Because kids don’t like to stop playing in the mud just because you don’t like that they are dirty, it took a few minutes to wrangle them away from the dirt.

Because dirt in the house is a bad thing, I stripped them down to their diapers and pulled out the hose. Worked pretty well for Gabe. Because hose water is cold, and because she’s probably never had a hose-shower before, Lily (19 months), was decidedly not a fan of the hose and made her displeasure loudly known.

Because a kid was screaming, I wrapped her up in a towel and herded them all up to the bathtub. Because a boy and two girls in the tub together might not be the best thing in the world, I washed the two girls first, dried and diapered them and then washed Gabe.

Because the two girls decided to slam doors (after I specifically told them not to), one of them hurt her finger just before I put a pull-up on Gabe after the bath.

Because I aborted the pull-up mission to tend to the finger, Gabe was still in his birthday suit when I heard this: “Dad, I peed!”

Because I put my head in my hands at the news of pee soaking into the carpet, Nevaeh (2 ½), put her arms around my neck and hugged me. That was pretty sweet.

Because Gabe then went to the potty to pee some more, I got some clothes out for the kids while he did so.

Because I was not in the bathroom, I walked in a minute later to see both girls standing directly in front of the potty, peering curiously at naked Gabe as he relieved himself. So much for avoiding questionable boy-girl interaction.

Because I’m paralyzed by all the female clothes choices, my wife gave me specific directions about what to pick out for them to wear.

Because I finally got them all dressed, we got to eat dinner.

Because we got to eat dinner, we were all happy. Because we were happy, it all feels worth it.

But because of grace, even when we don’t feel happy – yeah, it’s still worth it.

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