Some folks like to complain about living as a lefty in a righty's world. Perhaps that is frustrating. But as I have learned over the past year, left handed folks aren't the only ones that this world of ours was not designed for.
Moms with three under three face our own fare share of glitches, frustrations, and general annoyances. Some might even go so far as to call it discrimination.
I'm not that girl.
Well, maybe some days I am. But not today. Today I just call it irritating.
Let's think about some of life's most basic tasks & how, when you've got three under three you become acutely aware that the folks who did the design work didn't have you in mind.
Should I start with cars, carseats, the LATCH system & the like? When you just have one of those rear-facing monstrosities to fit into your vehicle, it can -- if you are lucky -- go in the middle of the back and not cause too much discomfort to either of the front-seat-riding individuals. If you aren't so lucky, then it plops behind the passenger seat & really isn't even an issue most of the time. Now, when you've got TWO of those beasts to try and squeeze into the back of a car, there is no escaping the necessity of scooting the front seats forward & riding a little bit closer to the steering wheel than was previously necessary. Add to this that my hubby and I are both over six feet tall, and you've got some serious discomfort going on. We were actually car shopping when I was 8 months pregnant with the twins and were amazed to discover that even the biggest of the big vehicles were lacking in this area. Oh, and all of those adds that say it's safer to keep your kid rear-facing until he is two or even three . . . oh, I'm sure it's safer for the kid, but there comes a day when you climb into the car and realize that if you were to get into an accident, you are sitting close enough to the steering wheel that the driver's-side airbag is going to go right through you. That is the day you get on the scale with your 1-year-old(s) and thank the good Lord above that he(they) is(are) over 20 pounds.
And then we added one more to the mix. You know how minivans are supposed to be family vehicles and all of that. Well, would you believe that the vast majority of them only have LATCH systems for 3 car seats -- the middle bucket seats and then one more that takes up 2 of the 3 spots on the bench seat in the back. They also don't have locking seat belts as an option for installing car seats. Nice. So I have twins that cry when separated (so they are in the middle), and a baby in a rear-facer that I have to climb around and over to even get into his seat in the very back. Sure hope he doesn't need anything while I'm driving.
What about the grocery store now that I've got 3 under 3? With just the 2 it was usually okay. Most of the stores these days (at least the mega-stores) offer those enormous carts with the extension on the front that you can get 2 kiddos into and still have the whole cart free. Worst case scenario, one in the seat & one in the basket with food piled around him while I give constant admonitions to sit down, sit down, sit down. However, now that I've got one more, I have discovered a problem. It took a while for me to notice, though. When shorty was in the pop-out infant bucket, I just plunked him in the "seat" of the shopping cart, strapped his brothers into the big boy chairs, and off we went. The first time I went to the store after he had gotten too big for that car seat, though, I discovered that the leg holes of the "seat" of the cart were covered over, there was no seat belt, and there was a notice that said that area as for "merchandise only." Fantastic. The little guy is not nearly old enough to ride even close to safely in the basket. Now, the twins are old enough that they CAN walk beside me but it makes for a much slower trip to the store, a lot of fear that they are grabbing something breakable off the shelf, and the constant danger that one or both of them will wander away while I am not looking. They haven't quite become responsible citizens yet. Go figure. So, more often than not, I end up with a regular cart, the baby strapped into the seat, and two nearly three-year-old little boys kicking and pushing each other in the basket while I try desperately to pile the groceries around them in a way that will neither injure them nor harm the food.
Our community swimming pool -- oh, how much fun I had imagined we would have there this summer. Until, that is, I realized that there were absolutely no flotation devices allowed. Not in the big pool and not in the kiddie pool, either. So, there we were in the kiddie pool. It's a foot and a half deep, so it is up to the chins of the dynamic duo (who flail helplessly face down if they slip) and the little one has to be held. I was a nervous wreck. And we didn't go back. Do you think I can get some money back from the HOA since their rules make it impossible to use the facilities?
Speaking of swimming. We are finally getting Thing 1 and Thing 2 some swimming lessons this fall. We had wanted to do it earlier, but -- guess what -- it's not really set up for a family like ours. For kiddos under 3, the only classes offered are "Mommy and Me." That's fantastic and all, but how do you do "Mommy and Me . . . and Me . . . oh, and Me Too!"?
So. I should stop before this gets long. What? It's already long? So sorry. And to think, I only just scratched the surface.