Whoa! Children on board

I spent some time with a family yesterday. I don't know them super well, but have met the kids on a few occasions before. The parents are early 40's, married about 7 years ago, and really, really wanted to have a family.

They now have 3 children under 4 in the house: their 4-year-old bio girl (conceived after several rounds of IVF), a 19-month-old foster daughter and an infant foster son.

When I went over the kids were in rare form. Completely amped up, running all over the house, screaming at the top of their lungs. Just screaming! They were having a great time, no doubt. Just being kids. I guess they get pretty excited when guests come over.

The thing I noticed is that the parents seemed to be oblivious to much of it. They tried to carry on conversations which were interrupted when they continuously jumped up to keep the 19-month-old from diving on her head from the couch, or to prevent other near disasters. On occasion they told the kids to settle down, but they seemed to have a much higher tolerance for this behavior than I would.

This gets me thinking. We've all met people who wanted kids so badly that when they finally got them, they let the kids run the entire show. Is that what I was seeing? Or is it just seem more chaotic to me because they are accustomed to this type of household and I am not?

Scott and I talked. We both tend to be firm disciplinarians (the Tropical Pug completely agrees) but we also love to have a great time. We'd like to think that we would have handled this particular situation differently (not ignored the screaming, running, poking and breaking of things and carry on a conversation as if everything is normal). But we've also seen people turned into mush when they bring kids into the equation.

Hmmm. I came home to our quiet house and listened to jazz music as I took my time making dinner.  Scott snuggled on the couch with Tropical Pug. It was peaceful. I smiled when I realized that there may come a time when I would miss times like this.


  1. It sounds a little more chaotic than I'm used to also. Of course there are times when my kids really are in RARE form - meaning that's not how they act most of the time. I don't know these people or what it was like but it could be that. Add into the mix another couple without kids that you feel like you should be entertaining and I think sometimes it's difficult for parents to find that balance of disciplining without ruining the evening.
    Glad you were able to be thankful for the peace and also anticipate a time when you will miss it. ;) I'm thankful for my two kids and then after watching my friend's 1 year old realized how VERY independent and low maintenance they've become. It makes me appreciate them and enjoy the relative peace compared to what life with 3 kids (esp. a 1 year old) will bring. ;)

  2. Buckle up Kris because life as you know it will change drastically when your litle angel arrives. Now with this I do not mean completely loose yourself or your marriage, I just mean that those quiet evenings listening to jazz and cooking a beautiful meal will have an added "twist." LOL. More juggling and effort. You can only develop the disipline/management style after you have that baby with you & you are in the thick of it. Don't worry about that now, you will be great!!

  3. DH and I have this conversation all. the. time. It has been my experience that there is an epidemic of kids running the show and parents not disciplining. And it seems to be our generation doing it. Where I grew up, this sort of behavior was unheard of. I can't imagine my parents, especially my father, sitting idly by while we interupted and disrupted adult conversation. Just yesterday I read an article about "generation me" (I guess that's what they are calling the 20 year-olds) and how they have less empathy for their peers than previous generations. I think it's all related to this sort of parenting. We live next door to the worst offenders. Actually DH and I have learned how not to parent by watching them! LOL!

    That said, I'm sure some kids are easier to control or discipline than others.

  4. oh, i very much remember being in your shoes! my husband & i are pretty strict - we are don't allow climbing in the furniture, drinks out of the kitchen, throwing toys, etc. If the kids don't listen, they go to timeout and it doesn't matter who is here or what we are doing. that being said, life w/kids is just...noisy. and chaotic. especially when they are babies & toddlers & don't yet have the capacity to understand right from wrong, what's dangerous, etc. I think the 1st 10 months he was home, I spent 80% of my day scooping my youngest off the stairs, out the cabinets & off the fire place while saying "no climb.". even now, at 3.5 & 2, they still require lots of supervision - relaxing on the couch just does not happen until after bedtime! Its definitely hard to explain until you have a child, but even w/rules & discipline, life is still chaotic & noisy....in a good way! like those parents you visited, eventually you get used to it and then it seems weird when its quiet :)

  5. You will definitely miss the quiet. Trust me. The dog will, too, I think!

  6. Thanks Christy! Yes, these kids were definitely on "entertain" mode. I know there are times when the kids just need to freak out. We all do it from time to time. It was just a lot to take in!


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