Tuesday, January 17, 2017

4 Kids Are More Kids Than 2 Kids

Once upon a time, The Wife and I got married. And then we had two kids. Life was good. The two kids kept us busy. We did all the things people do with their kids. We fed them, we played with them, we potty-trained them, we taught them to read, we started sending them to school. Life was wonderful with our two kids.

And then, for some crazy reason, we had two more kids. That's when we learned a valuable lesson: Four kids are more kids than two kids!

Our first two kids (Thing 1 and Thing 2) are ages 8, and 6. Our next two kids (Thing 3 and Thing 4) are ages 2 years, and 8 months. There is a four and a half year gap between Thing 2 and Thing 3. During those four and a half years, we slowly learned how to take care of two kids. Two kids take a lot of work and effort. But, we were managing it. We had a fairly good handle on raising two kids.

And then, within less than 18 months of each other, we had two more kids. Wow, those two extra kids make a difference! Four kids are more kids than two kids.

With four kids, life is just a blur.

With two kids, as parents you can play man-to-man defense. You can split up and each take one kid, and you'll have both kids covered. With four kids, that's not possible anymore. If you try to each handle a kid one-on-one, that will leave two kids completely uncovered and free to engage in whatever mischief or tomfoolery they wish. That's when walls get covered in crayon and toys get flushed down the toilet. (Or, worse yet, part-way down the toilet.)

This past summer we went on our first big vacation since we increased the herd to four kids. Oh my! It was really drilled home to me that four kids are more kids than two kids. We were at a family reunion which featured many more kids than just our four kids. Do you know how hard it is for two people to keep track of four kids in a roving group of twenty kids? I do. The answer is: Very.

We were quite lucky that my wife's parents came along on the vacation. Most people would find it horrifying to bring their in-laws along on a vacation. Not me! Grammy and PopPop saved the day on many occasions. Without them we very well may have left one of our kids at the beach, or in a Chevron restroom somewhere near the freeway. And if not, we would at least have wanted to leave one of them.

I'm slowly getting a handle on dealing with four kids instead of two kids, but it hasn't been easy. Amazingly, some people have even more than four kids! I don't know how they do it. Because eight kids are more kids than six kids. And six kids are more kids than four kids. And four kids are more kids than two kids. And me, I can barely handle one kid at a time.

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