When people ask me what it is like having four kids under five, I tell them that it is like being a Triage Nurse in an Emergency Department.
You know the one. S/he is the gatekeeper who decides which cases are the most important. So when my son broke his arm, the Triage nurse sent him straight through to the Emergency Doctor. Even though he had only just arrived, the nurse decided his case was more important than Mr Forty with an unexplained rash or Ms Seven with a pea up her nose.
That is my life at the moment. I am an Emergency room Triage nurse.
Let me illustrate.
I am sitting on the couch feeding my youngest. Child A says he’s hungry. Child C says she wants a drink of milk. Child B wants me to read a story.
I triage and read the story while feeding the baby. The others must wait then I get child C her milk (because thirst trumps hunger) and then get Child A their snack.
Or the house is a mess and one child is wearing no pants but another child is crying from a bump and the baby needs a change and another child wants to tell me about a bug he just found.
I first comfort the crying child, then change the baby nappy while listening to the bug story, then I find the pants and assist the child to put them back on. The house remains a mess.
Or One child wants a push on the swing while another is wearing no pants and another wants a drink and the baby is awake.
So I get a drink for the thirsty child and put the baby on the mat outside while I push the other child on the swing but wait I forgot the pants just wait a minute darling I’ll be back in a minute I just need to dress your brother/sister.
And of course, different things take precedent at different times. If someone is coming over then tidying and wearing pants goes straight to the top of the triage list.
But then sometimes one child is reading a story while another is singing to the baby and another is telling me the names of all the train stations from Belgrave to the City.
And then it is just the best.