Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Temporary Tattoo.

Curtis wanted a tattoo. Three. Days. Ago.
We have this little booklet full of them. Hundreds. Matt put on a few. George had on a couple. I think even Mitch and Brock had a tattoo. In fact, Curtis might have had one, but he wanted another. Seems simple enough? Just tear out the tattoo, get the wet paper towel, and hold it on there for about 30 seconds. The whole process takes about 1 minute, maybe two, depending on the location in the booklet of the selected tattoo. Which was a red sports car, in this particular situation. Not surprising, for our little, charismatic lady's man. I fully intended to get him his tattoo. Every single time he asked, I happily (well, more likely exasperatedly) said, "Yes, Curtis, let's get you a tattoo, but after...

...I finish feeding the baby."

...I clean up the dog puke."

...I finish fixing lunch (or dinner, or breakfast, or getting snack.)"

...I change Mitch's poopie diaper."

...I change Diana's diaper."

...I change George's clothes because he wet his pants. (And clean the carpet or floor or chair or wherever he was.)"

...I help George on the potty."

...I wipe George's butt."

... we got to the pool."

...we go to the park."

...I put in this load of laundry."

...I get dressed."

...I let the dogs out."

...feed Diana again."

...we go out to dinner."

...we go on a Spirit Walk."

...I find George."

...I do the dishes."

...I eat something. For the first time today. At 3:30pm."

...I finish monitoring the picking up of toys."

...after you clean up your room."

...after bathtime."

Before I knew it, it had been 3 days.  THREE DAYS that I had been putting off applying that temporary tattoo. With a newborn and 4 other, hardly self-sufficient and highly destructive individuals, a fun, cute, little tattoo falls really low on the totem pole. This realization was devastating. For so many reasons.

Mostly my heart breaks for Curtis. He wanted such a simple, fun, harmless thing that I would have been more than happy to provide for him, and he had to wait. He waited, and waited. This sweet boy will wait forever. He will move on and continue to be happy, despite having not gotten his red sports car. As a middle child, with 3 younger siblings and 1 older, this will be a pattern in his life. He will frequently have to put off his wants, desires and needs for the others, when theirs usurps his. An he will, because he is a peacemaker. He likes to be surrounded by happiness. Had this been Brock, I would not have heard the end of it until he got that tattoo. He has insane, awful, unforgiving persistence (and obsessions.) I would have caved, moved it up the list. Had it been George asking, he would have just "put the tattoo on himself". I put this in quotes, because what would really happen is that I would find George on the counter, or in the kitchen sink with all the pages of the booklet torn out, as well as multiple tattoos all over the counter sink, and in the garbage disposal, and probably a few tat's on his belly, arm and maybe even face. If Curtis were in a 1 or 2 child home, probably even 3, he would have gotten that tattoo within the hour. Or four. At the very least, before the next mealtime. Which leads me to another of those devastating thoughts... we have too many kids? I can't even give him a little tattoo, for goodness sake. At what point does the "large family" experience become a negative one. He will gain so much from his huge family. He has built in play dates, friends, support. He will never be alone. But, he will NEVER be alone. For a long time, he will share everything, including my time, abilities and attention. True, we have a newborn, and those are time-suckers. Very soon, a lot of my little spare minutes will free up again. We will get a fence so I can just let the dogs out, instead of walk them. Slowly, everyone is getting better about dressing themselves, Curtis can almost wipe his own bottom, George can almost potty on his own, Brock can serve his own drinks as well as some foods. Every passing day, more and more minutes free up (and then there are those days that take them all back.) Eventually, all the minutes will be mine again. At which point, I will probably say, "I should have had more kids".
Lastly, who says my priorities are right!? That tattoo was probably more important than quite a few things I listed. Sometimes I just forget to remember the little things. I'll try to do better tomorrow. And everyday. Tattoo's for all!!

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