Posted by: monsonmadness | July 13, 2012

We survived!

Our goal was to enjoy, not just “survive” having 9 kids in the house for 3 days, but that’s what it turned into, and it definitely wasn’t the kids fault, they were great, we just had a few little ups and downs which changed things for us, and made life a little more challenging!

The first day started off great. The sun was shining, the kids hadn’t played together for a few weeks and so they all played happily outside in our nice new completely fenced yard. No missing their parents yet, no getting on each other’s nerves yet, just happy kids having fun together. I felt like a champion when I lined them up on the steps for their afternoon snack of popcorn and we sang “Popcorn Popping” together. “This is going to be great”, I thought.

Then we ran into some trouble. The fridge/freezer that wasn’t working or maintaining any cold temperatures was diagnosed as completely broken! Turns out the only reason it felt a little bit cold was the leftover cold from when it worked last week, and the temperature from all of the cold food that we put inside. Once we had realized there was a problem, we called for repairs, but it was 4 or 5 days later and all of our freezer food ruined before we got the diagnosis. I guess the people who moved the fridge down here carried it on it’s back, leaked out all of the Frion, and ruined an important part which we now needed to get replaced. No fridge or freezer for 24 hours. Well, considering where we live, that was good news and all I had to do was empty out the food that I had left and live from coolers. Oh, and feed 11 people out of those same coolers…challenge #1

Challenge #2 was unexpected. We had had a great day with the kids, they’d showered, got ready for bed, we’d put them down with promises of chocolate chip muffins and orange juice for breakfast for everyone who was good in their bed (I’m really into incentives/bribery) and everything looked good. We had 4 kids in one bedroom, 5 in another, and they were quiet. Not bad for 7.45pm right? Michael and I smiled at each other, and settled down to watch a movie together. This babysitter thing was going to be a cinch. 15 minutes into our movie and the power goes out. It is PITCH black. We can’t even see each other. The kids who are still awake (three of ours, and our three guests) start freaking out and crying that they are scared. Of course we haven’t unpacked our emergency supplies yet so we have no candles. Luckily my Mum had used a flashlight for late night reading, so I was able to find that, but seeing that was all we had made the kids cry even more. Our guests were sobbing, and now they were crying for their parents too. Oh no. Poor kids. We tried to comfort everyone, hoping it would come back on any minute, but after about 15 minutes, I gave up and went to bed while Michael stayed up reading with the flashlight.

Challenge #3 Two more days of downpour. It rained all day both days. I had really counted on the kids being able to play outside most of the time, and I had not come up with an alternative plan. I couldn’t really take them anywhere to do anything because I couldn’t fit them in my car, so I did what any great Mom/babysitter would do and we read books, played games, baked cupcakes together, did crafts, and then…we watched TV. A lot of it. That was not supposed to happen, but keeping the peace in such a cramped, dark environment for hours on end just isn’t ideal. I rationalized the screen time by only allowing one movie a day and then the rest had to be educational, so they watched Harriet Tubman, Galileo, Thomas Edison, and George Washington. I also continued with the “incentives” by rewarding nice playing and no tattling with ice cream cones!

So in a few hours, after our farewell pizza party, we’ll go to the airport and pick up their parents. I think that their kids will be over the moon to have their parents back. I don’t think they had as much fun as they could have, and that’s a bit sad. As far as 9 kids goes, it was a little harder than usual, but not too different from our daily life! I’ve always thought that once you’ve got more than 4 children, it’s all the same! I’d definitely do the trade again if we had the opportunity.



  1. I had ten kids at my house this week. That was a challenge.

  2. You’re awesome!!

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