If it seems like it’s been a while since my last post, that’s because it has been. I knew that having a fourth child would be crazy, but I don’t think I was prepared for the level of crazy that my house is currently living. Life with four kiddos is B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
I’m reminded of that Jim Gaffigan quote: “Imagine you’re drowning, then someone hands you a baby.”
Yep, Jim. You had it about right.
The mess. The noise. The CONSTANTLY SLAMMING DOORS! (Can someone please invent something that will thoroughly close a door without slamming it and waking a baby? Thanks.) The cries and whining. The sheer volume of questions! Am I living with the Riddler?
My biggest struggle right now is trying to balance the needs of a very high maintenance baby with the demands of three other, very active, children who want to go outside and actually experience life. Playing in parks, going to sports camps, and swimming in the lake are constant requests and commitments that are requiring a certain level of flexibility and “can do” attitude that I’m am trying to hang on to.
That is until the baby has an explosive poo over everything, and I’m trying to answer a million questions while simultaneously wiping poop outa baby hair. Meanwhile, my house seems to explode with messes and library books and granola crumbs and grass and spit up cloths and laundry. Oh, the laundry.
And yet, I find myself incredibly grateful almost every day.
Because this is my last summer with a baby. Next year, I’ll have a toddler wobbling about. And it’s beautiful and bittersweet and magical and hard all at the same time.
Because I love watching my children be wild and free. I love seeing their skinny bare arms grow brown in the summer sun, and I get a kick out of their gangling legs in shorts. Unless it’s my three-year old daughter, then I love seeing her with the last of her baby chub in summer dresses before she loses it and leans out.
I love watching them run around like crazy people at the splash pad, soaking wet with shivering blue lips and giant smiles.
I love snuggling with the baby in the early hours of the morning when it’s just starting to get light and everything is quiet, even if just for a moment. Smelling her sweet breathe and tickling my nose with her downy hair.
And I love when the crew wakes up, running and ready to go. I make them breakfast and we quietly (or more likely not quietly) talk about nonsense things.
I love taking them for ice cream, and watching them gobble it up and sighing because I know these days will be gone before I know it, and I’m trying to soak in every drop and breathe in every second.
I love teaching them how to work and watching them weed the garden or clean a toilet. Sometimes (ok plenty of times) there’s whining and complaining, but I rest easy knowing that I’m equipping my children well.
I love watching them interact with each other: snuggle or play with the baby. Making up crazy or weird games. Build a “blacksmith” shop together in my garage or a fort in the backyard.
I love sitting with all of them, at the end of the day, reading some silly book and having actual conversations with them, learning about their hearts and watching their personalities grow.
These days are so unbelieving exhausting and insane, yet I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
And if mom has a glass of wine at the end of the day, all the better.