Today was a productive day. I (with some help) baked bread, baked cookies, ran errands, cut and sewed two capes, kept everyone fed, only yelled once when a child jumped into (literally, into) my face, and set the chickens up for a stormy few days, cleaned up all the messes from all the baking and eating, all around the PK pick-up, drop-off schedule. I even drank hot coffee and showered. Some days I win.
But on these days where my normal chaos almost seems like a beautiful, intentional flow of projects (Let's not kid ourselves. I have no time management skills.), my kids seem to kick it into overdrive. For example, in the 5 minutes I carved out to shower, Toddler Raptor came out to play. She figured out how to open the doors (two) from the house to the garage and found an old bag of theater popcorn (like, at least a month old) sitting atop a giant construction garbage bag my forgetful husband has not yet put a sticker on and tossed to the curb. Well, a toddler does not care that the popcorn is old, had been picked up off the car floor and driveway, or that it is the top layer in a bag of junk. When I realized about 4 minutes into my shower that it was all too quiet and flew out of the shower, she showed me her fistful of popcorn and offered to share. How kind. I took the popcorn away.
This was maybe 7:45am.
For about a month, I lived in a world of that crazy anxiety where you are thinking of having more kids and trying to figure out if it is a fantastic idea or the worst idea ever. Even though it wasn't something we were even considering for months at the earliest, my rash of pregnant friends (three of which gave birth in the past week, and three more of which will in the next 10 days!) collided with a visit to my doctor, and so there it was, annoying the heck out of me. The moment V. was born we knew she needed a sibling. She needed someone close in this world besides us. At just shy of 2.5 years apart, these girls are best friends. Even though when you have two, somehow time is divided by six and the stuff you need to carry triples (we flew across the country with both girls once. Only for my BFF would I do that again while they still need carseats or diapers or anything that isn't a hand to hold) and good luck trying to just leave your kid with someone for the night without bargaining away your life. Despite all that, two-under-three was the best decision we have made so far. They are so close and have so much in common. My day is liberally sprinkled with moments like this:
Seriously, how could you not want more of that? In the end, we decided we all needed at the very least another year before thinking about adding more members to our awesome family, if anything so that the girls really have a chance to solidify their relationship and J. has a chance to go to school and become herself outside the home. And although I was at peace with this decision, it was a bit sad.
Today I realized why we need more time to reevaluate if we want a third. Because today I was considering figuring out a time-share situation with anyone willing so that my kids wouldn't cross paths for at least a month. Probably longer.
Here are just a few of the things my kids said to each other today, with the sole purpose of making their sister scream like she is on fire:
"I'm taking all the crayons and throwing them in the toilet and flush them down and then you will never color again, EVER."
"I put you in the toilet and FL-USH! Bye-bye!"
"If you sniff those cookies, they will get stuck in your nose and you will have to go to the hospital."
"I take all the squares (magformers) and hide them and you have no cubes!"
"Yeah, well, you're a cube. And your face and your butt is a cube, too."
"That MY Mommy. You have Daddy."
"I not looking at you."
"I'm a dragon and I'm going to eat your bones. I got all your bones out and I'm grinding them up for soup. Now your bones are powder. Now I ate them."
"I going to have gas on your batgirl mask!"
No child their dinner, so I was the only one rewarded with a cookie. (Hubsy is at a meeting. He brought a plate of cookies, so he gets one, too. He also ate his dinner.) Because I'm not a short-order cook, dinner went into the refrigerator and there was much crying when graham crackers weren't provided. V. has come out of her room four times to tell me about her bug bites. J. spent a good 15 minutes yelling every excuse in the book to get out of her room, which she thinks leads to cookies, including "I licking books!" and "I have poop for you!"
This is all to say that today I ruled the Stay At Home Mom world, including a trip to Target that cost under $15. But, I also had to tell my preschooler at least four times that her sister was just trying to get her to screech, so she should not react that way while telling her that threatening to tickle or chase or force her sister into the roll of baby or Anna or a cat when she didn't want to be was disrespectful. I'm going to record this next time, so that I can save my breath. It'll happen before school drop-off tomorrow.
And that is parenting more than one. So in moments like right now, listening to J shoving diapers under her door and V rearranging the furniture in her room, I choose to remember those moments that shone today, despite the trash popcorn and the threats of mask-farting. Even those will be funny tomorrow. Eating gooey, warm, amazing chocolate chip oatmeal cookies helps tint the glasses to rose, too.