I always respond with, “Yep, they are. Full of blessings.”
My favorite scene is the obviously overwhelmed souls poised to catch one of my appendages as I do the baby on the hip and toddler sitdown wiggle out the door.
My aunt and uncle were my latest victims. They got their fill of my rowdy crew jumping and dancing around our favorite deli a couple days ago.
By the third kid, you’re just thankful for a little adult conversation. I know my 6-year-old will handle any toddler sit-downs or bumps with a prompt, “Momma, Logan’s hurt/hungry/thirsty/won’t walk/pulling my hair,” report in T-minus 45 seconds.
And just as I was getting into the really good explanation of how homeschooled kids are socialized just fine (one of the topics I’m prepared to speak on if you’re in the market for a motivational speaker), a nap-deprived Man Cub does the toddler sit down.
If you’ve had one of these adorably strong and sticky creatures cross your path, you know it’s their way of playing possum. He’s not getting up. No way, no how.
You are going to have to put down your four bags of required sippy cups, diapers, goldfish snacks, extra clothes and the ever-necessary baby wipes to pick him up. He’s not capable of walking at all, at least not until you have to cross the double drive-thru full of Odyssey vans, Tahoes and Suburbans at Chik-fil-a. Then, he wants to walk. That’s toddler logic for you.
So, where was I?
Oh yeah, Man Cub is doing the sit down at the deli. His sister is standing over him trying to get him up. He pulls back on her hand and goes into the flat-backed move and smacks his head a little on the tile floor. Then, the howling begins.
And my uncle begins the poised hands. The hands that want to pick him up and examine his perfectly undented skull.
I give the man cub’s cranium a quick glance, put him on my hip and suggest that it’s about that time.
Then, the real awe of the mom with her hands full of almost Irish twins and a bouncing 6-year-old (seriously this kid is always bouncing) begins.
I put Little One in her carrier and hoist it up with one arm. I assign the umbrella stroller to the big girl. And then Man Cub decides it’s his stroller, so in he goes. Then we do our little dance out the door. I back it up (me and the monstrosity that is an infant carseat) into the door to hold it for the little tyrant and his handler.
All the while, the aunt and uncle are carrying bags because I don’t have enough hands (really, I do, but I like any help I can get).
Then, they watch as we begin packing them in for the ride to our next destination. It looks like we’re moving all the time, just to go to the post office.
But we have a system. The toddler is always wrangled first. You must strap down the wild animal. And he’s not happy about it. He starts the poking out the belly backbend while my aunt tries to help put the baby in. She calls out that she’s not sure how the carseat fits in its base. I admit that it really is simple, but it can be overwhelming to the untrained eye.
Then, Big Girl wants my phone right this instant so she can start the fourth Pinkalicious audiobook today (pink + anything gets her every time).
I may, just may, have an eye twitch by this point, but I get the baby loaded up and now I can breathe.
See, I’ve got my hands full. But the sweet little blessings are all locked in. Go me!
Did i mention it’s an hour past nap time? And the air is only sort of working in the Suburban I said I’d never drive.
So off we go with the 6-year-old complaining that 84 degrees with the windows cracked is making her need a swimming pool right this second. We have two stops we must make before she dies of a little sweat induced drama.
I tell her the story about how we didn’t have air and had two more kids in a smaller car when I was her age. She thinks I’m making up a fairytale about how hard my childhood was.
And then she complains that we haven’t been to the park because I promised. So, we start the negotiation of why we need to let the babies nap for about 30-40 minutes. We’re going to go get ballet shoes first because she grew two shoe sizes overnight. And it’s conveniently one month before the end-of-the-year program.
The babies sleep through the trying on process and all the way to Sonic where it took three tries to get a working drive up speaker.
Then, we make it to the park for two hours of “wear the kids out” activity complete with three dirty diapers and a bit of a fit over why Momma won’t pay $2.50 for a 20-ounce Gatorade in the machine. Oh and we get two more toddler sit downs.
We finally head home and as I’m strapping the man cub back into his carseat, he says, “Fun.”
Yeah, I’ve got my hands full. But I’m blessed with these negotiations, hysterical reactions to my beautiful chaos and a man cub who tells me his day was fun.
Having my hands full is fun. It’s tough. It’s sticky (oh my is it sticky). But it’s the best job in the world. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Thanks be to God for hiring me.