Sometimes I think I live in a comic strip. Take yesterday, for instance. Dan called on his way home from classes. He knew within the first 5 seconds on the phone that things were not okay. Turns out I had been trying to get the kids to clean up the toy area for the past hour. They weren't disobeying, they just all developed instant ADD and could not focus on a task. At one point I was sitting with my back against some drawers because Juliana had decided that a clean floor meant she should open the drawers and throw every toy out, with gusto. Mckenna was twirling--spinning in circles with her arms stretched wide open, without a care in the world. Gabe was standing at the coloring station with a pair of kid scissors, just opening and closing them..open, close, open, close. Honestly, I waited for the little speech bubble to pop up above my head. Maybe it would say something like, "As aliens took over the children, mom just sat and waited it out. The aliens always leave, eventually." Or, "If you can't beat em, join em." The next block would be me, frolicking through a toy strewn room, with a tiara on my head and a lightsaber in my hand.
What actually happened is I threatened, calmly, that anything not picked up in 5 minutes went straight to the donation pile, and then I helped them as they scurried around the room, putting away their precious belongings.
Another time recently I was trying to fold laundry. (See post called Laundry). Mckenna and Gabe were trying to help. That means Mckenna was asking a million good-but-requiring-concentration questions, ranging from, "How do you fold this huge sheet?" to, "Why are there orphans in the world?" Gabe just picked up the first piece of clothing he found, rolled, smushed, and crumpled into the smallest possible ball, and proudly placed into the folded basket. When Jules helps, she pulls from the folded basket, chucking things everywhere, until she finds someone's underwear which she then proudly pulls over her head and wears like a necklace.
Once in a while the comic strip turns into a poem. Juliana and Gabe were in the tub last night. Mckenna ran in to tell me that Jules had pooped in the tub--won't get into that story, it's just gross. After I drained the water, soaped them down, and rinsed them off, Juliana took her towel with the cute bunny ears and went into the kids' room like she is supposed to. I got Gabe out and got him dried off before we joined her. I came in to find Jules lying on the floor, Pajamas next to her, and Mckenna kneeling in front of her trying to put the diaper on her. She continued to help me get her dry and dressed, and combed her hair. Then Juliana climbed into this doll cradle that my grandfather had bulit for me. I ran for the camera because when I got the cradle as a toddler I dumped the dolls out and climbed in too. Sweet moments like that take my breath away.
Comic Strip, three ring circus, poem...whatever I could liken my life to, what really matters is that I love it and would not trade it for anything.