These days are filled with the voices of 3 tiny humans. Some days contain more shouting than others, but all are full of love.
These days are filled with tiny hands and feet and faces.
These days are filled with wiping those tiny hands and butts and noses, hopefully not at the same time.
These days are filled with peals of laughter and screams of upset, sometimes simultaneously, and not always from those 3 tiny humans.
These days are filled with the goodnight hugs, kisses, wishes and dreams, breakfast orders, one-more-drink-of-waters, one-more-rub-my-backs, and can-you-start-the-music-over-one-more-times that seem to take 18 times longer than the bedtimes themselves.
These days are filled with cutting food into tiny pieces.
These days are filled with many ridiculous kid-friendly words to mask the adult words that really want to come out of my mouth sometimes.
These days are filled with the almost magician-like ability to know where each and every piece of clothing for all 3 children is so that one can be pulled out at a moment’s notice when pee, poop, food, grass stains, mud, or some other such substance destroys the original article of clothing from any given day.
These days are filled with an amazing display of coordination and logistics – making sure everyone is up in time, fed, dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed, one lunch packed, one backpack readied, socks and shoes and coats on, gone to the bathroom, diaper changed once if not twice, and smaller kid and baby loaded into the stroller in the mornings to be ready to walk the bigger kid to school; repeating said process with the smaller kid and baby 7 hours later to pick the bigger kid up from school; taking the bigger and smaller kids to swim lessons once a week; making sure the baby gets the appropriate amount of formula in his bottles every day, since these are the last weeks of formula for him before switching to whole milk; making sure that same baby also gets a wide enough variety of real food to keep him full after meals without offering him things that immediately end up on the floor; ensuring the bigger and smaller kids get outside as often as possible when the weather is nice so they don’t make me run screaming, I mean so they get some exercise in play; making sure all 3 are pj’d, teeth brushed, peed and diaper changed, bottle given, and in bed on time; and generally ensuring the health, happiness, safety, and security of 3 tiny humans.
These days are filled with tiny footsteps at 2:45 a.m. when the music has stopped and needs to be restarted.
These days are filled with lifting the smaller kid up to the kitchen sink to wash hands after going to the bathroom because, for some reason, she prefers that sink to the one that is 6 inches from the toilet in the bathroom and has a stool right underneath it for small kids to climb up and wash their own hands.
These days are filled with baby cries and snuffles in the middle of the night to find that magical pacifier that sends him instantly back into the land of nod.
These days are filled with a tiny head peeking over the side of a crib at me in the morning, bouncing up and down, eager to start his day with me.
These days are filled with races between the bigger kid and smaller kid from the kitchen to the living room and back, since to them that seems like a mile.
These days are filled with 2-wheeled bikes for the bigger kid, scooters and training wheels for the smaller kid, and strollers for the baby.
These days are filled with grabbing the baby’s hands out of the garbage can, away from the bigger and smaller kids’ art stand, out of the cabinets in the kitchen, off the nightlight in the hallway, away from outlets, away from Daddy’s stuff, and preventing him from falling into the laundry hole (for it literally is a hole, not a chute).
These days are filled with “Mama.” “Mama?” “Mama!”
These days are filled with load after load after load after load of never-ending laundry.
These days are filled with snacks and bottles and sippy cups.
These days are filled with picking up endless numbers of toys endless times every day. Why do we have so many toys? My no-toy rule has somehow been completely ignored for the past 5 years.
These days are filled with kisses for bumps, bruises, and scrapes.
These days are filled with preventing arguments, reminding of manners, teaching responsibility, showing compassion, trying to teach right from wrong, teaching kindness and inclusion, showing how to make good decisions, ingraining the importance of respect, instilling self-confidence and a strong sense of being loved and belonging, teaching that everyone has a story and is important, and daily trying my damnedest to be the Mama they deserve and to not raise little assholes.
These days are filled with tiny eye rubs when the Sandman is near.
These days are filled with burp rag-covered shoulders and baby snuggles.
These days are filled with a complete, purposeful, and pretty much blissful ignorance of basically anything outside my 4 walls and 3 tiny humans, especially politics. Wait, it’s an election year??
These days are filled with pb&j, hot dogs, grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, and chicken nuggets. You know, my favorite foods.
These days are filled with a ferocity of love that I never dreamed possible before having these 3 tiny humans.
These days are theirs, and I try to be as present as is humanly possible for every single one.
These days are mine, and they are finite, so I cherish every single one.
For those 3 tiny humans? They are mine. And they make me so, so very happy.