Sometimes it all seems too much. This parenting thing, I mean.
When one kid grabs you around the knees, and the other around the ankles and begs you for snacks or juice or TV or milk or just not to go to work, it just seems like too much. Too much guilt and nagging and saying no. Too much serving drinks in sippy cups with lids the shape of hippos or lions. Too much talk about potty breaks, and diaper changes and "do you have to go to the bathroom now?".
When you are serving breakfast and one kid is screaming "I wanted oatmeal!" even though you distinctly heard him say five minutes ago that he wanted eggs. And the other one starts screaming merely because she likes the sound of her voice and thinks it sounds good in a chorus. The dog jumps up on the counter to steal the other half of the banana and you slip chasing after her as she runs out the doggy door.
It all seems too much.
Too much keeping track of who goes where and what day are swim lessons and baseball practice and did we remember to pay for daycare this week? Too much shoes that need to be replaced and pants that are too small and shirts he won't wear because they don't have Scooby-doo or Batman on them. Too much not eating enough meals and milk that has to be chocolate and will she turn into a strawberry if she keeps eating that many?
And they are only 3 and 1.
But some days it feels they are everywhere, all at once - I turn from making dinner and I trip over her at my feet. They ask me what is that for, and how do I do that, and why does this happen and where did that go and I don't have all the answers - I don't even know if I have any of them - but I pretend and I talk and they talk back and the questioning, the pursuit of knowledge and answers never ends.
I go into the bathroom and before I have even turned around, there are four little feet pattering up to me and four little hands grabbing me and wanting, needing. Reaching for me to pick them up, put them down, carry them to bed, tickle them upside-down, put batteries in this toy, take apart that toy. More more more more more.
Sometimes it just seems all so overwhelming and so much.
Then I do laundry. I pair miniature socks, smaller than my hands, some with skulls for a little tough guy who likes pirates and wants desperately to be a ghost for Halloween and some with pink butterflies, because no matter how much a parent dislikes pink, it's the only color little girls socks come in. Little shirts get hung on hangers, little pants folded and tucked neatly into drawers so little hands can mess them up later.
All these little clothes, these real life doll clothes, remind me that even when it all seems so much, they are still so little. So little to fit into these little shirts and dresses and sweaters. So little, and so new - even at 3, he is so new and so fresh and so wondering and inexperienced at life - and they are just here right now to learn and love and play and be.
So when it all seems like to much, I want to remember these little clothes. That anyone that can fit into these little clothes can't be too much. Nah. They are just right.