By Niki Callahan
The alarm goes off and I sleepily hit snooze for the 10th time before crawling out of bed. It’s quiet inside and still dark outside, the lights pierce my eyes. The reward, a quiet shower for this mom of four kids ages four and under. What? Yep, you read it correctly. Four children four and under. I have bookend boys with twin girls in the middle.
Breakfast is in the oven and a hot cup of coffee is in hand. I quietly await the pitter patter of little feet coming quickly down the hall to greet me. Their joy for life is inspiring. One at a time they awake. I hear the footsteps and turn to take them into my arms. I think to myself savor these moments.
The muffins are done and each of the children have picked their favorite colored plate and put one in front of their baby brother. The morning chatter fades away when their plates are full. They begin to devour their breakfast like they’ve not had food for days.
Moments later everyone scurries off to find their favorite ride on toy. The little guy seizes the walker going as fast as his little legs will carry him in hot pursuit of his siblings. Our house is full of rolling wheels, girly squeals and laughter. It’s never-ending… We take imaginary trips and pretend to be army men and cooks. Magical childhood fun! Savor these moments.
There are fights and squalls “This toy is mine!” “NO! I had it first!” Breathe. Savor these moments. Eventually the friendly banter of childhood play returns. I enjoy playing along or giving them new ideas to see where their imaginations lead them.
Before I know it, lunchtime is here. After lunch we attempt a quiet time (though its never really quiet with a 4 1/2 year old boy, twin 3 year old girls and a 1 year old boy). Fifteen minutes later, we are back to imaginary play, coloring and cutting, play doh or tractors and dry beans.
Just before suppertime we all go into the kitchen to prepare dinner. They all enjoy helping! The baby sits to watch while each of the other three decide if they want to help cook the meat, stir the veggies or grate the cheese. (At this moment I am running from one kid to the other to make sure they’ve got it under control.) We sit down for dinner around 4:30 pm.
After dinner we play together until 5:30 and then begin our bedtime routine. Dressing in nightclothes, brushing teeth and reading together creates a calming atmosphere that helps everyone wind down. By 6:30 the lights are all out and everyone should be in their bed. BAM! The twins begin to destroy their room by emptying out all of their folded clothes from drawers then using their bed as a trampoline and quickly exiting their room with loud chatter and laughter… We need containment! I’m too tired to savor this moment! AHHH! Deep breaths…
When all goes well, everyone is asleep by 7:30 pm. They will be up and ready to begin their day as the sun rises the next morning. Of course, there are “crisis moments.” Breathe. Savor these moments, too. We all have them.
Mom friends, our days are busy and can seem monotonous and even mayhem at times. Together let’s savor these moments. They are the fabric of childhood, the beautiful mosaic of family; the bookend boys and the twin girls.