Since Juliet was born I am very often asked, "What's it like with five?" And I haven't come up with a response. I think people are just being polite and don't really want a response, but I've been trying to come up with one with no luck. Today, I figured it out. Mostly, it's the same only you add breastfeeding and diaper changes and middle of the night feedings. What's the same? What it's always been with kids. A dichotomy. Wonderful and overwhelming all at the same time. There are times you want to pluck your eyes out, and times you're winking at someone. Times for hugging, times for a spank. Times for eating, times for pooping. Times for laughing, times for crying. And all of these can happen simultaneously somehow. It is irony at it's best. And it is life all around me all the time.
What made me come up with this amazing insight to such a flippant question? It came through Penelope. Today we were cleaning up the house. This means I was trying hard to make sure no extra messes happened. Penelope got the Windex off the counter and began to spray (a lot of) it on the french door rectangular windows. When I discovered what she was doing I said, "Stop!" and went to get a paper towel. No need, she was rubbing it around with her bare hands, then rubbing her hands on her shirt. As I was tearing off the paper towel she said, "I'm washing the index, Mom!" And there it is. A time for a mess, a time for something really cute. What's it like with five? It's awfully good, terribly terrific, and there's lots of laundry.