The Middles

If play is a child's work, these kids need a raise. Or maybe time and a half. Heck, they should be CEO of the whole company. At least they deserve a promotion. If play is a child's work, these kids live at the office.

I used to refer to Cash and Libby as "The Preschoolers." But when Libby hit kindergarten, that no longer applied. So I started calling them "The Middles" because they were (duh) the middle children, and because they play and pretend together constantly. They need to be grouped together. When I was pregnant with Juliet, Penelope began anticipating her transition to becoming a "middle." She has joined in without the smallest bit of difficulty.

Since Cash is truly in the very middle, we call him King of the Middles. Libby is the queen, and Penelope is the princess. I love these three. They are together all the time. I cannot make it clear enough how often I would easily be able to catch them in the same frame with my camera. They are as close as siblings can be. They really love each other.

And then there are the fights.

Because of their close proximity in age and physical space, they are really good at fighting. They scream and yell at each other. They push each other. They snatch things from each other. They wrestle. They spew ugly words when they have been wronged. And I get to deal with it day in and day out.

I am often getting up at 6 something in the morning because already they are fighting when they're supposed to be lying in bed quietly until 7:00.

The middles are often playing "family" which involves Penelope whining like a baby (fingernails on a chalkboard) and calling Libby "mommy."

Other middles activities include, but are not limited to:


taking baths
playing outside with bugs

playing games or doing puzzles
playing school

generally causing a racket

taking care of Juliet
(sometimes reading and taking care of Juliet at the same time)
fighting with each other (just making sure I got that point across)
pretending with toys

dressing up
eating constantly

being cute while doing all of the above

I love the middles. As anyone who you adore, they make me crazy and fill me with joy and wonder every day of the week. And they are loud. Luckily I can get a bit of a break when I put them to bed every night. Yeah, so they can hang like sloths from their bunks and generally ransack the room with stuffed toys while they disobey, get out of their beds, and have a dance party. I don't want to know. After bedtime what happens in the bunk room stays in the bunk room. And I stay on the couch at least long enough to eat a snack. And if it gets really bad, Jimmy and I look at each other and say, "Let the beatings begin!"

Because every middle child needs a beating every once in a while. (I'm the baby of the family. Jimmy is a middle.)

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