The kids are out of school today for Presidents’ Day. We had lots of options what we could do with our day, but in the end, we decided to get some errands done, and some fun shopping. They each had some cash and gift cards from Christmas and birthdays. We drove the poor employee in the shoe section at the sporting goods store pretty close to insane. Shoe shopping success, however, with minimal hair pulling and cajoling. I then endured the torture of 30 minutes in the video game store. They really, really, really need a padded parents’ lounge in that place! I decided food was in order before facing three more stops.
As we sat down to eat, I noticed Big Man was smiling at a baby boy at the next table (a serious little cutie with blond hair and extremely blue eyes). Dad had the baby, while Mom was trying to get their daughter to eat. My three had been at the table for a few minutes by themselves while I’d been getting my soda. Apparently, they’d been observed by the mom. She leaned over and asked me, “Do you mind if I ask, what is the age difference between your children?” I smiled. And I told her the truth….12 months between the older two, and 3.5 years between the oldest and youngest. “Do they fight?” Nope, not really. Well, the older two don’t fight at all. They never have. They’ve never known anything but having each other around. I looked at the mom. She had that frazzled mom-of-toddlers look on her face. She told me her two are 19 months apart. I nodded.
I vaguely remember the toddler years with my three. I was exhausted, stressed out, frustrated, and a complete disaster. It. Was. So. Hard. I think I’ve blocked much of it out it was so hard. I had three under the age of four. And man were they busy and creative. I could not keep up with the older two. The trouble they would come up with…it was beyond my imagination. The bathing, feeding, clothing, cleaning-up-after, changing, putting-to-bed…it was just so much work. I didn’t love every minute. I woke up most mornings and started counting the hours to nap time and then bedtime. Bunco nights and date nights were sacred for they saved my sanity. I could stretch a trip to the grocery store without the kids to over an hour without trying very hard. Don’t get me wrong, there were amazing moments and beautiful moments that I truly cherish. I loved seeing the world through their eyes, so new and so full of wonder. I loved snuggling, reading silly stories, singing silly songs. But it was hard.
I told the mom in the restaurant today it does get easier. I wouldn’t change a thing about the spacing between my babies. They are so close. We got through the rough stuff of infancy and toddler-hood in one fail swoop. Then we moved on. Things are much easier now. I love watching them together. They are far enough apart to be experiencing different things, but close enough they will never have a time they don’t have anything in common. So no, I don’t mind you asking. They’re close, and I love it.