Wednesday, October 2, 2019

When You've Got A Wide Range Of Ages Under One Roof

"Whatever you watch HAS to be preschool friendly." These words are said a lot in the hour or two after school hours when all of the bigs take over my house. They know this means PBS Kids or a similar cartoon. The eleven year olds don't complain about having to watch Curious George just because a three year old could walk into the living room at any moment. For them it's just life. 

But life gets weird for me having so many kids all of various ages under one roof. 

My days go something like this: warm up bottles, change diapers, talk in a baby voice, read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at least five times a day, remind toddlers to go potty on the toilet and not in their pants, give the same set of directions a billion times a day ("put your plate in the sink, cup on the counter, go pee, wash hands and face, then you can play" is said a minimum of twenty times a day), enjoy the quietness of nap time, have a conversation about the importance of wearing deodorant to school, learn what a VSCO girl is from a nine year old, check over multiplication homework (with the help of my calculator because, woah, who remembers that) while simultaneously spoon feeding applesauce to a baby, double and tripling checking nothing inappropriate is being listened to after get the picture.

About the only thing consistent with all of the ages is reminding them all to eat their veggies at meals and snack times.

It's unfamiliar territory here for me. I speak Chicka Chicka Boom Boom well. I have trouble navigating the dangers of social media talks. I'm not sure how I feel about it; I only know that it's odd to go from changing a diaper to speaking with a kid who's nearly as tall as I am. I'm lucky that the bigs are pretty understanding about having littles around.....heaven knows I wouldn't have been that good about watching how I was playing and including littles when I was younger. On the flip side, it also means there are three year olds walking through my house saying "keep it 100."

I never predicted having a wide range of ages under my roof at once. I never thought I'd deal with this huge difference because I had my kids close in age (3 kids under age 4 when my youngest was born), but here I am. I laugh at how young I can feel one minute as I color with kids and old the next as school agers school me in Fortnite dance moves. This didn't hit me until yesterday, as I got just as excited as the preschoolers about Spookly the Square Pumpkin (and explained the story to parents) and had a dinner conversation about VSCO girls (a term I wasn't familiar with until a few weeks ago when I overheard my middle child drop it on a neighbor girl as they planned one evening). I can now speak preteen, preschool, and baby. It's a weird, weird place to be these days.