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What it’s like to have big, medium, and small kids all at the same time

It’s like sailing a ship through rough seas with sock puppets on your feet and your hands tied behind your back.

It’s having a deep, interesting conversation while you try to remove a crayon someone stuck in a rubber duck.

It’s changing a diaper while someone yells to be wiped while another adds maxi-pads to the grocery list.

It’s watching your child type an essay on the computer about the Spanish-American War while Dora the Explorer blares on TV.

It’s folding 9 different sizes of jeans.

It’s talking about the wonders of Santa Claus while keeping straight who knows the truth while policing what the older kids say.

It’s making the decision between boxed macaroni and cheese and bechamel macaroni and cheese knowing someone will be deeply unhappy.

It’s watching teeth pop through gums, playing toothfairy, and contemplating orthodontia all in one day.

It’s choosing a film for family movie night that will appeal to everyone in the room. (Thanks, Pixar!)

It’s having a backward-facing 5-point harness car seat, a forward-facing 5-point harness car seat, and a couple of booster seats in the back while teenagers fight over who gets to sit shotgun.

It’s trick-or-treating with some while others are at home, giving out candy.

It’s scrambling eggs for the little ones, frying eggs for some of the older ones, making filled omelets for the rest.

It’s having a bottle, a sippy cup, small IKEA tumblers, bigger plastic tumblers, and drinking glasses lined up for dinner time milk. (Which need either whole milk, lactose free milk, or 2%.)

It’s applesauce, sliced apples, whole apples for the same snacktime.

It’s counting toes with a toddler, then looking at your teen’s pre-calculus assignment and realizing how much you don’t know about math.

It’s having little ones who want to snuggle, medium kids who don’t think it’s cool to snuggle, then teenagers who like to hug.

It's having a kid with a frosting 'stache and a kid with an actual 'stache.

It’s amazing and I’m aware I’m pretty lucky to have such a dramatic age span under my roof and in my arms all at the same time. I can see where they’ve been and where they’re going.

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