Semantics (and a quick “life with four kids” update)

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to have four kids ages six and under, this is exactly what it’s like:

Don’t touch the baby. Leave the baby alone. Give her some space. Back up. Let her sleep. You can hold her in a minute. She’s eating right now. Don’t touch her eyes. Don’t touch her mouth. Get your fingers away from her nose. LEAVE THE BABY ALONE!

And it goes on like that all day long until I lose my ever-loving mind.

In my best moments, I can relate to my kids’ frustration. We have this new, beautiful little person in our family and they’re so excited to get to know her. Plus, she’s taking up so much of my time and attention; it’s unreasonable to expect them to understand that I’ll be ignoring them to take care of Baby Anna but, no, they’re not allowed to be involved.

Kida always want to be involved. Anytime I cook, put on shoes, make a phone call, or look out the window, my kids are a step behind, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, MOMMY?” So of course they want to be involved with their new sibling. 

After telling them to stay away from her swing, don’t touch her swing, NO, NOT ANY PART OF THE SWING! May Virginia came up with an idea that works better than me yelling all the time. She got a “swing chair,” a place to sit and look at Baby Anna without touching Baby Anna while she’s in the swing.

Mary Virginia’s parenting book is coming out next year, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

Mary Virginia is a wonderful big sister. She’s doting, attentive, loving, and gentle. And she keeps counting and re-counting the number of girls in our family. (There are four. Me, Mary Virginia, Anna, and her horse, Spirit.)

Soon after I got home from the hospital, I overheard this conversation and nearly melted into a postpartum puddle of happiness…and laughter.

Mary Virginia: I can’t believe she’s here! It feels like we’re living in a dream! David, doesn’t it feel like a dream, having a baby sister?

David: No.



  1. Lindsey December 2, 2017
    Tell her to sign a copy for me when it comes out.

  2. Helene December 4, 2017

    I read this and the first part of the birth story! Thank you so much for the warmth and humor here! Fantastic.

  3. Gayle Ann December 4, 2017

    I love the way she added the horse to tip the scale in favor of the girls. Brilliant.


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