All These Kiddos


Remind me that I should never take four children under the age of 10 to Sears for portraits – especially when the hired help has only been there for three days.

I painted the girls’ nails orange.  (That’s the way they wanted it!)  Brushed everyone’s hair, picked out four reasonably cute outfits in solid colors (except for the baby, who wore a blue and white gingham suit).  Threatened everyone with violence if they got their clothes messy.

Each time my stepdaughter Genevieve visits, I think we grow closer.  She likes me to brush her hair, and according to Steve, she lets very few people get near her fine, tangled hair.  Today at Sears, she wrapped her arms around my legs and hugged me.  I hugged her back.  It was only after we had embraced that way for several moments that I remembered she wasn’t my own daughter, who was playing nearby with her stepbrother.  I don’t mean that I mistook her for my daughter, but that it felt natural.  Sort of like she was just another one of my own.  So we hugged, and I stroked her fine, soft hair.

I’m very tired.

Honestly, the hardest thing to get used to is all the fights and the way they tell on each other.  Up until about a year ago, I had one child.  Then I got married again and got pregnant and boom – I have four children all of a sudden.  I never had to deal with the dynamics of sibling rivalry or any of that stuff.  In all frankness, I admit I have very little patience for it.  Hopefully, Steve can help me learn how to handle all these little ones.