Mostly it's just three words.
"Mooommmmy do it!"
In the last few months, I've struggled with those three words more than anything, to the point where it came to a head the other night, when I tossed a toothbrush Kate's way - though to be honest I threw it - when Andie was screaming for Mommy to, you know, do it.
It seems like a Dad's dream. Mommy does everything. Hey, I can't help it, I can say with a shrug of the shoulders, and let her wipe their bottoms.
In fact it's exactly the opposite. They're twins, for one, and that means I've had to be Mom as well as Dad. And I get frustrated with that because I believe, right or wrong, that I've put in a good amount of work. My fair share, at the very least. And I don't like being rewarded by hearing, all the time, that I suck.
Kate's frustrated too, of course, because it puts a burden on her.
Finally, there's a certain joy in helping your little ones put on their pjs, clipping them in their car seats and picking them up when they need a little love. I take pleasure in that. I don't mind feeling needed. I doubt anyone truly minds that. And I'm feeling a bit robbed. Eventually they won't want either one of us to do those things. There are only so many pj days left.
Because of my nature, I tend to take it personally, and I really shouldn't. Toddlers want their mommies, and it's worse with twins because they compete for Kate's attention.
Lately, though, I've taken a couple steps to help curb it.
When the girls at night are in their pjs and on the living room carpet playing with them, I get on the floor, too. I've got the Dad's knack for roughhousing. I'm also giving out more dinosaur rides.
And Friday I took the girls and spent the morning with them. It wasn't much. We went to Target, got some fingerpaint, and I did their nails.
It's hard work. When I put them down for a nap, I was far more tired than I was today after my 8-mile run. But it was good, hard work, much like the run.
Today when Kate told the girls it was Jayden's day to go to church with her, they paused. Then said, "We get special time with Daddy?"
Those are words I want to hear.