Sometimes...parenthood means picking up the pieces of the video monitor that was thrown down 2 flights of stairs by your precocious daughter. It can be raising your voice like you told yourself you'd never do as a parent and exercising a time out that you wonder is teaching your not yet 2 year-old anything at all. It can mean carting your baby in and out of 105 degree heat all morning to the point that you're both cranky and tired. It can mean feeling rueful that it seems the only time you have to truly focus on your newborn is in the middle of the night. It can mean that your toddler, who refuses her "baby bed" will inevitably exercise her newfound freedom in her big girl bed by getting up multiple times a night between 11pm and 4:00am to ask for a book to be read to her, for "Dora," "water," "cho-co-late" (as if!), a diaper change or asking/demanding that you to "lay down" with her. It can mean, despite having a newborn at home, withdrawing your toddler from nursery for the past month to keep her home with you in the hopes that she avoids school germs for a while (and let's be honest, so that she avoids those frightful seizures)...only for her to get another infection anyway. It can mean chasing her around to get a stool sample to test for allergies and wondering what to do about a reoccurring eczema patch on her leg. It can mean feeling strung out and unable to keep up with household admin and dinner preparations.
BUT. At the end of the day, in the space after the kids are put to bed and the musical bedrooms begins, it is all made okay by the feeling of my husband's hand wrapped around mine and just knowing that all four of us are together, safe and sound, in this small corner of the house.