It starts first thing as the sun rises through the window blinds.
“Mommy!”, she whines upon waking.
I walk in to lift her up, good morning. “Mommy”, she whispers softly. Not long after, her brothers stumble in, too, crowding around me in the chair with bed head and sleepy eyes. Elbows and knees poking into sides. “Mommy, what day is it?”, Jedi asks, curious. “Mommy, how many days until the weekend? Mommy, I had a dream. Do you want to hear about my dream, Mommy?”
“Mommy, I’m hungry”, they demand in a rare form of unity. I fix waffles or pancakes or omelets. Some days, when it’s already too much, it’s merely Pop Tarts. I fill three cups with milk. It’s briefly still while their mouths are full and then it begins again.
“Mommy, he’s hitting me! Mommy, make him stop! Mommy, she scratched me!”
Mommy, help. Mommy, sit. Mommy, boo-boo. Look at this, Mommy. Buzz is a bear, Mommy. Mommy, come here. Can I play video games, Mommy? How long until Daddy comes home, Mommy? Mommy, what are we having for dinner? Can we watch Toy Story, Mommy? Come watch with us, Mommy. Mommy, what are you doing? Do you see my belly button, Mommy? Mommy, I’m thirsty again. Do you remember when we went to the zoo, Mommy? Mommy! Hey, Mommy! Even when they don’t say it in so many words, it’s there in intention, pulling in three different directions.
It doesn’t halt until they’re tucked in bed. When I have a few minutes left to just be me.