I know why they make kids toys in such bright colors.
It's so parents know at a glance if the thing baby is banging on the wall is a toy, or something big brother or big sister happened upon in their constant search for breakables and ink pens. And markers.
And cash (because what fun is scissors without something valuable to cut up?).
(That only happened once...)
So if I don't see pepto pink, princess purple, primary orange, red, blue, green, and that bright yellow, I'm pretty certain I need to intervene.
Or, if someone is sitting quietly for more than 2 minutes, usually in a different room and usually with their back to the door, that's my cue to run over. (Literally run. Those seconds saved by running vs. walking are VITAL. From one who knows.)
And when I DO catch someone doing something they shouldn't be doing, they're always shocked to see me.
If it's Jake, he gives me a big grin and if he's standing he'll usually do a little jump and his eyes dart from side to side like he's looking for an escape route. He usually denies all. Even though the evidence is *right* in front of me.
And sometimes he just shrugs and says "Yep mommy!" when I catch him.
Always with a smile. He stands still *just* long enough for my heart to melt at how precious/precocious? he is... and then he's off again. Onto his next adventure (and my next few grey hairs).
Katie's quieter. Also? She does things that we might not notice right away... like when she cut off a chunk of her hair and I didn't notice it till I found the evidence under her bed. I confiscated scissors two days before. And I had even washed her hair the day before and didn't notice a thing. So I don't know who was MOST surprised. Me to find a chunk of hair? Or Katie because she didn't expect to be found out. She looked at me and all I did was shake my head and ask her if she was hungry for some dinner.
Or when she made "nests" out of dry spaghetti noodles and we found them in her room under her bed, under the desk, IN the desk, under her rug, and behind the couch. And not all at once either! It was a gift that kept on giving.
Jack is pretty little yet so we've got lots and lots of time to learn his quirks. And hopefully we'll catch on quickly.
I do look forward to the days when I won't need to sleep with one eye open or jump up to check on one of the kids when things are *too* quiet, or encourage cleanup cooperation when kids are "too tired" or their "legs hurt"... or they "can't bend".
But I don't want to be too excited about time moving forward. Because once these days pass, there's no going back and I will (probably) really miss the baby/toddler stages (when I'm dealing with three teenagers and licenses and dating and busy "teen" activities).
And I've loved every moment with these kids even when I don't know weather to laugh or cry. I usually lean toward laughing. A sometimes maniacal laugh, but hey, still a laugh.