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     I look forward to the day when I will be able to have conversations with my children. Actual conversations. Enough of this mind-numbing, one-sided, half-manical crap! I spend the weekdays narrating to Wyatt (5-months-old) all the ways that I'm going to eat his piggy toes and change his diapy-doos with the wipey-poos while my weekends are spent encouraging Isaac (2-years-old) to use his big-boy bed and to go pee pee on his big-boy potty, in between bouts of screaming for him to stop standing on the edge of high furniture or from jumping off of the stairs or to stop yanking the dogs' tails. My time with Taylor and Cameron (6- and 8-years-old) consumes the rest of my waking moments. This time is spent answering. Answering school questions, personal questions, random questions, questions that no one will ever need answers to nor care about ever in the history of the world because they simply DON'T MATTER!
     You know the questions I'm talking about, don't you, Mamas? They start the second that school bus door opens and they don't stop until the kids are sound asleep. (Exceptions to this include the sleep talker -- which both of my older kids are, lucky me. The ramblings continue even in the dead of night. There are times I feel that God is punishing me for some wicked deed I must've committed in a past life.)
     "Mom, why is the word "BINGO" on that truck?"
     "And Mom, why does that man have only one leg?"
     "And Mom, why did you give me peanut butter and jelly two days in a row?"
     "And Mom, what's that car doing?"
     "And Mom, why are your boobs so big?"
     "And Mom, what does this spell.... 9ostoffice?" (Said with a mouth full of food as the baby is crying... and for the love of God, why is there a number in there? And if we're gonna spell Post Office, can we include the space so I at least stand a chance of getting it right?)
     "And Mom, does the neighbor like our dogs?"
     "And Mom, what's for dinner? I know you said it already (5 minutes ago) but I forgot."
     And Mom, And Mom, And Mom.....
     I'm not sure when my first name became And, but it has become annoyingly apparent that the short people think my given name does not suit me any longer, so they have taken it into their own hands to rename me something more appropriate. And. Frankly, I think it's just indicative of the fact that the cluster of things spewing from their mouths is just one long, run-on sentence, strung together by a series of Ands, one ridiculous question after another.
     Perhaps their questions only go to show how intelligent they think that I am. After all, only a highly intelligent (psychic) person would know why the man we've never seen before has one leg or what the truck is doing or what is going through the minds of our neighbors. But I would bet the more likely explanation is that there is simply no filter on the mouths of these people that call me And. Every little thing that pops into their heads sequentially pops out of their mouths, their own ability to challenge their minds with silly things such as Rational Thought, Observation, or Problem Solving is shrugged off with a snicker. Oh my gosh, think for myself? Is she serious?? That woman, And, is Cra-Cra!
     So tonight, I shoved the little one in my husband's arms, answering 50 more unnecessary questions while I quickly ran up the stairs for some much needed alone time. I sat on the edge of my bed and contemplated my own piggy toes... there's no longer any time for painting, exfoliating, or lotioning the poor things, so there really is no worry of someone wanting to eat my tootsies. But in the seconds it took me to examine my aching feet, the questions continued to come through the door, loudly, so as to be heard above my screaming silence. I mumbled a few acknowledgements, even to the questions that I didn't really listen to. I think my ears actually hurt more than my feet.... So what do I do when the big ones fall asleep and the little one is finally content? I watch family videos on my cell phone.
     Their voices, cries, and screams sound sweeter when I can turn the volume down and when I don't actually have to respond to each And, wail, or scream. In those very precious, very few quiet moments, my arms actually ache for the baby, my heart aches for the toddler, and my mind aches for the big kids. It's true. I am Cra-Cra. But I look forward to tomorrow and all of it's ramblings.

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