Touch of Spice

Big brothers are the best

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Big brothers are the best. At least that seems to be sentiment from Katie and Nikki and I tend to agree.

Who would have thought going from two to four kids in the blink of an eye would have made things easier?

Definitely not me, who was considering panicking just before the boys arrived. They flew in from Mississippi about two weeks ago to grace our house for the summer. We arrived home late, and thankfully the girls were already asleep or they would have been up all night running circles around their brothers.

The next morning, shortly after 6 a.m., I hear Nikki crying for a bottle and Katie shrieking in glee. I also hear the low voices of 10-year-old Alex and 8-year-old T.J. I stumbled out of bed, made the girls their breakfast meal shake, handed them out and then collapsed onto the couch.

Sleep was impossible, but at least I was prone.

I have no proof, but a sneaking suspicion that the boys, who had not seen their sisters for five months, were the reason for their early rise.

They more than made up for it the next morning. As I slowly opened my eyes and glanced at the clock, when I saw it was full daylight and the numbers read 9:30, I shot out of bed in a panic, imagining all sorts of grisly things.

Then I heard the little voices. After identifying each one. I laid down and smiled. And just listened.

Of course, they boys have a sixth sense of knowing when we're awake (mostly because the PlayStation is located in our room) and it wasn't long afterward that I saw the door open slightly with four eyes peeking in.

The boys hadn't woke their sisters, but they were prepared when the girls got up. They made bottles and cereal and quietly played with their sisters in the living room.

Aside from the bits of Cheerios ground into the carpet and the fact that Nikki's diaper was wrapped around her right calf and stuck in her pajamas, I had no complaints.

I didn't voice them anyway. It's not often I get to sleep in.

Despite the fact that I've explained to the boys that they're not responsible for taking care of the girls and not required in any way to do it, they continue to help in ways I couldn't even fathom. From entertaining them to making sure they each have their blanket and bottle on demand, they're there. I sometimes wonder what I was worried about in the first place.

Aside from the extra food preparation and the mountains of laundry, there is no downside to their visit.

They, of course, are now in a position to want a break. Their sisters stick to them like shadows, eating their Legos, begging for bites of their popsicles and messing up their room.

They love being the "big brothers," but we make sure they get some time just to themselves.

They need it.

They deserve it.

Hey, they arranged it so I could sleep in for a couple of hours. The way I look at it, they're entitled to darn near anything they want.

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