It’s been a few years since I’ve posted. In that time, our mini-tyrants have continued their reign of terror — and we’ve added a fourth and final child to the small army of our own making.

Life with four is not that different than life with three, except that I’ve had to let a lot of things go. Just small things, like basic hygiene, housekeeping, good parenting and clever blog-post titles.

On the plus side, the giant mountain of laundry serves as a great dog bed, so we’re saving some money there.

Oh yeah, we also got a puppy. He’s wonderful — he’s made it his personal mission to teach me everything I’ve always wanted to know about getting the smell of urine out of almost every surface in our house.

The biggest change I’ve seen is that as the number of children and animals goes up, the level of supervision goes down, which leads to a lot of what I prefer to think of as teachable moments.

For example, this morning while I was putting Fitz down for a nap, Evelyn left poop outside Alex’s door as a “prank.” Actual human feces. On my floor.

Once Fitz was down, I *calmly* sought her out to amend the fecal situation, and found her in the garage pouring glue into her brother’s shoes.

It’s fine. We’re fine. Everything’s fine.

After having a little Come to Jesus about which pranks are funny and which are just plain mean/gross, Evelyn learned how to properly clean up both poop and glue. See? Teachable moment.

This stage of life — particularly Evelyn at this stage of life — is really helping me learn to relinquish control. I’m told this is good for me, and I like to believe it’s true

I’ve given up any say in what they wear.

It’s kind of fun watching their own style emerge. Evelyn’s signature look of the summer is “crazy cat lady but also tennis pro” chic.

House projects I’d usually have done myself have become family affairs.

Doesn’t that look fantastic? 😬 Someday we will host company in this room and I like to think I will be able to look past the imperfections to the memories my kids made and the pride they feel in having helped transform their old toy room into our new dining room. Maybe that same day I’ll finally be able to get all the blue paint off of Lottie.

I’m also learning to let go of managing their every moment. When I do choose to focus on folding some laundry or doing the dishes, they either need to help, or they need to find ways to entertain themselves. It’s good for them. It builds character. It might also build resentment, as lately they’ve been looking at me with less adoration and more loathing.

I’ve gotten pretty good at reading looks. Evelyn’s is the facial equivalent of the middle finger. Lottie’s is contemplative, as in she’s contemplating murdering me in my sleep. And Alex is just making motorboat noises. 🤷🏼‍♀️

They’re turning on me. Which I’m actually fine with, if it unites them and keeps them from turning on each other, which happened less than a week into summer.

Anyway, stay tuned. If I don’t post again for another two years, take it as a sign that my tiny army has overcome me.