The house is quiet. This means one of two things, either the kids are all sleeping, or they are up to something. Since it is only 9:30 this morning, I am guessing it is the second one.
I look around. Drew is still in his high chair from breakfast. I have a strict don't-let-the-baby-down-out-of-his-high-chair-unless-he-asks-lest-he-break-off-more-childproof-locks-and-then-completely-remove-cabinet-doors-to-destroy-everything-inside rule. At the moment, he's happy, so in the chair he stays.
Emma is in the bathroom, probably re-arranging her hair tie drawer because it makes no sense to her to have all the same color hair ties together. But at least she's quiet.
The twins are missing.
This is what concerns me most. Two three-year-olds can actually harness the destructive power of a stealth bomber.
So far today, Ben has gotten into the junk drawer and removed a huge roll of clear packaging tape, and unrolled the whole thing. Then, upon hearing his mother from the other room yelling, "Ben, whatever it is you're playing with, put it back!", he wadded the thing up and actually listened, effectively creating a giant mass of sticky junk-drawer items that might not survive the unsticking process.
Oh, and there's a huge strip of masking tape on the front of the fridge. Two totally different types of tape. I have no idea. I'm just glad they didn't use duct tape. And they've only been up for an hour.
But I digress.
I start a search for the quiet twins, dreading what I might find. They are not in the kitchen, or behind the couch, or in the bathroom. I breathed a sigh of relief and a silent prayer of thanks, and keep looking. I finally find Grant on my bed, and Ben on the floor. My quiet, destructive, trouble making twins are watching cartoons.
Grant sees me and lets out a happy, "Hi, Mommy!"
"What'cha doing, boys?" I ask, pleased as punch at their calmness. "I watching a show," responds Grant, pointing to the TV.
He is sitting on my side of my bed, in only a diaper with his brown shoe on one foot and a rubber boot on the other.
"Do you want a blanket?" I offer, knowing how comfy it could be. He smiled at me, so I pulled my blanket up and tuck him in. "There, now you are cozy," I smile into his eyes, and he looked at me with his big browns. "Mommy?" he implores, "I'd be more cozy wif you."
It's amazing how quickly a to-do list can disappear out of one's mind just by looking into a pair of beautiful, brown, pleading eyes filled with love. I climb into bed next to him and he unabashedly throws his arms around my neck. "Now I cozy, Mommy," he says, snuggled up next to me.
The floors can wait.
We watched a little Jungle Junction, and then Ben gets up from the floor. I have a brief moment of concerned that it might break the spell, that Grant would not like the imposition of his twin brother on his Mommy Time, and the moment would pass. But he sits up and says, "Ben! We having cuddle time! You want to cuddle, too?"
And with that, Ben climbs up on the bed and snuggles down in between us, pulling up blankets to his chin.
And there we lay. The three of us, cuddled so close that we are on top of each other, arms around necks in a tangle of limbs that were not unraveled for a while. It was fabulous.
So if you come to my house today, and you notice that there is spilled granola covering the kitchen floor left over from the kids' food fight this morning, or that there is still some masking tape on the front of the fridge, or that the laundry still hasn't been folded, know that I did my best.
But all those things become so much less important when compared to the chance to snuggle two little calm, quiet, loving boys.
"Mommy, you stay here wif me. I cuddle you and keep you forever."
Wipe the tear that has formed on my cheek. "OK, Ben, I think I will."