A tattered envelope fell out of my son’s baby book while I was tidying up. As I turned it over, memories of a hectic day with a toddler and preschoolers came rushing back. It was a discarded envelope from an insurance statement and was postmarked July 15, 2005. Less than three months after we had brought our youngest child home and sent our then three-and-a-half-year-old son’s life topsy-turvy. Not only had his daddy and mommy been gone for two weeks, but they had brought home a 16-month-old brother who wanted to play with all of his toys.

On the back of the envelope I had chronicled my frustrated son’s activities:

Between 9 a.m. and noon, Devon managed to:  

  • Throw a jigsaw puzzle and each individual piece down the stairs.
  • Color the chest cooler with purple crayon.
  • Empty all three church activity bags onto our bed and the floor.
  • Empty two full bags of cereal onto our bed and floor.
  • Color Kilyan’s new truck with chocolate lip gloss.
  • Color our white quilt with the above.
  • Overflow the bathroom sink.
  • Clog the toilet with toilet paper.
  • Have both siblings in tears.
  • Empty four more jigsaw puzzles on the floor.
  • Meanwhile, Amanda, our social worker, calls as Kilyan is shredding toilet paper and throwing it into the bathtub along with with Ashlyn’s ballet toe shoes. The tub has a little water in it because Ash hurt her foot and was soaking it. Kilyan then empties the bookshelf. 

My mother-in-law assures me that one day I will miss these years. Almost four years later, though I can’t say yet that I miss the toddler and preschool age, I can laugh at that day. Smiling, I tuck the tattered envelope back into my son’s baby book. I send up a word of thanks that my boys have both adjusted well to being brothers.

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