That famous mantra “Silence is Golden”??? So NOT true when you have toddlers.


What’s that famous mantra again that we use in our homes or classrooms or out in public “Silence is Golden”???

Yeah.  That is just such a falsehood when it comes to raising mischievous toddlers.

My husband…the dear old man (okay—39 is only old to children)…is off again.

It happens frequently in my life if you have been following this blog from it’s origin.

Anyhow—he is leading a men’s retreat this weekend.  Now, mind you, he barely returned home Monday night.

Therefore, he was technically home for 4 glorious days.

When I say glorious, you should understand that means busy and crazy and two of those nights he was gone as well—but he bathed the kids in between his few hours at home 😉

And I really don’t mind.

But tonight as I am trying to put new sheets on my toddler number 1 bed because he soiled his sheets this morning—I have toddlers 1 and 2 (so they are Josephine age 17 months and Maxwell age just now 3) playing with his electric and awesome train set.  Easy peasy because the trains shall babysit—right????

So I leave the two toddlers and begin to arrange for my 9-year-old to get in bed as well.

Brush teeth?




All your clips from your dance recital out of your hair?


Bed made and ready for entrance?  Radio adventure on?  Disco light dancing?

Check; check; check.

That’s when it hit me…

It was TOO electric train silent!

So Adelyne and I run to the toddlers room (shared room) and discover not a single minion in there.

Where to go next?

It’s a small home, so it’s not too hard to follow the noise—but there was no noise.

Turns out the little devils found their way into the bathroom.  Our bathroom is also our laundry room.

And a small (yet large when your husband is out of town and you are so tired because you have already changed soiled bed sheets from toddler oldest and cleaned up puke in the car from toddler youngest today as well as cleaned out a poopy potty training toilet and changed the Mt. Everest of stinkiest diapers in the world today—and that’s coming from a woman who literally lives only 100 meters from an actual pig farm—STINKY)…

Oh, let me get back to the story—

A small but LARGE snowball fight of laundry soap was taking place.

Lots of THROWING high in the air and then a mad dash away with giggles.

The next would run in and overtake the laundry box and grab a handful and throw, dash, and giggle.

Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Why oh ye little monsoons???  WHY?

I run in all mommy-threatening like.

Yet they don’t respond.

How is that possible?

I totally scare myself at times.

My husband cowers.

My eldest runs for cover.

These Littles…Perhaps they realize that I am too old.  They literally have no fear.

So I catch the closest—my son!  I whisk him into his room, finish putting on his pajamas, he’s yelling, “NO!  It’s WAKE TIME!  WAKE TIME!”  as I begin tossing him (literally) in bed, so I can scamper quickly off to catch the other rebel.

She squeals and tries to dart away.

Man!  That girl is getting fast!

I grab the chub and gently (after all, she is my baby ;)), toss her in bed—turn on her light song music thing and her giraffe cuddle thing and give her the one million blankets she sleeps with at night—

I kiss them both in this hurry before they begin to BAWL kiss-y way and pray silently in my head while mad dashing out the door with a BAM (slamming my hand on the light switch) and actual SLAM of the door … drowning out any tears and sobs that might ensue with my super mommy “I Don’t Hear Nothin'” ears on.

Now to the 9-year-old.

You would think she would be easy, right?

So wrong.

“Ow!  I have a bruise.  I need ice on my foot.  I need ice to eat as well.  I can’t hear my radio drama.  Can I read???”

Kiss, kiss, kiss.

So proud of you for your dance recital today.

I will get you ice—NOT for your bruise.  You will survive.

No, you can’t read.

Yes, you can read in the morning IF you get up early.

No, I won’t leave the light on for you.

Yes, you must go to sleep.

Dear Jesus, pray, pray, pray…

DASH down the stairs—get a cup of ice—dash up the stairs…THROW ice cubes at her (just kidding).

Kiss on forehead and RUN out of room before 1 million questions begins again.

SLAM second door of the night.

Start more poopy laundry from daughter’s diaper explosion (second round of poopy laundry for the day—I HAVE mentioned that, right???)…

Run downstairs.  GRAB Coke (not the drug) and chocolate.

Serenity now????

We shall see, my friends.  We shall see.

After all, I still have NO gate and 3 dogs literally tied up to the trees outside—I have yet had the energy for their evening walk and to bring them in.

Perhaps they will stay tied to the tree tonight?

Or will they chew through their leashes and run away?

How much crying can I handle in the morning???

Who knows, but as I type this there are 3 sleeping kids and I must say that mantra is kind-of true, “Silence is Golden” (as long as kids are sleeping).

Why you, Mommy, should surrender to your pirates.

My life.  Pirated.  All the way.

Gangplank.  I’m on it.  I turn, slowly, back to face the ship and its crew, and I see them.

The pirates.  All larger than life and ferocious.


Okay.  Okay.

They’re little and cute.

And their giggles are high-pitched.  And their singing is out of tune.  And their smiles would melt the staunch-iest of staunchest Scrooge’s heart.

Yet they are daily in my life.  Turning it inside out and upside down.

Let me give you two examples:  Books; Baths.

Before I was ever a mommy, my most favorite things in the whole wide world were books and baths.  And, best of all, a good book while taking a long, lounging bath.  With bath salts.  With bubbles.  With candles and dim lighting.  All night just to soak, smile, and enjoy.

But as I stand on that gangplank and look back at those little pirates, I am reminded about two things.  Two of their favorite things:  Books; Baths.

While I have Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline on my nightstand, I have these on my couch:


They take up an entire sitting space.  But not too much space that a little one-year-old can’t squeeze next to the books and climb excitedly in my lap.

Then we pick up the books, often the same, repetitively, and read with great excitement Tumble BumbleThe Big Red BarnLittle Blue TruckRoom on the Broom-just to name a few.  We read them.  Daily.  With great excitement.  And I get as excited as Maxwell when he spies a duck for the gazillionth time and says “Quack, quack.”  Or when he picks up Tumble Bumble and yells, with his pacifier teeming on the tongue of his mouth, “Tumble, tumble!” Which then leads me into a practical poetry recitation of the book, throwing my arms up at the end and yelling, “Hooray” alongside my little pirate, diapered-bottom boy!

Adelyne.  Well, let’s put this in a Brooke equation:  Adelyne + Books = What?

Let’s just say, Adelyne plus books equals nearly a half million words read in one semester of school.  You should know that she just barely left her 7th year 3 weeks ago.  Yep.  I need not say Adelyne loves books as much as momma.  But I should say that she possibly loves them more.

Therefore, if my book, Orphan Train, stays shelved for months yet to come but their books are daily unearthed, read, and spines on books such as The Bobbsey Twins, How to Eat Fried Worms, and Diaries of a Wimpy Kid are opened and bent and worn and loved, then so be it!  My book can sit a little longer and gather dust as long as their books are thrown wildly into the air, caught, and read, allowing them to escape into another adventure of their imaginations.

I love books.  And now my children love books.

The pirates can have my time.  And my books.  Any day.

But let’s move along to baths…

Ah.  Baths are the perfect invention for relaxation.  How did I not realize that they would be stripped from me the moment our first child, Adelyne, cannonballed into our lives?  Hmmm.  I guess I am a little slow on some things.

But looking back, while standing on the gangplank, memories flash through my mind.  One of the latest baths by my two little pirates.  The waves were enormous, frothing, and cascading.  But my pirates stayed afloat with giggles.  They had pirated my bath but opened the treasure chest of my heart.  And they just seemed to be having way too much fun.  Their daddy took the bubbles in his hand, lifted his lips near them, tilting his head northernly and blew.  Bubbles were sent cascading into the air while the two naked, bathing pirates shouted, “Snow!  Snow!”  Lifting bubbles to their lips and doing the same.

Bubble snow, naked babies, giggles, and memories.  Invaluable valuables that are irreplaceable.  Especially as Mother Time continues to tick.  Every second of every minute of every hour of every day, refusing to stop for anyone or anything.

Therefore, my baths.  They can pirate them at any moment of any day.  Gladly!


Pirates.  Standing on the gangplank of mommyhood and looking at the boat of pirate children in front of me, I have come to the conclusion that if the gangplank means that I sacrifice what I once loved most to give those same things to those I love most, then I’ll walk that gangplank and give up everything.  Everything but love.

Mommies, I challenge you to do the same thing, too.

Walk the plank.  You’ll be glad you do.