You Know You Have Four Kids When…

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ou have a color-coded calendar, and it’s awesome – until you use the wrong color assigned to one of your kids.

You show up to your son’s soccer game proud your family is 30 minutes early only to find out you’re three hours late. Sorry, coach, I looked at the wrong soccer schedule. “Pile back in, kids!”

You have your own cleat exchange program.

You show up to the school community meeting and greet the principal with your kids only to have him tell you there is no community meeting. You try to sound smart and say, “Ok, well, we’ll just go look at the chickens over here then.”

You love chickens because you buy 18-count cartons of eggs.

CalendarYou go to the park and get asked, “Are these all yours?” And you don’t even have all your kids.

You don’t have to set an alarm because you wake up every day to four consecutive alarms that can’t be snoozed at 6, 6:01, 6:02 and 6:03 am.

You use a tumbling mat to block the stairs instead of a baby gate.

Your fourth child has never had a play date because every day is a play date!

Your fourth child’s name is Kir-Boo-V-, I mean, Tucker!

Your second son keeps asking you, “Mom, why can’t you remember my name?”

You make purple-colored play dough with your daughter and laugh when it looks like poop, because this is one poop that’s relatively easy to clean up.

Instead of throwing away the poo dough, you and your boys consider playing a joke on the neighbors. You decide the joke is a bad idea only after your daughter is diagnosed the next day with pink eye.

Your daughter goes to her dentist appointment only to find the dentist office is closed, and you’re a week early (because you forgot you had rescheduled her appointment due to pink eye).

Tumbling mat
Our baby gate – a tumbling mat!

You no longer call the doctor when your child has a 101 degree temperature. The doctor simply tells you, “Just email me.”

You know what norovirus, conjunctivitus, roseola, fifth disease and croup are without the help of Dr. Google.

People constantly ask you, “Are you done?” And you smile and say, “We’d welcome another with open arms.” And then later that night, three of your children wake up with norovirus. And the next morning, the fourth pukes on your couch.

You hate your couch. But you love it and every stain on it, because it helped you survive four sleepless pregnancies.

You can name four strange places where you’ve pumped milk: on the top of a mountain in Appalachia, in your office while talking on the phone with your managing editor, in a public school bathroom before interviewing a principal, and at a gas station in Cocke County, Tennessee.

You have five different kinds of milk in the fridge: whole, skim, 2% and a glass of leftover milk, but you’re not sure whose it is. And some frozen leftover you-know-what that you really need to throw out.

You love when you have leftovers for lunch. But with each passing year, you have less leftovers.

You consider driving to Columbia, South Carolina, for Spring Break only to have one child hop in the car with the grandparents and drive two hours more to Charleston – because you’re not sure the grandparents (or you!) can handle all four.

You have one birthday in your family a month for five straight months, and you have the candle numbers 1, 2, 3 and 5 ready to recycle. (You don’t know what happened to candle #4.)

Halloween lasts two months, because it takes that long to figure out everybody’s costume and get rid of all the candy.

You drive into the garage distracted by your children only to realize the Christmas tree is still attached to the mother ship. Whoops, there goes Christmas!

Your Christmas card turns into one giant love letter, because the last year of memories could fill a book!

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Mama bird discovered nesting on our front porch

You find it funny to post on Facebook: “We’re expecting!!!! … a few more birds” after your son discovers a bird nesting on your front porch.

You’re about to go to bed when you look at the color-coded calendar and panic because you forget why you wrote “VV paper” on today’s schedule. Oh yeah, it was Valentina’s turn to get the newspaper from the porch. Whew. Time to sleep until my four color-coded alarms wake up.