It must be baby season. It seems like half the people I know are either having a baby or are married to someone having a baby.
This means I've been to my fair share of baby showers recently. Actually, it feels like more than my fair share. I like baby showers in small doses. One or two is fun, three or more provides more cooing and aaawwing and weird games than I can handle.
At a couple of the showers for first-time mothers, they did a "What advice would you give to the future parents?" activity. My standard answer for these is always the same: Buy earplugs in bulk and don't take advice from anyone unless they have a medical degree or more than six kids.
My fellow shower-goers sometimes laugh when my answer is read aloud. I'm not sure why. I'm quite serious, especially about the earplugs part. I'm half-joking about whom you should ask for advice; I'll take advice from others, but only after I've inspected their children.
If our UPS man were at any of these showers, he wouldn't laugh. He would agree with me, and maybe hand out party favors of earplugs in plain brown packages.
Okay, so maybe he wouldn't do the party favor thing, but he would definitely know what I'm talking about with the ear plugs.
I don't know how or why, but he always seems to deliver packages to our house when our children have reached their upper limit in general noise-making and cacophony. Yesterday was no exception.
The boys and I had gone to pick Adelaide up from the bus stop after school. She emerged from the bus holding her forearm in the very specific way that screams, "Nursemaid's Elbow!" to me. She looked like she had been crying. When she finally reached the wagon, she told me her arm "hurts like it's bleeding all over." She clumsily climbed into the wagon with Caedmon, and the four of us started for home.
When our house came within view, I told Adelaide I'd fix her arm as soon as we got inside. This started up a miserable wailing of, "No, Mommy, NO!" Atticus got distracted by her antics, let his flip flop-shod feet step too close to the wagon, and I ran over his bare toes. He screamed. Caedmon decided that if his two siblings were upset, well then, he was, too, and his screeches soon joined the chorus.
We had just reached our front porch steps when I somehow heard the rumble of a truck over the clamor of our three angels. I turned around, and sure enough, there he was: The UPS man, coming toward us with a delivery.
He either has a family of his own, is half deaf, or just really likes kids, because I can always read amusement in his face when he finds us like this.
Better than the pity I see in the eyes of the mailman.