Essay written for StaceysMotheringMoments.com Lunch. 1 Grilled Cheese 3 Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly 1 Grilled Nutella I’m not a short-order cook, but I’m willing to acquiesce to minor recommendations by the small people that seem to run my life. Dinner. “Miss E! Use your fingers! DON’T use your fingers. I meant don’t!!” A chorus cries out with laughter and mocking. “Haha! Mom said to eat with your fingers Miss E!” Grins all around. I’m outnumbered. I sigh and watch her adorable little face smirk at me while continuing to eat her peas with her fingers. “What? You said to eat with my fingers.” She laughs. Bedtime. I wipe down countertops smeared with breakfastlunchdinner. I holler at small people to return to their beds for the one-millionth time. But only succeed after a band-aid is applied to the miniscule sleep-preventing scratch on the smallest of hands. My teenagers are badgering me for cereal at this late hour. A treat I cave to on occasion because there is so much joy in it. They squeal, as only teenagers can, and pour heaping bowls of cereal to feed their growing bodies, or at least that seems to be their justification. Their attempt at cleverly tricking their mother. I am on to them. I go to wipe the table down, absently running a hand through my hair. I discover a sticky substance now clinging to my tired locks. Peanut butter. I’m not sure how it got there or when the transfer happened. I could have been prancing across my life with peanut butter in my hair all day. Finally. Grownup bedtime. I snuggle down into my bed, exhausted and wait for the steady stream of teenagers coming to tell me goodnight. They linger. We talk. They are fun, amazing humans, but I eventually scoot each one off to bed. Sleep.