"I don't know how you do it."
"You must have a lot of patience."
"I bet it takes a lot of energy to keep up with them."
Those are the kinds of words you would expect to hear if you had a big family. At least four, maybe a set of twins in there, just for fun. I hear that stuff all the time.
I only have two.
From my perspective, my boys are a couple of stagnant couch potatoes who would rather sit around and watch tv or play games on the computer all day. But out in public, they literally explode with energy. They race from the car to whatever errand I have on my list, the little one usually behind (but not always) and yelling to catch up. Me, I don't even try. I get a lot of sympathetic smiles from passersby.
And loud is the only volume they have under control. The louder the better.
I try to get them outside as much as possible, but I've got to admit there's not much fun in freezing if there's no snow to play with. Their friend next door hasn't been seen outside since sometime last fall (the last warm and sunny day, I believe). And as soon as they do go outside, the yelling and screaming can be heard all over the neighborhood. With no other kids to come join the fun, they soon get bored with themselves.
Actually, there are other kids, but they disappear into minivans as soon as they get off the bus that stops nearly in front of our house. And they often look at the boys strangely, as if they're aliens or something. I guess to an over-scheduled child stuck in school all day then whisked off to various "activities", the simple joy of running around and screaming your head off is alien.
I'll admit they do use up most of my patience on a daily basis (and every day is a New Day), but it's creativity that keeps us happy, and gets the wiggles out. That and every now and then a little help from my friends. Like the one who forwarded to me a story about a nearby sledding hill, complete with snow-making machine. We'll be checking that one out today.
I just hope we're not the only aliens out there.