Our family has been through a few stages. Lily, on her own, being indulged with time and fun... Lily and baby twins, when we were constantly scared of (a) Lily feeling bad/neglected and (b) Lily accidentally squashing one of the tiny boys.
Then came toddling boys and the fear that Lily would knock them over, or squash the bump that Evie was growing in.
More recently, we've had a bit of a 'twin backlash' - will Tim smack Joe? Will Joe bite Timmy? Will both the boys squash Lily? Will Lily slap Joe?
My latest fear is: will Lily squash Evie when cuddling and kissing? The girl doesn't know her own strength at times, "look mummy! She likes it, doesn't she!"
There's also been the Great Pushchair War - Tim and Joe constantly fighting over Lily's dolly pushchair, both absolutely obsessed with running it around the garden (Joe always pushes his cars and fire engine around in it). Fights and refereeing, over-the-top tears and tantrums...
Suddenly, yesterday, I had a glimpse of (I hope) the future.
We took the children to the playground in Eymoutiers, mainly because we'd impulse bought Lily a new bike in the supermarket, and she has NO CHANCE of riding it successfully in our bumpy garden. At the playground, there's a tarmacked basketball court - never used - that we knew she would be able to cycle around as she got used to pedalling.
We took the infamous pushchair and Evie's red Maclaren hand-me-down. And, suddenly, the children were playing together! Lily was cycling around (occasionally crashing), Timmy was chasing her, pushing the enormous Maclaren pushchair, and Joe was running around with his little pink version, happy as a lamb.
And what was I doing? I was hands-free, baby in her seat at my feet, watching them in the sunshine. Suddenly, I could breathe, and, as I watched my little ones chuckle and bond, I realised the potential joy of the coming summer and a future with fewer fights and fledgling friendships.