My three children insist on climbing on top of me. I can understand touching me, hugging me, and showing general affection. But most days—from the time I wake up until the time I tuck the last child in at night—I have one, two, or three children climbing on my person. Whether I’m sitting, standing, or lying down, someone is trying to climb on me.

I have been known to inadvertently step on a child who quickly scurries beneath my feet while I’m in motion. I’m not beyond walking with a child (or children) wrapped securely around an ankle, calf, or thigh. I brace for squeals of, “Horsey!” should I, unthinkingly, bend over to pick up something from the floor. That’s when a spying child seizes his or her good fortune and uses my moment of ill-conceived tidying to catapult to my back and beg for a ride.

I am a tree. I am a jungle gym. I am a mountain. I am transportation.

I am Mom—just another obstacle to be conquered.