I Think I’m Normal, But I’m Not
Today’s Parent On line sent out a call for parent bloggers: “Topic: What makes your family unique?” Gee, that’s a tough one, I thought. I’m so normal.
Except I’m not.
I keep forgetting that the rest of the world doesn’t have six kids, 10 and under — or, as I like to put it, 2 kids 3 times. I mean to us, this is normal when you have a 10, 8, 6, 4, 3, and a baby: dinner for 8 every night, $43 dollars for a fast food meal, boxes and boxes of hand-me-downs waiting for the next kid to grow into them. We love our life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but sometimes I forget just how weird we must seem.
Weird like this:
- We will be shopping in the Toy Department for 21 consecutive Christmases, before our youngest outgrows toys.
- A jacket is worn by five different children, before we donate it to Goodwill.
- We have to get two hotel rooms. Otherwise, we’re breaking fire regulations.
- Costco is our regular grocery store.
- I have been playing “Bear in the Big Blue House: Time to Go” intermittently for 8 years now — and I’m still not done toilet training.
- My husband calculated that we have changed 20,170 diapers costing us $7,100. (He did a spreadsheet.)
- We wore out our crib, our supersaucer, two highchairs, a bouncy chair, and two strollers.
- I was going to try to list some of the funny places where I breastfed or changed a diaper, but I can’t think of a place where I have not breastfed or changed a diaper.
- We take our 3 month old babies camping with us, because otherwise we would never go camping.
So you see, I’m a little unusual. And deep down I know it. Both my husband and myself came from families of two kids (a boy and a girl) and, while I always wanted 5 or 6 kids, I didn’t think that it would actually happen. If you had told me while I paced with my colicky first born that things would turn out this way, why, I just might have screamed louder than her.
But, I’m not that weird. We don’t do family closets, all wear the same colour, or co-ordinate outfits from Gymboree. We attend the local school, listen to the local radio, and the girls’ go-to outfits are jeans and a T-shirt. We play Wii and watch iCarly. Yet, when I’m out and about with my 4, 3 and 7 month old people always smile and comment “how busy you must be.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking I’m having a break with only half the crew along! Sometimes I feel like a professional mother.
And that’s okay. Because there is nothing like having 6 little people crowding your bed to wish you Happy Mother’s Day. Or seeing the 8 year old reading her younger brother and sister a story — while she’s holding the baby on her lap. Or knowing that you don’t have to worry about how the kids are going to entertain themselves on your camping trip — they have 5 playmates already along. Things might be noisy and a little crowded, and OH! the laundry. Lord knows I can stretch a dollar until it screams. But in this texting, tweeting, IM-ing world today, sometimes you just need a hand to hold, a real live warm hand of someone who loves you.
As of last count, we’ve got 16 of those. And that kind of weird is great with me.
Want to read more about the crazy life we lead? You might like these posts: